By Rep. Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz)
Pennsylvanians are earning more today than ever in our state’s history. According to Gov. Tom Wolf’s Department of Labor and Industry, the average wage in our state has increased by about 25% over the last 10 years. Policies I have supported and continue to support have paved the way for industries across Pennsylvania to increase wages at all levels of the employment spectrum. Today, you can walk into all kinds of businesses offering entry-level work, with no experience necessary, and gain employment paying well above the minimum wage.
As you may know, my focus remains on moving Pennsylvanians out of low-paying jobs and into family-sustaining careers. Our numerous and high-quality Career Technology Education centers are helping all levels of our workforce obtain the skills needed for excellent paying jobs as Pennsylvania employers currently have more openings than qualified people to fill them. The policies we have worked on this session with Governor Wolf have helped to increase access to affordable and high-quality job training, so Pennsylvanians from all walks of life can find a fulfilling career.
The fact is, only 2.3% of the nation’s workforce are in minimum wage jobs, and 60% of those employees are kids. Despite these facts, tast week, the governor continued to argue for Pennsylvania to move towards a $15 per hour minimum wage with annual increases thereafter, despite study after study showing it would result in job losses across the employment spectrum. I stand committed to helping Pennsylvanians earn as much as possible, but not if it means losing the very jobs they rely upon.