Chamber Minute

August 2018

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

Welcome to this month’s Pennsylvania Chamber Minute.

The spirit of entrepreneurship and the hard work ethic of Americans have always been among our nation’s strongest assets. Case in point – a news story that recently made headlines across the country focused on one young worker in Alabama and his determination to make it to his first day at a new job. Faced with a car that had broken down, college student Walter Carr set out during the night to walk the 20 miles from his apartment to the moving company where he had been hired. He made it there and put in a full day of work. When his employer heard of the effort his new worker had put in, he greeted him the very next day with the keys to his own car, telling him “we set a really high bar for heart and grit, and you just blew it away.”

As the summer winds down and we look toward Labor Day, it’s this kind of determination in the American worker that we celebrate. While the case of the young man in Alabama is remarkable, the Pennsylvania Chamber is fortunate to hear year-round from individuals who are also hungry for opportunities to gain the education, learn the skills, put in the hard work and do what’s necessary to achieve the American Dream. It’s why we’ve supported expansion of programs that help students from all socio-economic classes gain scholarships to pursue an education that best suits their needs. It’s also evidenced through the PA Chamber Educational Foundation’s ‘Start the Conversation HERE’ program, which in collaboration with the mikeroweWORKS Foundation is awarding scholarships to students with an expressed commitment to pursue a job in the skilled trades. Last year, we awarded $135,000 in Work Ethic Scholarship dollars to 47 deserving students, who are eager to put in the work necessary to pursue a career in the skilled trade of their choice. These inspired and skilled workers will help to build a world-class workforce in Pennsylvania, becoming invaluable assets to their employers and helping to boost the state’s competitiveness in the global marketplace. It’s a win for workers, the business community, and the economy – and it’s all rooted in the work ethic that makes America so unique.
Thanks for spending a minute of your time with the Pennsylvania Chamber, the Statewide Voice of Business.