Lancaster will host a listening session for the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board next week as the board gathers public input for the state’s 2024-28 workforce development plan.
The session will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Oct. 11, at the offices of Intermediate Unit 13 in Burle Business Park, 1020 New Holland Ave., Lancaster. Registration will open at 8:30 a.m.
Prospective attendees are asked to RSVP by email at RA-LI-PAWDB@pa.gov.
The Lancaster County Workforce Development Board is cohosting. In an email, Executive Director Anna Ramos urged stakeholders to attend.
The workforce system “only functions when it is effectively addressing our workforce challenges,” she said.
The session is one of three statewide. The other two are in Pittsburgh and Nanticoke on the Thursday and Friday after Lancaster’s. A statewide virtual session is scheduled on Zoom from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, at this link.
The Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act, or WIOA, requires states to submit comprehensive workforce development plans to the federal government every four years. Pennsylvania has identified six priorities for the 2024-28 plan, the majority of which are carryovers from 2020-24:
- Apprenticeship and Career & Technical Education
- Industry Partnerships and Employer Engagement
- Continuous Improvement of the One-Stop System
- Barrier Remediation
- Worker Shortages in Critical Industries
The state also has regional and local workforce development plans. The 2021-24 plan for Lancaster County notes a number of workforce challenges, including the aging local population, limited affordable housing and a comparatively large proportion of residents with limited English proficiency.
On the plus side, it notes, the county boasts a thriving, diverse economy, one of the lowest unemployment rates in Pennsylvania and a strong tradition of pragmatic collaboration across the public, private and nonprofit sectors.