|Members of the House Majority Policy Committee held a business roundtable discussion at the U.S. Army Education and Heritage Center in Carlisle on a variety of issues currently faced by job creators. One of the overarching messages from the tours and roundtable was the need to find qualified skilled workers. With the strong economy in southcentral Pennsylvania, many of the businesses emphasized they pay well above the minimum wage and still have difficulty finding workers with commercial driver’s licenses or other employable skills. Pictured (from left) are Rep. Tommy Sankey (R-Clearfield/Cambria); Policy Chairman Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest), Rep. Barb Gleim (R-Cumberland), Rep. Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland) and Rep. Mike Jones (R-York).
CARLISLE – To learn more about a variety of businesses throughout southcentral Pennsylvania and the challenges they face in creating good jobs for Pennsylvanians, the House Majority Policy Committee toured several locations in the region this week, according to Policy Chairman Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest).
“This spring, the House passed a series of bills to help address workforce development and assist businesses in addressing some of their overall challenges, especially in terms of recruiting and training new employees,” Oberlander said of the House Republicans’ Good Jobs for Pennsylvania package. “Now, it’s time to see if these changes are starting to make a difference, and to learn about other obstacles that may be in their way.”
Over two days, the committee toured Farmacy Partners, a retail hemp location in York; ACCO Material Handling Solution, also in York; Hollabaugh Brothers Fruit Farm and Market, Biglerville; Big Hill Ciderworks, Gardners; SpringGate Vineyard and Brewery near Harrisburg; and Allen Distribution in Carlisle. The tours allowed members of the Policy Committee to find out how state government can help these job creators meet the challenges they face and to learn more about any government-imposed barriers.
The event culminated with a roundtable discussion at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, hosted by Rep. Barb Gleim (R-Cumberland), where these business owners, in addition to other industry leaders and economic development experts, were able to further discuss the issues. Topics discussed included state and local regulations, workforce development, transportation logistics and liquor laws, among others.
“Having a forum where we can hear directly from businesses, in order to help eliminate the state barriers to vital economic growth, is incredibly valuable,” Gleim said. “I am thankful for the opportunity that the House Majority Policy Committee provided to facilitate this informed discussion. Based upon the information we received, it is time for the Legislature to act on additional measures and reforms to help improve our jobs climate.”
One of the overarching messages from the tours and roundtable was the need to find qualified skilled workers. With the strong economy in southcentral Pennsylvania, many of the businesses emphasized they pay well above the minimum wage and still have difficulty finding workers with commercial driver’s licenses or other employable skills.
In addition to Oberlander and Gleim, members participating in the events included Appropriations Chairman Stan Saylor (R-York), and Reps. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland), Torren Ecker (R-Cumberland/Adams), Kate Klunk (R-York), Mike Jones (R-York), Andrew Lewis (R-Dauphin), Jim Rigby (R-Cambria), Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lehigh/Berks) and Tommy Sankey (R-Clearfield/Cambria).
Representative Donna Oberlander
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jennifer Algoe Keaton