Remarks by Governor Wolf at the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania Annual Business Luncheon

first_imgRemarks by Governor Wolf at the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania Annual Business Luncheon December 03, 2015 SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img African American Affairs,  Economy,  Equality,  Remarks Omni William Penn HotelPittsburgh, PATRANSCRIPT:Thank you for having me here today. Your concerns are absolutely important to me and to every Pennsylvanian who wants a strong economy.You want to promote opportunities for all. So do I.You want to break down barriers in our economy. So do I.You want a level playing field. So do I.Above all, you want a good job for everyone. So do I.The point is that you and I both know that fairness and inclusion matter to all these things. We need an economy that holds out the promise of a good job for everyone. We cannot succeed if that promise – that possibility – is not real for everyone. A society that is unfair to some is unfair to all. If we want a healthy economy, if we want strong neighborhoods, if we want good families, we must be fair to each other.There are many things we need to do to create that kind of Pennsylvania. In my administration, I am committed to making sure that state government better reflects the diversity of our citizens – in who we hire and who we do business with.I have made sure my administration is more diverse than my predecessors, including prominent African American executives – including my General Counsel, State Police Commissioner, Secretary of Corrections, Inspector General and Deputy Chief of Staff.But among the things we need to do, the most important is that we need a fair economy – a level playing field where everyone is encouraged to participate, to take risk, to work hard, to learn new skills, and to invest those talents. And that’s what I want to talk about today.This idea of fairness is important because without fairness none of the things we care about actually works. Our economy doesn’t work optimally if some people are shut out of the market’s opportunities, nor do our communities or our families. In the broadest possible sense I’m doing everything I can to promote fairness in Pennsylvania.I am doing this by investing in education for all children in all communities.I am doing this by trying to make the communities of Pennsylvania better by addressing the huge fiscal – and tax – disparities that separate too many of those communities and that consign too many of them to permanent decline.I’m doing this by trying to follow William Penn’s proud tradition of tolerance and respect by making Pennsylvania a great place to live and work for all people regardless of the color of their skin, their gender, the religion they profess, or the person they love.And I’m trying to make our economy fairer by supporting policies that do just that.For example: stronger non-discrimination laws, a higher minimum wage, more accessible voting processes, a long overdue implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and an executive order aimed at improving the participation of small and diverse businesses in state government contracting, among other things.Pennsylvania is the right place to address these issues. We have grappled with these eternal issues since our founding and we continue to wrestle with them today. That’s as it should be in a democracy that values freedom, equal opportunity, and self-reliance. It’s also as it should be in a democracy that is eternally trying to improve itself.Fairness is at the heart of any effort to promote the values all healthy democracies hold dear and it’s at the heart of any successful society.Fairness is not only right; it’s also smart. Here’s why.Our economy doesn’t work if some people feel the deck is stacked against them. Our free market economy runs on fairness. It depends on all participants feeling they have an even shot at gaining a return from the work they do, the effort they expend, or the risks they take.A tilted playing field dampens competition and it makes the game less interesting. It also makes an economy less dynamic and less productive. We can’t put up with that. Our economy cannot operate on all cylinders if all the cylinders are not allowed to operate.And what’s true of our economy is also true of our communities. Our communities can’t work if some of its members feel shut out. Healthy communities rely on broadly shared feelings of inclusion. Healthy communities are cohesive communities, where everybody feels a part – young and old, rich and poor, women and men.Pittsburgh won’t work as a strong community if all of its members are not permitted to contribute to it. Communities that make only a few people feel welcome are not really welcoming places at all, and communities that are not welcoming are not healthy.Finally, families depend on fairness. Happy families are fair families. Challenges and crises are equitably borne, so are good times. Families cannot be strong if the benefits of being part of that family are not fairly shared, or if certain members of the family are excluded from the events and experiences that together define that family.All these things matter, but we need more than just good intentions if we’re going to produce the culture of fairness we need to succeed as a society.Let’s start with our tax code. Taxes have to be: adequate, competitive, and fair. In Pennsylvania we don’t do too well here. First, we are not able to adequately fund the public goods a healthy economy needs. Second, the tax system that is in some ways so inadequate is also too high – especially when it comes to businesses.Our Corporate Net Income (CNI) tax rate is the highest in the nation at 9.99%. This is a disgrace. It needs to be much lower. I proposed cutting it in half.Our property tax system is also a disgrace. On average, it is low, but the fiscal disparities between communities has led to some very high – almost punitive – rates in some areas. We need property tax relief in the form of a higher share of education funding coming from the state. Reducing these two taxes would have a big impact on Pennsylvania’s business climate.Finally, we need to make sure the tax system is fair. We need to make sure our tax burden is spread equitably across all classes of taxpayer.Thus, while we need to reduce the CNIT, we also need to eliminate the loopholes that distort it. The current CNIT loopholes tend to reward entrenched interests at the expense of new – often innovative – businesses. We need to maintain our flat – and low – personal income tax (PIT). And once again we need to eliminate the huge fiscal disparities that exist between – sometimes adjacent – communities.This often results in excessive tax rates in some places. This variation in tax rates can produce rates that are too high, but it can also create a sense of unfairness that undermines the legitimacy of both the tax system and the political regime that sponsors it. We can also do more to make Pennsylvania fairer by making sure the way we invest state economic development dollars is fair.DCED must make sure its programs support the need for fairness. Programs like the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Program (PIDA) that are aimed at encouraging small business growth have to be organized fairly. We need to make sure that starting a business is something everyone can dream of.The point is that, Pennsylvania can do much to make it more attractive to business entrepreneurs looking for a congenial spot to locate.We have so many good qualities: our location, our workforce, two world-class cities, a noble history, great universities and colleges, great natural beauty.We need to make sure the public policies we produce complement – rather than contradict – those huge innate competitive advantages. And making Pennsylvania fairer is central to making it better. Let’s keep working together to make Pennsylvania better and stronger by making it fairer.Thanks again for having me here, and thanks for doing what you do.###Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolflast_img read more

