Yesterday, Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order creating the Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center.
The goal of the newly formed command center is to improve the interactions between the government and private sector to address the “skills gap and worker shortages.” Wolf laid out some of this vision in his budget address earlier this month.
During the press conference yesterday, Wolf echoed the sentiment he shared at his inauguration about a “commonwealth on a comeback,” but believes this particular moment needs a group to strengthen the workforce in the state.
“The message is clear, Pennsylvania is at a turning point,” Wolf said. “We either strengthen workforce development or we risk falling behind.”
“We must be bold,” Wolf said. “We must be ambitious and we have to break from the status quo.”
Wolf believes the new workforce command center will attract industry and strengthen the middle class in Pennsylvania.
“The command center will be an intensive partnership between government and the private sector to tackle these problems so workers and industry throughout Pennsylvania can thrive,” he said.
Wolf appointed six individuals to lead the command center, three from the private sector and three from his cabinet. The three from the private sector include Gene Barr, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, Tony Bartolomeo, co-chair of Team Pennsylvania, and Rick Bloomingdale, president of the AFL-CIO. The three cabinet secretaries on the panel are Acting Secretary Kathy Boockvar, Secretary of Community and Economic Development Dennis Davin, and Secretary of Department of Labor & Industry Jerry Oleksiak.