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Department of State Asks New Pennsylvanians About Experiences with Professional Licensure

02/10/2021

Harrisburg, PA — As part of the Wolf Administration's ongoing commitment to remove barriers to professional licensing, the Pennsylvania Department of State (DOS) has launched a survey for new Pennsylvanians to better understand their experiences in gaining professional licensure in the commonwealth and to reduce unnecessary roadblocks to licensure in the future.

The New Pennsylvanians Occupational Licensure Survey will study the effects of occupational licensure on the immigrant, refugee and asylee communities. The survey is part of a $422,000, three-year grant Gov. Wolf secured from the U.S. Department of Labor in 2018 to reduce excessive occupational licensing requirements and explore alternative approaches, such as professional certification, that maintain public health and safety.

To understand the experiences and needs of new Pennsylvanians, the DOS survey asks about topics such as language access, education, occupational licensing, licensure portability, employment and barriers related to professional licensing. Feedback from survey participants will be used to develop recommendations to assist the immigrant, refugee and asylee communities in obtaining professional licensure in Pennsylvania.

"Immigrant communities are part of the lifeblood of America, enriching the areas where they live and work," said Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid. "As the agency that licenses professionals across the commonwealth, it is the Department of State's responsibility to improve licensure processes so that new Pennsylvanians can find employment and thrive here."

The New Pennsylvanians Occupational Licensure Survey is available in multiple languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Hindi, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese. All responses will be kept confidential. The survey for new Pennsylvanians will run until the end of July, and the findings from this study will be made available by the end of 2021.

Building on the Governor's efforts to make state government more responsive to the needs of Pennsylvanians, the Department of State is focused on removing barriers to employment so skilled workers can enter the careers of their choice, strengthen the workforce, and grow Pennsylvania's economy. Among recent improvements to licensure laws in Pennsylvania, Act 41 of 2019 made it easier for professionals with out-of-state licenses, including military spouses, to become licensed in the commonwealth. In addition, Act 53 of 2020 removed barriers to professional licensure for people with criminal convictions.

For more information about professional licensing in Pennsylvania, visit the Department of State website.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Wanda Murren, 717-783-1621

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