HARRISBURG, PA – To encourage more Pennsylvanians to enter careers in public safety and emergency response which are in high demand, Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jennifer Berrier today toured the Senator John J. Shumaker Public Safety Center at HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College, which offers training for these jobs.
"Our public safety and emergency service workers have been heroes during the pandemic, helping our state and nation through this challenging time, and we need more people to enter these careers," said Secretary Berrier. "These jobs offer good pay and benefits, and each person will know they're providing an incredibly important service to their community. Students can prepare at institutions like HACC, which provides the opportunity and flexibility to get the training they need to start their career."
Joining Secretary Berrier for the tour and a discussion about the critical need for emergency service workers were L&I Deputy Secretary of Workforce Development Sheila Ireland, Department of Health (DOH) Deputy Secretary of Health Preparedness and Community Protection Ray Barishansky, Representative Patty Kim, Executive Director of the Senator John J. Shumaker Public Safety Center Robert "Bob" Stakem, and EMS Captain of the PA Fire and Emergency Services Institute Tony Deaven.
"The past year and a half has been nothing short of grueling for emergency service workers," Deputy Secretary Barishansky said. "When Pennsylvania residents find themselves facing an emergency or life-threatening health situation, emergency service workers are often the first people to help, and that has been true during the COVID-19 pandemic. These services are a critical component of our health and emergency response system, and for that, we want to express our gratitude and encourage Pennsylvanians to pursue careers in the field."
Jobs as EMTs & Paramedics and Police & Sheriff's Patrol are High Priority Occupations for 2020 and are anticipated to appear again in the list for 2021, which will be released in July. These careers are in demand by employers, provide good wages and stable employment for Pennsylvanians, as well as pathways up a career ladder to higher positions in the public safety sector. HACC's Senator John J. Shumaker Public Safety Center is one of several facilities across the state that provides affordable training for these careers.
"HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College, has a proud history of providing public safety training for approximately 10,000 public safety professionals each year. The graduates of these EMS, fire and law enforcement training programs provide the foundation for emergency services not just in our region, but beyond. HACC is proud of the impact these providers have had not just during the pandemic, but on a daily basis – protecting, preserving and enhancing the lives of those throughout our communities," said HACC Shumaker Public Safety Center Executive Director Stakem.
PA CareerLink® serves as a connection between local workforce development boards, employers, and training programs for Pennsylvanians seeking to reskill or find a new career. Pennsylvanians seeking to learn more about training opportunities in their region can search on PA CareerLink®'s website or contact their local office.
The Wolf Administration has been focused on investing to expand job training through programs like PAsmart, which was launched in 2018. The initiative has supported registered apprenticeships, industry partnerships, STEM and computer science education and job training by businesses searching for skilled workers. The administration has also committed to supporting community colleges throughout the commonwealth that would provide comprehensive job training. This year's state budget calls for a historic $416 million increase in public education that will include nearly $5 million for community colleges.
HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College, is the first and largest of Pennsylvania's 15 community colleges. HACC offers approximately 100 career and transfer associate degree, certificate, and diploma programs at five campuses; through virtual learning; and via workforce development and continuing education training. Currently, HACC serves more than 15,350 degree-seeking students and more than 4,100 workforce development students.
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