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PA House approves bills to boost interest in high-demand career and technical fields


A bi-partisan package of eight bills that aims to address business and industry workforce shortages and alleviate the misperception attached to career and technical education won House approval on Monday.

While a four-year college degree might be right for some students, the lawmakers who introduced the pieces of legislation said career and technical education can lead to a career path with lower or no debt and a family-sustaining wage.

“There is no one-size-fits-all with it comes to education issues,” said House Education Committee Chairman David Hickernell, R-Lancaster County, at a recent news conference.

The package of bills now go to the Senate for consideration.

The legislation grows out of two years of work by a House select committee that traveled the state and gathered information about career and technical education and employers’ needs for skilled labor.

One bill in the legislative package that was approved creates an online career resource center that provides information to students and public about on educational and career options, available career and technical education resources, and data and statistics on employment opportunities and compensation.

Another bill, sponsored by Rep. Steve Bloom, R-Cumberland County, seeks to alter the qualifications that career and technical educators need to be able to teach to remove barriers that hindered their ability to teach.

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PA Workforce Development Association