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Pennsylvania senate cuts workforce development funds

Friday, May 15, 2009

A budget proposal in Pennsylvania would cut workforce training.
A budget proposal in Pennsylvania would cut workforce training.

Pennsylvania's labor and industry secretary Sandi Vito today expressed "extreme disappointment and concern" over the senate Republicans' proposed spending plan that cuts workforce development and training programs.

The senate's proposal calls for more than $16 million in workforce development cuts, including $3,613,000 for industry partnerships and $12,754,000 for industry partnership worker training activities.

Industry partnerships bring multiple employers together in the same industry cluster to address common or overlapping workforce needs - for example, in the construction and agricultural equipment sector.

"At a time when Pennsylvania is suffering rising unemployment and falling job counts as a result of the national economic downturn, it is disappointing that the senate Republicans have responded to the growing needs of citizens with a budget plan that eliminates key workforce development and training programs," Vito said.

Vito said cuts to industry partnerships and industry partnerships worker training programs would deny nearly 30,000 workers the opportunity to increase their education and improve their skills.

More than 6,300 employers currently participate in 77 partnerships across the state. Since 2005, when the industry partnership program began, more than 73,000 workers have participated in training resulting in an average increase in wages of 6.62 percent, according to Vito.

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