By Rep. Curt Sonney (R-Erie)
In a continuing, bipartisan effort to enhance awareness of the types of high-priority jobs available across the Commonwealth and the education and training needed to prepare for those jobs, Chairman Roebuck and I authored House Resolution 88
that designates February 2019 as Career and Technical Education Month in Pennsylvania.
Currently in Pennsylvania, potential employees do not have the educational background to fill the thousands of high-skill, great paying vacant jobs of today’s economy. That’s why it is important to ensure that our young students who are preparing to enter the workforce are aware of the many opportunities available to them. A four-year college degree is an option, but it is not the only option. Career and technical training for specific occupations can be immensely rewarding in both job satisfaction and financial earnings.
In order to prepare our students and workers for available careers, we need to decrease the gap between the skills and knowledge employers seek from new hires in high-priority, family sustaining jobs.
As chairman of the House Education Committee, I recently led a press conference in Harrisburg to unveil a bipartisan package of eight bills designed to improve career and technical education in the Commonwealth.
Bills in the bipartisan package will increase awareness of job training opportunities and potential careers for students, enhance the partnership between existing businesses and workforce development boards, and make it easier for students to plan for their future and access educational credits toward desired programs of study.
Pennsylvania has outstanding career and technical education programs throughout the Commonwealth. We need to continue to raise awareness of these programs and confront the misperceptions surrounding a technical education. Both competency-based and academic-based education are needed to fulfill important jobs, and both provide family-sustaining wages and enhance our Commonwealth’s economy.
I, myself, am a product of career and technical training. I know firsthand the value of such an education and the many doors it can open. I am excited to work on legislation to highlight this area of education through my work as chairman of the House Education Committee. It is my hope that through greater awareness, we can help Pennsylvania students find the best post-secondary option for them.
Representative Curt Sonney
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman