–The House of Representatives this week advanced legislation which would allow high school students to obtain real-world work experience while still in school.
The bipartisan bill to prepare Pennsylvania’s youth for the 21st century workforce was authored by state Reps. Aaron Bernstine (R-Beaver/Butler/Lawrence), Kate Klunk (R-York) and Jared Solomon (D-Philadelphia).
House Bill 796
would establish a pilot grant program which would encourage schools and local businesses to collaborate to provide work-based learning opportunities for high school students.
“This innovative pilot program would bring our business leaders and students together to transform our education system and prepare Pennsylvania students for jobs right here at home,” Bernstine said.
The pilot program is based on a successful partnership in southcentral Pennsylvania between the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce, numerous Hanover-area businesses, the Hanover Public School District and South Western School District.
Through their program, businesses are helping to design curriculum and investing in equipment for students to learn trades and obtain recognized certifications.
Bernstine noted that another goal of the program is to familiarize students with all after-graduation options.
“We need to do a better job of communicating all opportunities to students before they exit high school and embark on their careers, and this program will help us do that,” Bernstine said. “Many students graduate from a four-year college with a large amount of debt and very few job prospects that match their degree. While a four-year degree may work for some, others find great-paying and fulfilling careers in the trades.”
The program would also encourage partnering businesses to offer apprenticeship, internship or job opportunities to students.
“This is a win-win partnership for our students, schools and business community,” added Bernstine. “I’m proud to partner with Reps. Klunk and Solomon on this pilot program which we hope to spread throughout the Commonwealth.”
Representative Aaron Bernstine
10th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abbey Haslam