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Tobash Hosts House Policy Committee Tour at Solar Innovations with Pine Grove Area Students
HARRISBURG – On Thursday, Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Berks) hosted a House Majority Policy Committee tour at Solar Innovations headquarters, with Pine Grove Area High School students enrolled in the “Your Employability Skills” (YES) program.

“It is important that students understand the variety of opportunities which are available to pursue after high school, including jobs in the manufacturing industry,” said Tobash “This tour gave students a first-hand look at what a modern manufacturing facility looks like.”

The YES program is a career exploration program targeting high school seniors, where one credit can be earned. The program is run by the Northeast PA Manufacturers and Employers Council. It is a year-long, elective course that focuses on the development of “soft skills” in which students should be familiar when looking for jobs. The program is EITC-approved, which allows public-private partnerships through the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Solar Innovations, headquartered in Pine Grove, is an innovative window and glass manufacturer. Those on the tour were shown its extensive product lines and a hurricane simulator the company uses to test new products.

In addition to the students, Tobash was joined by state Reps. Jerry Knowles (R-Schuylkill/Berks), Ryan Mackenzie (R-Berks/Lehigh), Dan Truitt (R-Chester) and Neal Goodman (D-Schuylkill).

Working off a recommendation made by the Governor’s Manufacturing Council to connect with teachers and improve curricula through engagement with manufacturers, Tobash sponsored House Bill 1816, which would allow educators to receive necessary continuing educations credits if they visit certain manufacturing facilities. This measure passed the House in December and is awaiting consideration by the Senate.

“By drawing greater attention to the job opportunities available in manufacturing, hopefully we can change a perception that every student needs a four-year college degree to be successful,” said Tobash. “The fact is that we have quality, family-sustaining manufacturing jobs here in the area and employers are having difficulty filling them. Those jobs are often high paying, include health and retirement benefits and are so important to our local economy. I applaud the manufacturer’s council and the students who participate in the YES program, and encourage all teachers to get a better understanding of these career opportunities so they can help encourage students to take a broad view of all career paths.”

For more information on the tour, or House Bill 1816, please contact Tobash’s district office located at 988 East Main St., in Schuylkill Haven by calling 570-385-8235.

Representative Mike Tobash
125th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Krisinda Corbin
717.705.2032 /
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