State Department of Labor Secretary visits York businesses
Monday's "Jobs that Pay Tour" in York County was meant to highlight more than just high-paying jobs for state Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino.
Rep. Kevin Schreiber, D-York City, hand-picked six organizations for Manderino to visit in order to "show a cross section of work, primarily in York City," he said.
Beginning around 10 a.m., Manderino and a crew including Schreiber, MANTEC President John Lloyd and several state Department of Community and Economic Development representatives visited the J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship, Crispus Attucks, Shipley Energy, Gavin, United Fiber & Data and York Revolution.
Manderino spoke with leaders from each organization to discuss why they chose to locate in York, what the community offers and what issues they're facing in their respective industries.
"We talked a lot about employment needs and skill gaps," Manderino said after the tour. "We can take that knowledge and incorporate it in terms of what we're doing to build workforces."
'Entrepreneurial spirit': Manderino said the companies Schreiber chose all appeared to have a "young, entrepreneurial spirit."
Even Shipley Energy, which has been around for more than 80 years, has grown recently through diversification, she said.
Schreiber said he chose to showcase some of York's "21st-century workplaces" because they are organizations that might otherwise be associated with the West Coast or suburban areas, but they are based in York County because of a low cost of living and easy access to major markets throughout the Northeast.
"The quality of life here was referenced by each employer," Schreiber said. "It's important and reaffirming to hear that."
Manderino said she could feel the growing "vibrancy" of downtown York City, making it a very enticing option for young professionals.
"Not just us, but all of our regional economic development agencies, we have to tell the whole story," Manderino said. "This is a vibrant, affordable region to work and live."
In terms of issues, some of the organizations referenced a need for the incoming workforce to develop "soft skills," such as human interactions and workplace professionalism.
Mike Jefferson, employment center coordinator at Crispus Attucks, told Manderino that the organization's motto for young prospective employees is: "If you're early, you're on time, if you're on time, you're late, and if you're late, you're fired."
Manderino said those skills should be a priority in workforce development.
"Just making sure young people understand what's expected of them once they enter the workforce," she said. "To be a reliable, trustworthy employee."
— Reach David Weissman at firstname.lastname@example.org.