ICYMI: In Altoona and Delaware County, Lt. Gov. Austin Davis Highlights Shapiro-Davis Budget’s Investments in Career and Technical Education
May 05, 2023
HARRISBURG – Gov. Josh Shapiro’s plan to increase investments in career and technical education received an enthusiastic endorsement from students, teachers, administrators and lawmakers during recent visits by Lt. Gov. Austin Davis to schools in Altoona and Delaware County.
The Shapiro-Davis budget proposes an increase of $23.8 million to build partnerships between career and technical education and industries, trades and entities that need highly skilled workers.
State Sen. John Kane:
“I commend Gov. Shapiro for recognizing the importance of investing in apprenticeships and partnerships between industry and education. His budget proposal is a step in the right direction to address workforce shortages and empower Pennsylvania youth to achieve their dreams.”
State Rep. Leanne Krueger:
“We know that programs like this lead to good-paying jobs but sometimes they don’t always get the same attention as college prep courses do.”
State Rep. Jennifer O’Mara:
“We need to give kids alternative pathways that don’t strap them with debt and provide them with family-sustaining wages and retirement and dignity for their family. For me, that’s really important.”
Delaware County Daily Times: Lt. Gov. Austin Davis visits Delaware County Technical High School
Standing in front of a half-build Adirondack chair at the Delaware County Technical High School, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Austin Davis got to see where some the nearly $24 million of proposed investments would go.
As the budget season is in full swing, Davis visited the technical school Thursday to tout the money Gov. Josh Shapiro has added in his financial package being considered by the General Assembly.
Noting the construction industry faces a gap of about 500,000 workers nationwide and application rate for technical jobs like plumbers and electricians dropped by almost 50% last year, he said more of an emphasis has to be on technical education.
“If we’re going to address these workforce shortages, we need to create pipelines of talent in these key industries and we need to empower young people to pursue their dreams no matter what they (the dreams) may be,” Davis said. “Every Pennsylvania kid deserves the freedom to chart their own course, whether that means going to college or training for a career at a place like Delaware County Technical High School.”
During a tour of the Greater Altoona Career and Technical Center Thursday, Lt. Gov. Austin Davis highlighted the $23.8 million in career and technical education investments proposed in the state’s 2023-24 budget.
“Unfortunately, Pennsylvania has cut investment in career and technical training by half,” Davis said. “Over the past two decades, many school districts have been forced to tighten their belts and make cuts. Career and technical education has been a victim of those cuts in many parts of this commonwealth.”
Walking with GACTC Executive Director Eric Palmer, Davis was shown student 3D modeling projects by engineering design technologies program instructor Dusty Mauk, the automotive and diesel technology department’s Cummins diesel engine trainer by teacher Scott Dalby, as well as the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration and cabinetry and finished carpentry classrooms. Davis even made a stop at The Bakery, where he bought “the best cup of coffee” he had all week from sophomore Elijah Harvey.
Following the tour, Davis spoke about workforce shortages and the 2023-24 budget that he said can combat those struggles in the long term.
“We need more doctors and nurses, particularly in rural Pennsylvania, but we also need dental assistants and hygienists,” Davis said. “From 2019 to the end of 2020, Pennsylvania lost 1,680 dental assistants — close to 15% of the workforce. If we’re going to address these workforce shortages, we need to create pipelines of talent for these key industries and ladders of opportunities for folks to succeed.”