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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 22, 2019 11:43 AM
From: Senator Vincent J. Hughes
To: All Senate members
Subject: Health-Related Industries Education Scholarship Program
In the near future, I intend to reintroduce Senate Bill 205 that amends the School Code to establish the Health-Related Industries Education Scholarship Program.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, health related occupations are listed as High-Priority Occupations (HPO) within the Commonwealth. An HPO is not only an occupation that is in demand by employers but is also an occupation which is most likely to provide family sustaining wages. These occupations require a higher skill set and consequently a greater investment in educational preparation.

My legislation creates the Health-Related Industries Educational Scholarship Program. Students who qualify for the program can receive financial assistance to complete their education for the purpose of pursuing an occupation in a health-related industry. The program incentivizes 2-year healthcare programs with a Pay-It-Forward plan and tax credits for businesses that will train/mentor student interns on the job.

This legislation in modeled after the Targeted Industry Program (PA-TIP) currently administered and funded by Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). Adding 2-year health programs will provide students an opportunity to access the training needed to fill job openings in Pennsylvania's growing health care economy. Health care occupations are significant to the current and future workforce growth and economic viability of the Commonwealth.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry's 2014 Statewide High Priority Occupations, approximately one in every six HPOs are solely within the Health Care industry cluster. These health care HPOs represent over 10,600 available jobs each year or nearly 18% of all HPO annual job openings. Expanding the eligible PA-TIP programs to include the health care industries would provide much-needed financial assistance to students seeking to be employed in these critical occupations.

Previous co-sponsors of this bill include: Brewster, Browne, Costa, Farnese, Fontana, Schwank, and Street.

Please join me in sponsoring this legislation. If you have any questions, please contact Michael Deery in my office at 717-787-7112 or at Michael.Deery@pasenate.com.

Introduced as SB219