On August 24th, we were honored to welcome Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative. Secretary Jerry Oleksiak and Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Eileen Cipriani toured our training facility and participated in a roundtable discussion with local employers and workforce partners. A lifelong educator, Secretary Oleksiak met with our current participants – who are training for Security Officer positions with Allied Universal – who talked about their experience in WPSI and their career aspirations.
The roundtable highlighted Governor Tom Wolf’s PAsmart initiative in job training programs and STEM education, which is intended to help job seekers obtain good, middle-class jobs in 21st-century careers. “We need to be able to grow our skilled workforce quickly – and that’s what the PASmart initiative is all about,” said the Secretary.
Participants – including Philadelphia Works, the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, OIC America, 1199c Training and Upgrading Fund and the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians – engaged in robust dialogue about the how the Wolf administration could support the workforce system by facilitating collaboration and community engagement. It was a wonderful reminder of the power of programs like the Skills Initiative to help local employers find the talented employees they need to thrive.