Guest Post by Nancy Dischinat
Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board
I want to thank Rep. Schlossberg for bringing the PA House Democratic Policy Committee to learn about the Lehigh Valley’s workforce development status, priorities and needs. Interactively discussing the system’s needs with Chairman Sturla and the other members from around the state was so important to assisting the unemployed and underemployed of the Valley. I specifically asked the legislators for the following items:
• Leadership of WIB’s must remain in the hands of private-sector members, and their voices should guide the decisions that are made locally in order to ensure workforce services and training are driven by skills gaps in the private sector and projected labor market demands that lead to job creation.
• More resources should be appropriated in the state budget for Industry Partnerships for training to enhance the skills of Lehigh Valley’s incumbent workers.
• Workforce development and education must align to address current and projected job openings by integrating a Career Pathways model in the K-16 educational system.
• Continue to support the financial incentives to employers for job creation, on-
the-job training, and customized training options.
• Improve programming and increase the educational pipeline between career and technical school and community college.
• Expand and market Keystone Works and JobGatewaySM.
· Support innovative approaches that connect school districts through a private sector model called the Business Education Collaborative that matches school districts with industry experts to teach and illustrate how workforce preparation begins in the classroom.
• Engage the Senate to support House Bill 1725 called CareerBound and House Bill 1878 called PA WinS.
• Market to Pennsylvanians that the pathway to a gold collar job is through career and technical education and lifelong learning.
To review my testimony, please go to the LVWIB page at ww.lehighvalleychamber.org..