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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: September 20, 2019 01:48 PM
From: Representative Dan L. Miller
To: All House members
Subject: JSGC Resolution to Study Economic & Workforce Transition
We are now manufacturing twice as much as we did in 1984, but with 1/3 less workers. A positive trend for shareholders perhaps, but likely a negative for many workers and their families who lost their jobs. Automation is only increasing, and whether as a byproduct of globalization, questionable trade deals, or in future economic shifts due to environmental policy or need, changes are going to continue- arguably at an even faster pace.

That’s why I believe we must act now to evaluate and if necessary, reorganize aspects of state government to be sure that we are ready to assist the workers, families, businesses and communities who are most likely to be negatively impacted by such changes. And while we have some offices like Rapid Response in the Department of Labor, I am not convinced that we have the appropriate structure, resources, and synchronization in place to address the needs of today or tomorrow.

Therefore, I intend to introduce a resolution that requires the Joint State Government Commission to analyze our existing structure of inter-related state agencies and departments to understand our capability, efficiency, and success as to assisting workers, families, business and communities who are in economic transition. The Commission will work with businesses and nonprofits to understand how our existing programs are helping Pennsylvania, but it will also consider employment, industry, and economic projections over the next twenty five years to shed insight and make recommendations regarding our ability to effectively manage transitions- large and small. It will also study whether a more unified effort under a singular “Department of Economic and Workforce Transition” may be a more effect way to coordinate amongst job sectors, geographical regions, and social services.

More change is coming. Previous economic transitions have uprooted families and altered communities, while shifting many workers to less pay and benefits. We can’t accept that, nor allow history to repeat itself.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation so that we can make a plan to mitigate the impact of automation, trade, or on how we make things, in order to protect and grow family-sustaining jobs here in Pennsylvania.

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Introduced as HR567