Governor Wolf: New State Funding Will Take Learning from the Classroom to the Workplace in the Johnstown Area

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter January 10, 2020 Economy,  Jobs That Pay,  Press Release,  Workforce Development Governor Tom Wolf announced that the Greater Johnstown Career & Technology Center (GJCTC) was approved for $200,000 in funding to continue supporting Phase two of its innovative workforce teaching model, Learn Where You Will Earn, which helps students supplement classroom learning with skills obtained in a business setting.“My administration is thrilled to support the continued success of GJCTC’s efforts to bring career opportunities to students through innovative programs that allow them to obtain knowledge and skills both inside and outside of the classroom,” said Gov. Wolf. “This training offers a pathway to the required certification for employment and potential job placement for graduates and will help fill critical job openings in the skilled trades.”Funded by the Wolf Administration, GJCTC started the program in July 2018 at its satellite campus located in Mission Critical Solutions (MCS), a local business that hires welders. Since then, three 720-hour program classes have been hosted for cohorts consisting of eight students each. Phase one saw 20 students receive their American Welding Society (AWS) certifications and 16 students offered employment in the welding field.Phase two will allow for GJCTC to host three more class sessions throughout December 2021. The new funding will support equipment costs for a 15-ton strap bender with pneumatic pump for use as a teaching tool and to provide financial assistance to students and recruitment efforts.“GJCTC is excited to be included in this important initiative for our region for a second time. Phase two of Learn Where You Will Earn will allow the school to maintain a presence in Bedford County and continue to build on the successes of the past two years,” said GJCTC Supervisor of Adult Education Tricia Rummel. “The continued funding will allow GJCTC to offer training programs that will not only benefit individuals seeking to improve their skills and find employment, but the local businesses and community as a whole will also benefit.”The funding supports Governor Wolf’s commitment to enhancing the growth and competitiveness of Pennsylvania’s manufacturing industry by identifying and training a skilled workforce.Additionally, last year the Wolf Administration awarded $200,000 in Manufacturing PA Training to Career funding for the AMPED Business Education Partnership with JWF Industries and MCS. Students in the program learn advanced manufacturing processes including, CNC g-code programming, robotic welding programming, and the latest technology advancement in coordinate measuring machine instruction, and can earn a NIMS CNC Operator certification and an American Welding Society certification in MIG process, which are both nationally recognized.Governor Wolf’s Manufacturing PA initiative was launched in October 2017, and since then has funded 35 projects and invested more than $9 million through the Training-to-Career program. Training-to-Career grants support projects that result in short-term work-readiness, job placement, or the advancement of manufacturing. The Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career program works collaboratively with local manufacturers to identify and teach missing essential skills for entry level applicants seeking manufacturing employment, engage youth or those with barriers to career opportunities in manufacturing, and advance capacity for local or regional manufacturers.For more information about the Wolf Administration’s commitment to manufacturing, visit the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) website or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.center_img Governor Wolf: New State Funding Will Take Learning from the Classroom to the Workplace in the Johnstown Arealast_img read more

