Workforce Development Policy Committee
The Workforce Development Policy Committee works to identify key issues in our region’s employment pipeline and enhance educational and training opportunities for students and workers to be prepared for current and future high-demand employment.
Summary of Current Initiatives
The Workforce Development Policy Committee is currently examining how to increase the capacity of dual enrollment, early college high school, pre-apprenticeship, and apprenticeship programs across Pennsylvania, and has released its report, Prepared for the Future, which offers historical data on the prevalance of these programs in the commonwealth and offers recommendations for moving forward.
At the beginning of 2021, the committee commissioned the creation of the Task Force on Equity in Dual Enrollment and Pre-apprenticeship Programs and charged it with developing actionable recommendations for state policy in relation to increasing equity in and access to dual enrollment and pre-apprenticeship programs in the commonwealth.
Ongoing and/or Completed Projects
In November, 2012, the committee decided to take an in-depth look at CareerLinks in Southwestern Pennsylvania and examine best practices among the various offices. Institute staff embarked on a listening tour among the three workforce investment boards in Southwesten Pennsylvania and looked at operations in offices in all three areas. Staff also conducted benchmarking in Washington State. The initial report was presented to the committee in April 2013. Additional efforts were made in the summer of 2013 to determine what changes might be possible in the state Department of Labor and Industry that would have a positive impact on CareerLink operations at the local level.
Ready-to-Work Grant Opportunity
In May 2014, the committee discussed an opportunity for funding from the federal government that would assist the long-term unemployed in finding permanent employment by pairing job training/retraining with soft skills and any needed human services, along with coaches/mentors that would help them move through the process. The committee charged Institute staff with investigating this model and putting together a potential proposal for action if funding for such an activity became available again in the future.
The Workforce Development Policy Committee is cochaired by:
- James Denova, Vice President, Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation
- Ami Gatts, President, Washington Greene County Job Training Agency, Inc.
Click here for a complete list of committee members.
The Workforce Development Policy Committee is carefully crafted to be balanced and represent a variety of stakeholders. However, we occasionally have spots available for members in certain sectors who may be underrepresented on the committee. Please contact Briana Mihok at 412-624-7792 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have an interest in serving as a member.
The following publications issued by the Institute are related to the focus areas of the Workforce Development Committee:
- Briana Mihok, Kelly Tarnovski, and Olivia Kruger, Prepared for the Future: Policy recommendations to increase access for students to dual enrollment, early college high school, and pre-apprenticeship programs
- Aaron Lauer and Briana Mihok, Moving Beyond 20th Century Education: Emerging Trends in CTE and Project-based Learning (University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics, 2017)
- Aaron Lauer, Governance and Funding Reform for Career and Technical Centers in Pennsylvania (University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics, 2011)
- Jenny Wolsk Bain, Pink Slip: Southwestern Pennsylvania's Response to Workforce Reductions at US Airways, 2001-05 (University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics, 2006)
- Clarke Thomas, What after High School? (University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics, 2003)
- Bruce Barron, The Workforce Investment Act: What it Means for Southwestern Pennsylvania (University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics, 1998)