Secretary Davin to Discuss Workforce Development, Broadband, and Blight at Somerset County Chamber Breakfast

Somerset, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin provided keynote remarks at the Somerset County Chamber of Commerce’s “Eggs & Issues” breakfast. Secretary Davin discussed how proposed initiatives like Restore Pennsylvania and the Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP) can help the county in its efforts to expand broadband access, remediate blight, and strengthen workforce development.

“We’re seeing exciting things happening in Somerset County,” Secretary Davin said. “But even with the strength of Somerset’s manufacturing and tourism sectors, like many areas in Pennsylvania, it is held back by issues like blight and lack of broadband access. Governor Wolf’s Restore Pennsylvania proposal is the only way that we can help this community address these issues.”

Restore Pennsylvania is a $4.5 billion bipartisan proposal to rebuild Pennsylvania’s infrastructure. The initiative will address blight by providing financial resources at the local level to establish land banks and acquire and demolish blighted buildings. It also aims to connect every Pennsylvanian with reliable high-speed internet. This will ensure businesses can grow, students can learn, and health care facilities can utilize modern information technology. Funded through a commonsense severance tax, Restore Pennsylvania is the only plan that will help make Pennsylvania a leader in the 21st century.

In addition to tackling blight and broadband access through Restore Pennsylvania, Secretary Davin discussed how the governor’s SWEAP initiative will strengthen workforce development and make Somerset County a more desirable place to do business.

“Our goal is simple: for Pennsylvania to have the strongest workforce in the United States,” Secretary Davin continued. “Through SWEAP, we will focus on every stage of life to ensure residents of Somerset County have access to the career skills and resources they need to succeed in a rapidly-changing 21st century economy.”

On Tuesday, Governor Wolf announced the creation of the Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center as part of the SWEAP initiative. The command center will expand the collaboration between government and the private sector to address the skills gap and worker shortages. It will recommend ways to better coordinate workforce and economic development programs across state agencies and identify barriers that may prevent someone from working or prevent businesses from hiring skilled workers.

Restore Pennsylvania is a statewide plan to aggressively address the commonwealth’s vital infrastructure needs. Funded through a commonsense severance tax, Restore Pennsylvania is the only plan that will help make Pennsylvania a leader in the 21st century.

For more information about the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Michael Gerber, DCED, 717.783.1132

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