For Immediate Release
March 22, 2017
HARRISBURG - As part of its ongoing initiative to address the Commonwealth’s job skills gap, the PA Chamber Educational Foundation is proud to team up with Executive Producer and TV Host Mike Rowe to offer scholarships to Pennsylvanians interested in pursuing a career in the skilled trades as part of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation’s 2017 Work Ethic Scholarship Program.
“Pennsylvania has long been touted for its strong work ethic,” said PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr. “However, a lack of job readiness among candidates in critical growing industries has lead to a growing skills gap. We’re proud to join with Mike Rowe and the mikeroweWORKS Foundation to increase public awareness about the growing demand for workers in the skilled trades and help to ensure the next generation of workers is prepared to meet the needs of the Commonwealth’s evolving workforce.”
The mikeroweWORKS Foundation’s Work Ethic Scholarship Program gives scholarships to people getting trained for skilled jobs that are in high demand. The PA Chamber’s contribution to the 2017 Work Ethic Scholarship Program will go directly towards qualified Pennsylvanians. With the help of the Commonwealth’s business community, the PA Chamber will contribute more than $75,000 in scholarship funds. The 2017 Work Ethic Scholarship Program launched Monday, March 20, 2017.
This innovative collaboration developed as a follow-up to the PA Chamber’s 2016 Workforce Summit, in which Rowe was the keynote speaker. At the summit, the results of the PA Chamber’s 2016 Workforce Survey were unveiled to show that more than 50 percent of employers surveyed believe that recruiting qualified candidates is very or extremely difficult. Additionally, 57 percent said they think it will get more difficult within the next five years, and 56 percent said they are having difficulty filling technical/skilled trade jobs.
Those interested in applying for the 2017 Work Ethic Scholarship can find more information on the mikeroweWORKS Foundation’s website. Businesses that are interested in learning more about making a tax-deductible donation to the PA Chamber’s “Start the Skilled Trades Scholarship Here” initiative can find more information online.
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry Educational Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) organization created to fund timely and insightful research and educational programs that will positively impact Pennsylvania's economic future and enhance the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians.
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its statewide membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.