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Tobash Begins ‘Business Education Partnership’ Initiative in Schuylkill County
6/10/2015
Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Dauphin) is pictured here with Ashland Technologies CEO John Powers while talking with educators touring Ashland Technologies in Hegins on Monday.  
SCHUYLKILL HAVEN
– A group of more than 100 educators from North Schuylkill School District were the first to participate in an initiative Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Dauphin) introduced and has dubbed the “Business Education Partnership.” On Monday, June 8, the group toured two modern manufacturing facilities in Schuylkill County.

“When schools and industries partner, our students and communities can really thrive, and that is the intent behind this initiative.” Tobash said. “I am thrilled that we were able to begin making this opportunity available here in Schuylkill County.”

Tobash’s Business Education Partnership was established through Act 168 of 2014, which seeks to support and sustain local economies by encouraging and educating students and teachers about the current job market. The law allows educators to receive continuing education credits when they visit certain manufacturing facilities and complete in-person tours.

“The goal is to build relationships between our education system and our job creators, and this partnership creates that connection,” Tobash said. “Our area businesses are invested in our educational system, and they depend on our public schools to produce quality future employees. These businesses pay property taxes, and play big roles in our local economies. This presents an opportunity for our educators and businesses to build relationships to support our community.”

Tobash joined the group as they toured Ashland Technologies in Hegins, and Solar Innovations Inc. in Pine Grove on Monday.

Tobash explained that businesses are growing, but the struggle to find qualified candidates to fill the vacancies is a constant issue. Further, he has found through meeting with area business leaders that they are competing for young, trained workers to fill positions of the soon-to-retire baby boomers. He said this provides an opportunity for educators and business people to support each other and to grow together for the betterment of communities.

“This is a valuable opportunity for our educators to see the high-tech, high-paying job opportunities that are available, and how they benefit our economy. By building partnerships between education and manufacturing, we will begin to break down the stigma that exists in vocational education, and begin to correct the issues we are currently facing,” Tobash said.

This initiative was part of House Bill 1816, which was sponsored by Tobash and signed into law last fall. He has been leading on the issue of connecting area businesses with the education system. Earlier this year, the House Education Committee created a Select Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness. Tobash is a member of the Education Committee, and this select subcommittee, and is currently working with his colleagues to support Pennsylvania’s secondary and post-secondary education on career training to match graduates with the high-quality jobs that are available within the state’s borders.

“I am proud to say that this is now really an ongoing effort,” Tobash said. “We are finally at the implementation phase, and I hope that other school districts across the Commonwealth will join North Schuylkill and take part in this meaningful initiative.”

For more information about Tobash’s Business Education Partnership initiative, or any state-related issue, call his district office in Schuylkill Haven at 570-385-8235, or his Capitol office in Harrisburg at 717-260-6148.

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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