Gov. Wolf: Pennsylvania Preparing Youth for Careers of Their Choice, Including in the Military

November 12, 2019

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today joined Pennsylvania’s Adjutant General Maj. General Anthony Carrelli, and retired generals and admirals from Mission: Readiness to release the non-profit organization’s workforce readiness report that outlines how competition for qualified individuals among all employment sectors affects military recruiting efforts and warrants greater investment in our next generation.

“I am committed to making investments in education at all ages to help ensure we provide Pennsylvanians with the skills needed for every open job and that includes positions with the Pennsylvania National Guard and all branches of the military,” Gov. Wolf said. “These investments start in the earliest years of life, when children are learning soft skills such as teamwork, time management and good communication.”

The Mission: Readiness report identifies research-based solutions to improve the health and education of young adults with the goal of making them more likely to successfully contribute to America’s workforce, including military service if they so choose. The report also documents the wins for Pennsylvania’s children that Mission: Readiness members have supported in the areas of early childhood education; equitable and adequate K-12 education funding; and youth fitness and nutrition.

“Research is clear that brain development from birth to age 5 sets the foundation for children’s future success,” said Retired Air Force Lieutenant General Ralph Jodice. “High-quality child care and early education programs like pre-k set the stage for readiness by improving children’s cognitive ability, health and behavior throughout life.”
Since he took office, Gov. Wolf has invested in the future of Pennsylvania’s youngest residents by:

  • Expanding access to child care and reducing waiting lists with $15 million in federal funds so nearly 1,000 infants and toddlers would have quality care, enabling their families to go to work or school.
  • Enhancing high-quality child care by investing $10 million to incentivize programs to increase their quality ratings through the commonwealth’s STARS program.
  • Increasing the number of children able to attend pre-kindergarten by 60 percent.
  • Fully restoring the $1 billion education cut made during the previous administration that led to teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, and program cuts.
  • Increasing the high school graduation rate to 86.1 percent, placing Pennsylvania above the national average.
  • Increasing the number of career and technical education (CTE) students earning industry-recognized credentials by 34.2 percent and increased the number of credentials earned by students enrolled in CTE programs by 27.2 percent.
  • Providing high school students options to demonstrate graduation readiness as alternatives to standardized testing.

Gov. Wolf has worked to advance legislation to ensure children are in school by age 6 and stay until age 18; creating a more skilled and qualified workforce by providing an additional $10 million for PAsmart; establishing the Employer Skills Fund; and launching the Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center to partner with the private sector around workforce development.

“We owe it to the men and women currently serving in the Pennsylvania National Guard and all branches of the military to give them the best possible future troops,” Gov. Wolf said. “That means ensuring we’re providing the best education possible to potential enlistees, starting at the earliest ages, when children learn quickly and eagerly.

“By working together, we can identify and fill readiness gaps, and ensure we have the best possible workforce for every job – including the Pennsylvania National Guard and all our military branches.”

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