ICYMI: The Shapiro Administration Continues to Champion Economic Opportunity for Pennsylvania Workers and Small Businesses
February 10, 2023
“The governor’s action brings hope, removing a barrier for skilled people who were shut out of thriving wage jobs because they did not have a particular degree.”
HARRISBURG, PA – In his first three weeks in office, Governor Josh Shapiro took immediate steps to spur economic development for Pennsylvania workers and businesses. Editorial boards and columnists across the Commonwealth and country have applauded his focus on creating opportunity for Pennsylvania workers through Executive Orders prioritizing work experience and announcing that 92 percent of Commonwealth jobs are open to applicants without college degrees, establishing the Office of Transformation and Opportunity, and improving the Commonwealth’s licensing and permitting processes to become more customer-service oriented.
To celebrate Black History Month, Governor Shapiro visited the Museum of the American Revolution’s Black Founders Exhibit and Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis shared what it means to him to make history as Pennsylvania’s first Black Lieutenant Governor.
Finally, Governor Shapiro doubled down on his confidence in the Philadelphia Eagles winning Super Bowl LVII versus the Kansas City Chiefs in friendly bets with Missouri Governor Mike Parson and Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, sharing the best Pennsylvania has to offer by betting an assortment of food from Pennsylvania small businesses.
Read what people are saying about The Shapiro – Davis Administration.
Austin Davis went from Allegheny County lawmaker to Pennsylvania’s first Black and youngest lieutenant governor.
As part of our Project Community Black History Month series, News 8 talked to Davis about how he feels about taking on this role.
Davis said last month’s swearing-in ceremony marked major progress in Pennsylvania.
“It was extremely humbling to see all the folks and to really recognize and think about all of the folks who have paved the way for a moment like that so that one day Austin Davis or someone like me could stand at the rostrum and preside over the Senate,” he said.
In his first executive order since taking office, Governor Josh Shapiro removed a requirement of a four-year college degree for 92% of all state government jobs. The decision affects 65,000 commonwealth government jobs, including about 550 currently open on the state’s job website. The new governor’s move is aligned with national hiring trends in the private and government sectors.
Shapiro has garnered praise from national media outlets and sparked a conversation that is long overdue about the return on investment of higher education. For starters, student debt still looms as a national crisis. More than 43 million Americans owe a combined $1.75 trillion in federal and private student costs. Two generations of employees, millennial and Gen Z, worry that they will never be able to afford a home or retire due to crushing student debt levels. […]
The governor’s action brings hope, removing a barrier for skilled people who were shut out of thriving wage jobs because they did not have a particular degree. According to the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey covering the five-year period ending in 2021, a majority of Pennsylvanians (67%) age 25 and older have no college degree or only an associate degree. They can now benefit from a change in focus to skills-specific requirements.
On his first day in office last month, newly elected Gov. Josh Shapiro signed an executive order that seemed pretty straightforward: he removed the requirement of a 4-year degree for the vast majority of state government jobs. […]
Equally important is the elevation of experience. Shapiro’s first executive order showcases the trend of recognizing experience as education. An entirely new pool of potential employees of all of ages and backgrounds, who were formally bound together by one common trait, the lack of a 4-year degree, are now eligible to bring their valuable experiences to work for state government. […]
Experience is education. Intelligence, competency, and merit are free to those who earn them. These characteristics are rarely earned exclusively through the right combination of textbooks and test scores, and our state is better off having recognized that.
It’s governmental malpractice that the state of Pennsylvania does not have a comprehensive list of permits and licenses, along with an official schedule for how long issuing decisions will take. Gov. Josh Shapiro’s executive order requiring the creation of such a schedule will be — if truly enforced — one of the most important economic development moves the state government could make. […]
Mr. Shapiro claims, and we join anyone who’s ever dealt with the state bureaucracy in agreeing, that licensing and permitting efficiency can be increased without sacrificing safety or attention to detail. Pennsylvania’s unusually slow and unpredictable processes aren’t the result of unusually careful scrutiny. They’re the result of decades of built-up bad habits and a lack of accountability. […]
This executive order is a clear signal that the old way of doing business with, and within, state government is being seriously challenged. It helps shift state government from a posture of imperiousness, which forced residents and businesses to work with it on its own terms, to a posture of service. It won’t happen overnight, but it should have happened a long time ago.
