Student opportunities and technical education focus of house hearing in Hamburg

Rep. Jerry Knowles
Rep. Jerry Knowles

With career and technical education remaining a cornerstone of training for employment in all areas of the Commonwealth, Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Schuylkill) hosted a hearing of the House Majority Policy Committee at the Tilden Township Building on Feb. 24. The purpose of the hearing was to receive testimony from industry partners and educators and to discuss the ever-growing need for prioritization of these educational opportunities.

“I think it is important to strengthen the relationship between businesses looking to employ skilled workers and educators who are training our future workforce because, nowadays, our young people have so many options,” said Knowles. “While attending a four-year college is absolutely the right fit for some students, it’s not for others. And that’s okay because we need skilled workers. The job demand is there for students who want to pursue technical degrees, and we have programs and institutions in this state that are here to train them. That is what today’s hearing was all about.”

Knowles was joined at the hearing by House Majority Policy Committee Chairman Dave Reed, Reps. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Berks), Bryan Culter (R-Lancaster), Marcia Hahn (R-Northampton), Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon), Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna/Wayne/Wyoming), Mike Regan (R-York/Cumberland) and Dan Truitt (R-Chester).

“As Pennsylvania continues to rebuild our economy, it’s become evident we need to provide a much more diversified workforce,” said Reed. “There is a need for more skilled workers, and career and technical education is a pathway for these positions.”


Testifiers included Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology President Dr. William E. Griscom; Administrative Director of Berks Career and Technology Center Dr. Robert Lees; Director of Vocational Education of Schuylkill Technology Center Kurt Lynch; President of Northeast Pennsylvania Manufactures and Employers Association Darlene Robbins; and Human Resources Director at Kovatch Mobile Equipment Ronald Blisard. Written testimony will be posted to

“At the state level, we have been doing what we can to get people back to work, and continue to lay the groundwork for the private sector to create the jobs it needs to facilitate more workers,” said Knowles. “We have many opportunities in Pennsylvania to help get more trained and highly skilled tradesmen disbursed among our state’s skilled labor workforce.”

For more information, contact Knowles district office in Tamaqua at 570-668-1240, or in Hamburg at 610-562-3411, or visit or