PRINTER'S NO. 2960
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE RESOLUTION
No.
567
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY D. MILLER, HENNESSEY, A. DAVIS, YOUNGBLOOD, ZABEL,
MURT, HILL-EVANS, SCHLOSSBERG, KORTZ, CALTAGIRONE, FREEMAN,
KINSEY, DeLUCA, HOWARD, OTTEN, McCLINTON, ROZZI, SCHWEYER,
FRANKEL, DALEY, HOHENSTEIN, INNAMORATO AND DONATUCCI,
DECEMBER 2, 2019
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND INDUSTRY, DECEMBER 2, 2019
A RESOLUTION
Directing the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a
comprehensive study on workforce development, economic and
workforce transition and worker displacement and issue a
report of its findings and recommendations to the House of
Representatives.
WHEREAS, This Commonwealth has seen and borne the scars of
fast-changing and large-scale economic transitions, most
recently in the collapse of the steel industry in the 1980s; and
WHEREAS, The collapse of the steel industry ended tens of
thousands of jobs, destroyed tax bases, shrank school
enrollments, forced thousands of families to relocate, shut
doors of countless businesses and, in some areas, led to a large
increase of State resources to prop up school districts or to
develop larger human services networks to support people and
families in need; and
WHEREAS, In an age of globalization and often imbalanced
international trade deals, the coming economic wave of
automation, combined with possible changes in green energy
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production and manufacturing, could seismically alter how
Pennsylvania workers, families, businesses and tax bases
operate, with an even quicker transition and deeper impact
likely to occur in the future; and
WHEREAS, It is imperative that Pennsylvania learn from its
past and strategically plan for its future by analyzing the
capability, fluidity and resources in its related State
departments and agencies as to whether they can appropriately
and effectively help navigate these challenges or whether a new
"Department of Economic and Workforce Transition" should be
created in order to better coordinate more seamlessly with
individuals, the business community, local governments and
needed support agencies to ease transition or minimize the
damages seen to occur in previous periods; and
WHEREAS, The Commonwealth must work with all industry
partners and stakeholders to develop bold and sound plans in
anticipation of movements in industry and workforce in order to
properly assist businesses, workers and communities to build and
sustain high-quality, well-paying jobs and thriving communities;
therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives direct the Joint
State Government Commission to conduct a comprehensive study on
workforce development, economic and workforce transition and
worker displacement and issue a report of its findings and
recommendations to the House of Representatives; and be it
further
RESOLVED, That the Joint State Government Commission:
(1) conduct a comprehensive review and study of all
State departments, programs, offices, bureaus, committees and
councils, and specifically those under the Department of
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Labor and Industry, such as the Rapid Response program, that
deal with workforce development, economic and workforce
transition and worker displacement, to determine the State's
capability and effectiveness as currently constituted in
assisting workers, families, communities and businesses in
navigating transitions in the current climate and over the
next 25 years in consideration of the forecasted changes in
this Commonwealth's economic needs;
(2) conduct a comprehensive review and study of data in
the possession of the Department of Human Services and the
Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs to understand what,
if any, correlation exists between increases in need and
unemployment or economic insecurity;
(3) conduct a comprehensive review and study of data and
information in the possession of the Department of Education
in relation to the impact of unstable tax bases on school
budgeting and programming, and to what degree economic
insecurity may have an impact on student achievement; and
(4) identify and communicate with any other government
or nongovernmental entity deemed necessary to conduct its
study under this resolution;
and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Joint State Government Commission prepare
a report of its findings and recommendations that shall, at a
minimum:
(1) summarize the impact that the collapse of the steel
industry had on Pennsylvania workers, families, businesses
and communities and detail the subsequent job losses, social
service needs, impact on tax rolls and the effectiveness of
subsequent retraining programs or other related support
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initiatives on those most directly impacted;
(2) detail Pennsylvania industry sectors most likely at
risk of job or wage erosion as a result of further
globalization, trade deals, automation and possible changes
in energy production or manufacturing;
(3) analyze how Pennsylvania's current education system
aligns with the predicted employment needs of the future and
provide information on the amount of workforce that may need
to be retrained due to market forces and regulations, with
particular focus on needs, programs or methodologies that are
designed to improve workforce participation in historically
disadvantaged communities;
(4) identify all State programs, offices, bureaus and
personnel that deal with economic and workforce transition
issues, including existing staffing and funding levels, and
their ability to communicate internally and externally to
address the needs of an individual, family, business or local
government in dealing with current and future economic and
workforce transition issues;
(5) compile, after consultation with related government
staff, industry stakeholders and related union
representatives, a list of recommended actions that the
Commonwealth should consider in providing support to
individuals, families, businesses and communities dealing
with economic and workforce transition issues over the next
25 years;
(6) analyze the potential need or benefit for realigning
related State departments and agencies into a single
"Department of Economic and Workforce Transition," or other
structure, in order to streamline and improve executive
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action and performance and better maintain and grow
sustaining jobs for Pennsylvania families; and
(7) contain any information that the Joint State
Government Commission determines to be necessary;
and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Joint State Government Commission report
its findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives
no later than one year after the adoption of this resolution.
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