I believe as fervently as anyone in the value of a four-year college degree not just as a path to professional opportunity but also as preparation for informed, thoughtful citizenship. I’ve written extensively about that, and I wouldn’t take back a word.
But I also believe that this particular credential has become too divisive an emblem in our culture wars, too bold a fault line. For that reason among others, I’m impressed and excited by what Josh Shapiro, the newly installed Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, just did.
On Jan. 18, his first full day in office, Shapiro signed an executive order that dispensed with the requirement of a four-year college degree for 92 percent of positions in state government, meaning roughly 65,000 jobs. His action rightly recognized that such a degree is no guarantee of competence, no exclusive proof of intelligence and often less relevant than work and life experiences that have nothing to do with lecture halls. […]
I’m liking Shapiro. I’m liking him a lot. I like his perceptiveness and his acumen. I like that when he was Pennsylvania’s attorney general, he went after child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in the state, although he had to know that, as a Jewish public official who’s forthright about his devotion to his religion, he’d get a special kind of antisemitic pushback. […]
In a twist of fate, a Levittown pretzel proprietor is now tied up in a Super Bowl bet between Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro and Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly.
On Thursday, Shapiro announced a bet with Kelly that includes a pretzels from the Philly Style Hand-Twisted Soft Pretzel Bakery of Levittown.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a problem because we all know the Birds are going to win,” said Jim Rossi, who co-owns the pretzel shop on Woodbourne Road in Middletown.
A lot of places offer a money-back guarantee. Tools, clothing, mattresses — if you aren’t satisfied with many products or services, you can get a refund, no questions asked.
It was intriguing last week when Pennsylvania state government joined the money-back guarantee club.
Gov. Josh Shapiro issued an executive order that says people who pay an application fee to obtain a state license, permit or certificate will get a refund if their application is not processed swiftly. That goes for everything, including occupational licenses for nurses, accountants, funeral directors and teachers, and environmental clearances for developers.
“We are committed to serving Pennsylvanians effectively and efficiently,” Shapiro, a Democrat, said at a Jan. 31 news conference.
Museum of the American Revolution: Yesterday, we were joined by @GovernorShapiro to kick off #BlackHistoryMonth with a preview of our upcoming special exhibition Black Founders: The Forten Family of Philadelphia.
Gov. Shapiro and his family were joined by veterans of the Tuskegee Airmen, leaders of Philadelphia’s Black Clergy, and descendants of the Forten family to tour the exhibit.
Governor Phil Murphy: @DemGovs are leading the way to lower costs for American families.
Thrilled to join @LauraKellyKS, @Tim_Walz, @RoyCooperNC, @Michelle4NM, @iamwesmoore, @maura_healey, @jaredpolis, @KathyHochul, @JoshShapiroPA, and @TinaKotek to highlight our work across the country.
Philadelphia House Delegation: If you’re qualified for the job, you should get the job. That’s why @GovernorShapiro announced that 92% of Commonwealth jobs do not require a college degree. Visit careers.employment.pa.gov for more info.
Third Way: Bravo to @JoshShapiroPA for opening up thousands of jobs in PA.
With only 40% of adults with a four-year degree, removing college requirements delivers real, immediate results for US workers & increases economic mobility.
PA Department of Agriculture: We were honored to host @GovernorShapiro at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture headquarters and at the Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory.
Thanks, Governor, for taking the time to tour the ag buildings and meet some of our staff – and for supporting #PAagriculture.
PA Department of Labor & Industry: @GovernorShapiro is bringing jobs and business to the Commonwealth, just like the @Eagles are going to bring the Super Bowl trophy home to Philadelphia. #FlyEaglesFly