Workforce Spotlight

Pennsylvania’s Work Ethic Scholarship Recipients Preparing to Take On Careers in the Skilled Trades

November 19, 2019

Workforce development and addressing the Commonwealth’s jobs skills gap continue to be a major focus for the business community.  As a cornerstone of the PA Chamber’s mission, our organization – through our Start the Conversation Here initiative – has been working to bridge the gap between Pennsylvania employers’ current and future employment needs and the skills of today’s workforce.  Pennsylvania’s diverse employment needs across a wide range of industries provide ample job opportunities. However, the state continues to have people without jobs and job opportunities without the people with the skills to fill them.  Despite the good paying, in-demand careers that the skilled trades provide, they still tend to get overlooked by students and their families. 

Over the past three years, we have been pleased to team up with the mikeroweWORKS Foundation as it works to help change the negative perception about skilled trades jobs – which are vitally important to the economy and must be filled in order to close the skills gap.  In August, we were proud to announce that 24 Commonwealth students have been awarded a total of $75,000 in mikeroweWORKS Work Ethic Scholarships for 2019. The selected students are attending technical schools located within the Commonwealth to pursue careers in the skilled trades. 

Since 2016, the PA Chamber Educational Foundation – with the support of the Commonwealth’s business community – has helped contribute nearly $195,000 towards the work ethic scholarship program, and approximately 94 Pennsylvania students have been awarded work ethic scholarships to attend technical schools in the Commonwealth.

We are proud to feature the students who received a scholarship this year on our workforce website, in our quarterly statewide magazine Catalyst, and through social media; continuing the dynamic, one-of-a-kind relationship we have with the mikeroweWORKS Foundation; and raising awareness about in-demand jobs in the Commonwealth.  Through our far-reaching workforce initiative, we are confident that Pennsylvania’s business community can play a key role in solving the state’s jobs skills gap so that the next generation of workers is prepared to meet the needs of the Commonwealth’s evolving jobs market.  The PA Chamber Education Foundation is accepting donations for the 2020 scholarship program – visit the pledge page to make your tax-deductible contribution.  We thank you for helping us to Start the Conversation HERE and in closing the skills gap in Pennsylvania!