Senate Labor and Industry Committee advances workforce development program legislation

© Shutterstock

The state Senate Labor and Industry Committee recently advanced legislation that would make Pennsylvanians more attractive to employers and improve workforce development programs.

Senate Bill 761 would amend the Workforce Development Act of 2001 to provide further definitions, to further providing for work force development boards’ plan, functions and responsibilities, provide technical assistance and data availability and local performance accountability.

Under the bill, the Department of Labor and Industry and the Center for Workforce Information and Analysis would be required to share with local work force development boards data on wages, new hires and unemployment claimants.

The data already exists but currently is not shared with local development boards in a timely manner, which impacts the boards’ ability to efficiently analyze programs and policies.

Technical assistance and support would be provided to enable boards to use the information.

“Sharing data more efficiently will give Pennsylvania’s 22 local workforce development boards the opportunity to measure the success and shortcomings of specific programs,” state Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-Greene/Washington), who sponsored the bill, said. “This will ultimately enable them to adjust programs so they more effectively connect people with family sustaining jobs while promoting the responsible use of tax dollars.”

The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.