The bipartisan state Senate Economy, Business and Jobs Caucus, Manufacturing Caucus and Community College Caucus held a joint roundtable discussion on Tuesday at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building.
Sens. Bob Mensch (R-Berks/Bucks/Montgomery) and Lisa Boscola (D-Northampton/Lehigh/ Monroe) co-chair both the Economy Business and Jobs and the Community College caucuses. Joining them at the joint hearing were the co-chairs of the Manufacturing Caucus, Sen. Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland County) and Sen. Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny County).
The topic of the meeting was the role that community colleges and their programs play in addressing small business needs. The panel consisted of representatives from: The PA Commission for Community Colleges, The National Federation of Independent Business, the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center, Schroeder Industries, Harrisburg Area Community College, Northampton County Community College, Montgomery County Community College and Community College of Allegheny County.
Mensch and Boscola have long been advocates for both community colleges and small businesses and are committed to helping address these needs. They said that as the economy recovers, community colleges must play a fundamental role in providing affordable job training programs to students.
They also praised the steps community colleges and small business has taken to partner in fulfilling these employment needs and skills gaps – programs that were discussed in depth at the roundtable.