PWDA Thanks Legislators for Commitment to Improve PA’s Workforce Development System
Harrisburg, PA — This week, legislation to #FreetheData was introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by Reps. Jennifer O’Mara and Kate Klunk. The bill will #FreetheData, providing workforce boards and stakeholders with enhanced access to critical workforce information. The introduction of the legislation is the latest step to ensure workforce boards and other stakeholders have timely data from the Commonwealth so they can better serve jobseekers, workers, and businesses. The Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association is leading a coalition of business organizations, labor unions, and social service agencies in a campaign to pass legislation allowing better access to workforce data from the Commonwealth.
“#FreetheData will empower workforce boards and stakeholders with real-time, invaluable data, fostering more informed decision-making and a deeper understanding of the ever-evolving workforce landscape,” said Carrie Amann, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association. “This legislation is a testament to the commitment of Representative Jennifer O’Mara, Representative Kate Klunk, and all of our partners in the legislature to bolstering the commonwealth’s workforce development infrastructure and helping jobseekers, workers, and businesses.”
Currently, local workforce boards and other stakeholders in Pennsylvania are experiencing a severe data lag that makes it difficult to evaluate and change workforce policies and programs effectively. Specifically, Unemployment Compensation and new hire data can take up to 24 months to access from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. Two-year-old data does not provide enough information to redesign programs or processes that improve customer outcomes. In the last several years, we have seen how quickly economic and workforce conditions have changed. We need access to more real-time data that reflect the realities in the field for our workforce development system.
The proposed legislation to #FreetheData has two primary components.
First, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry should share unemployment claims, unemployment wages, and new hire database information with Pennsylvania’s local workforce development boards and other stakeholders for performance accountability, evaluation, and research.
Second, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry should develop an accessible and usable dashboard platform that allows streamlined, user-friendly access to the data at any point in time.
The Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association is leading a coalition of workforce and community development organizations, including Allies for Children, Builders Guild of Western PA and Pittsburgh Works Together, Keystone Development Partnership, Keystone Research Center, Manufacturers’ Association of South Central PA, National Federation of Independent Business PA, PA Chamber of Business and Industry, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, and the United Way of Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association (PWDA) serves as the voice of the Pennsylvania workforce development system and a clearinghouse for workforce development information statewide. Known for Pennsylvania’s premier annual workforce development gathering every spring, we provide development and capacity building opportunities to workforce development professionals, local workforce development boards (WDBs), and other stakeholders while continuing proactive advocacy efforts on behalf of Pennsylvania’s workforce development system. Learn more by visiting https://www.pawork.org
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