Chamber Minute

May 2017

Hi, I’m Gene Barr, president of the Pennsylvania Chamber.

Welcome to this month’s Pennsylvania Chamber Minute.

As the Statewide Voice of Business, our organization works to make Pennsylvania the ideal place for employers to invest, expand and hire. But time and again, we’ve heard from too many of our member companies that they can’t find qualified workers to fill the jobs they need. This topic was explored in depth last spring at a Workforce Summit that featured Executive Producer and TV Host Mike Rowe, as he focused on the need to change the conversation regarding jobs in the skilled trades.

Fast forward to a year later, and we’re proud to announce that we’re taking this action to a higher level. The PA Chamber Educational Foundation has teamed up with the mikeroweWORKS Foundation to help close the skills gap. We’re raising money from generous business leaders that will directly fund scholarships for Pennsylvanians who are passionate about pursuing the good paying, family sustaining jobs that the skilled trades offer.

The scholarships will be granted through the mikeroweWORKS Foundation’s 2017 Work Ethic Scholarship program, which gives scholarships to people getting trained for in-demand skilled jobs. As of March 20, when the program officially launched, the PA Chamber has already set aside more than $70,000 in scholarship funds for deserving Pennsylvanians. We look forward to awarding the first series of these scholarships later this year.

Partnering with the mikeroweWORKS Foundation is a worthy endeavor that will help us build a more skilled and inspired workforce, strengthening our future economy. We are encouraging our member companies to be part of the solution by making tax-deductible scholarship donations on our website,

We feel fortunate to be contributing toward the goal of encouraging Pennsylvanians to pursue their dream of a dynamic career while at the same time, setting our state apart as the best place in the nation to live, work and raise a family.

Thanks for spending a minute of your time with the Pennsylvania Chamber, the Statewide Voice of Business.