Contact Information 

District Office
1555 Highlands Drive
Suite 110
Lititz, PA 17543
Phone:  (717) 626-1776
FAX:  (717) 626-4234

Capitol Office
51A East Wing
PO Box 202097
Harrisburg PA 17120-2097
Phone: (717) 787-1776


Part 1: Training for In Demand Jobs
by State Rep. Steven Mentzer (R-Lititz)

The two issues I hear most frequently when talking with constituents in the 97th District are jobs and education. In an increasingly competitive global economy we need to train our youth for the highly skilled jobs that are in demand now. Lancaster County is home to one of the best two-year technical colleges in the country--Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, which boasts nearly a 98 percent job placement rate for its graduates. Despite this outstanding school, there is still much more that Pennsylvania needs to do to train for jobs in demand.
Due to the retiring baby boom generation and business growth, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled. According to a recent study conducted by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte, finding the employees to fill those vacancies will be challenging. Estimates suggest a skills gap of 2 million, indicating there will be 2 million more jobs available than qualified applicants to fill them. The impending skills gap applies to a wide variety of highly skilled trades.
Beyond continuing to support outstanding schools like Stevens, public policymakers can also help advance training for critical, highly skilled jobs. That is why I have introduced legislation that would reform our apprenticeship programs in the Commonwealth.
In Pennsylvania, we require apprenticeship programs to have a ratio of four “journeymen” or experienced workers for every apprentice who is learning the trade. If you think about this, that means more tradesman are required on every job to train a young person, slowing the growth at which we provide training for the next generation of highly skilled workers.
When you have a 1-to-1 ratio, you have more experienced tradesman available to train the young apprentice. This allows for more young people to enter into well-paying jobs in the trades. Think about this, if you have a two-man job, you really can’t have more than one journeyman per apprentice, regardless. Even in Pennsylvania, there are jobs that require a 1-to-1 ratio.
Next week, my column will explain in more depth the system that Pennsylvania uses to determine job training apprenticeship ratios.

Representative Steven Mentzer
97th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Eric Reath
717.260.6187 /
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