As the state’s largest broad-based business advocacy association, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is committed to help bridge the gap between Pennsylvania employers’ current and future employment needs and the skills of today’s workforce.
The Pennsylvania Chamber Educational Foundation’s 2016 Workforce Development Survey revealed that a majority of employers continue to have difficulty finding employees with adequate skills, training or education.
In an effort to bring attention to this critical issue, the Pennsylvania Chamber Educational Foundation hosted a Workforce Summit featuring Executive Producer and TV Host Mike Rowe on May 18, 2016, at the Hershey Lodge. This event brought together business owners, C-level executives, educational professionals, community leaders, government officials and students to start a meaningful conversation about how Pennsylvania’s business community can change the message and perception of pursuing a career in the skilled trades.
The 2016 Workforce Summit served as a springboard to a larger initiative: “Start the Conversation HERE” — a grassroots campaign aimed at addressing the skills gap in Pennsylvania.
Through the “Start the Conversation HERE” initiative, the Pennsylvania Chamber Educational Foundation seeks to narrow the skills gap in Pennsylvania by:
- Increasing public awareness of the growing demand for workers in the skilled trades and other employment trends in the Commonwealth
- Fall 2017 -- launching the Start the Conversation HERE website that will feature innovative companies that are successful at filling their current and future workforce needs, student success stories, in-demand jobs in Pennsylvania, and available resources at both the state and local levels Holding a series of workforce webinars for business spotlighting successful companies, educators and other resources that can offer practical solutions in finding the talent businesses want and need.
- Continuing raising donations for the mikeroweWORKS Work Ethic Scholarship program to award Pennsylvania applicants who are pursuing their education in an accredited skilled trade program. In 2016-17, the PA Chamber and its members raised over $77,000 for this scholarship program. Through this program, we want to continue to help Pennsylvanians pursuing education in skilled trades, and create mass awareness of the growing opportunities in the skilled trades