Solomon, Bernstine encourage workforce opportunities for Pa. youth

Bill would award grants to provide work-based learning opportunities

HARRISBURG, June 13 – State Reps. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., and Aaron Bernstine, R-Beaver/Butler/Lawrence, introduced legislation that would help provide opportunities for Pennsylvania’s youth to get a jumpstart in Pennsylvania’s competitive workforce.

“Providing our young people with a quality education is a priority for me, and I would like to see them have a chance to get real-world workforce experience while they are still in school,” Solomon said. “This program would help our students obtain a better idea of what path they would like to pursue after high school, whether it’s college or other secondary education or perhaps remain with the company where they received workforce experience.”

House Bill 1522 would establish a pilot grant program that would provide incentives to schools and local businesses to collaborate in providing work-based learning opportunities, apprenticeships, and jobs for high school students during the school year, the summer and after the student graduates. In addition, the bill would encourage a dynamic relationship between schools and businesses to create curricula that bring real-life experiences into the classroom that prepare students for life after high school.  

Solomon said while Pennsylvania offers job training programs and partnerships for adults, there are no prospects for high school students.

“By offering our young people with these opportunities, it would benefit them along with the businesses that participate, so it is a win-win,” Solomon said.   

Solomon added the grants would be awarded throughout the state to place career and technical education instructors in schools.

Bernstine said the legislation would initiate a great partnership with business and schools.

“As we work to prepare students for the 21st century workforce, this legislation will allow job creators to help transform our education system. When I came to Harrisburg, I wanted to develop innovative ideas that would bring our business leaders and students together,” Bernstine said. “I am proud to partner with Rep. Solomon from Philadelphia on this pilot program which we hope to spread throughout the commonwealth.”