While in session last week, the state Senate Labor & Industry Committee advanced three PA Chamber-supported bills. Two of the bills would serve the dual purpose of helping address workforce challenges while combatting the cycle of addiction associated with the current drug abuse epidemic.
- Senate Bill 69 – This bill would create a “Recovery to Work” pilot program, spearheaded by the Departments of Labor and Industry; Health; Community and Economic Development; Drug and Alcohol Programs and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, to connect individuals in drug recovery with occupations through local workforce development boards. This legislation will help individuals with a history of substance abuse obtain employment.
- Senate Bill 147 – This bill would require employers who have a certified safety committee as part of their workers’ compensation program to include information about the risks associated with opioid use. If it were to be enacted, it would provide another avenue for employers to educate their workforce about the serious and life-threatening ramifications of opioid abuse.
Another bill passed by the committee would help spread awareness of emerging and projected employment opportunities for the state’s future workforce.
- Senate Bill 168 – This legislation would require the Department of Labor and Industry to collect and publish data and emerging and projected future employment sectors in Pennsylvania.
All three bills now await further consideration by the full Senate.