Syracuse will face No. 1 seed Wisconsin in its 1st-ever NCAA Tournament game

first_img Comments Syracuse (13-21-3, 10-8-2 College Hockey America) found out on Sunday that it will face No. 1-seed Wisconsin (32-4-2, 18-4-2 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday. The Orange will travel to Madison, Wisconsin, for the quarterfinals, and if they advance, the Frozen Four will be played in Hamden, Connecticut, on March 22 and 24. On Friday, SU blew out Robert Morris, 6-2, in the CHA championship game to earn its first CHA title and NCAA tournament berth in program history. It was the Orange’s third win in three days. They started the CHA tournament with a 4-1 win against Lindenwood on Wednesday before beating Mercyhurst, 4-3, on the back of a Lindsay Eastwood hattrick. The Orange played Wisconsin twice this season on Dec. 1 and 2 in Madison. SU was blown out both times by a combined score of 15-2. Wisconsin comes off winning the WCHA championship, 3-1, against Minnesota on Sunday, and SU head coach Paul Flanagan called the Badgers a “dynamic team” with “tremendous depth at all positions.”   Since winter break though, Syracuse has improved offensively and defensively, and Flanagan said the Orange need to have a “short-term memory” when it comes to the earlier losses. In the CHA championship game, Syracuse’s physical defense prevailed and shut down the conference’s leading scorer, Robert Morris’ Jaycee Gebhard. Flanagan added that the goaltending has solidified in recent weeks, and in the first game against Wisconsin, Maddi Welch made a season-high 48 saves. In the CHA tournament, the Orange gave up just two goals a contest.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse’s tough slate of nonconference games early in the season, playing six then-top-10 teams before winter break, also helped prepare the Orange for the postseason, Flanagan said.  “We feel that we’ve got some motivation going and some good momentum,” Flanagan said. “And we’re feeling, certainly, like our team’s done a 180 since we went out there (to Wisconsin).” With St. Lawrence, his alma mater, Flanagan reached the women’s Frozen Four five times, including four-straight from 2003 to 2007. In his one finals appearance (2001), his team fell 4-2 against Minnesota-Duluth. His experience will helped with the preparation and understanding what distractions may face the players, Flanagan said.“It’s been a decade, but going to the NCAA’s still hasn’t really changed,” Flanagan said. “So it does help to have been there. Unfortunately none of our kids have been there.”Syracuse players did deal with a sold-out crowd and a loud atmosphere when the two teams met for the first time, though, which Flanagan said will also help the Orange. “They (the players) won’t be in awe of the place because they spent two games there,” Flanagan said, “and so I think all those variables can play in our favor.” Published on March 10, 2019 at 10:05 pm Contact Arabdho: armajumd@syr.edu | @aromajumder center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more