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Business and Education Partnership Bill Passes House Education Committee, Tobash Says
12/11/2013
HARRISBURG – Working off a recommendation recently made by the Governor’s Manufacturing Advisory Council to connect with teachers and improve curricula through engagement with manufacturers, Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Berks) introduced a bill that passed the House Education Committee today to allow school personnel to receive necessary continuing education credits for school board-approved visits to facilities.

“The reality of a career in manufacturing has changed, but the public perception has not,” said Tobash. “Instead of the old perception of manufacturing as menial, dirty and monotonous work on a factory line, modern manufacturing is technologically advanced, computer-driven work on complex machines.”

House Bill 1816 would allow teachers, guidance counselors and other school administrators to receive necessary continuing education credits if they visit certain manufacturing facilities. These visits would take educators to manufacturers for in-person tours and orientation programs in manufacturing facilities.

“This outdated image of manufacturing careers often discourages students from even exploring manufacturing as a viable career option,” said Tobash. “Too many students miss the opportunity for manufacturing careers, which can provide family sustaining salaries. In addition to being harmful for students, this reduced influx of talent keeps manufacturers from finding the skilled employees they need to grow their business.”

Like other continuing education credit programs, the school would have to approve and manage the visits. The credits would be open to teachers of all subjects, not just those in the technological fields. All teachers, regardless of subject, influence their students and advise them on their career goals, so an understanding of all available career paths has merit, Tobash said.

This hands-on approach was endorsed by the 2012 report of the Governor’s Manufacturing Advisory Council. The recommendation suggested that, “employing strategies such as inviting teachers in the workplace can help teachers understand industry needs and opportunities.”

“The best way to influence the people’s attitudes is to expose them to the reality of modern manufacturing,” said Tobash. “This attitude must be changed across society. One part of that is to change the attitudes of those who most closely advise students on their career choices. Those individuals include teachers, guidance counselors and other school administrators.”

For more information on House Bill 1816, or any other state-related issue, contact Tobash’s district office in Schuylkill Haven by calling 570-385-8235. Information related to current state issues can also be found on RepTobash.com.

Representative Mike Tobash
125th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Krisinda Corbin
717.705.2032
kcorbin@pahousegop.com  
RepTobash.com / Facebook.com/RepTobash
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