Touting Pennsylvania’s vast storehouse of energy resources – from natural gas, to coal, wind energy and solar power – Gov. Tom Corbett on Tuesday rolled out a plan, “Energy = Jobs,” geared toward attracting job-creating businesses to the commonwealth.
Speaking at the Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Earth Science Center, Corbett said his approach was intended to position the commonwealth as a national leader in energy production and natural resources.
“By leveraging this world-class energy industry, family-sustaining jobs will be created,” he said.
Corbett did not mention specific job-creating projections, but said that by being at the college center, “it’s a way to emphasize that the future workers and leaders in the industry are right here, students who will be working Marcellus Shale and supporting services.”
The Energy = Jobs program, he said, is intended to be rolled out as a one-stop explanation to those investors thinking of moving into the area. “We can show them the book,” Corbett said. “We can show them we have an active, educated workforce ready to do the jobs they require in the area.”
As for those older workers who lost their jobs during the recession, Corbett noted that there are re-training programs available through various state agencies. “People have to understand that the job market has changed,” he said. “Pennsylvania is a major energy-producing state and will be for the foreseeable future. There are job opportunities here, and if someone is willing to change direction, we have ways to assist them in their retraining.”
After the meeting, on another subject, Corbett said he has not decided on a course of action regarding the controversial voter ID law. Act 18, which was blocked by Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard L. McGinley on Friday. The law would have required all voters to show state-approved identification in order to cast a ballot.
McGinley’s ruling can be appealed to the state Supreme Court, but state lawmakers who opposed the law are pressing Gov. Corbett to abide by the judge’s decision.
Corbett said he had not yet decided on a course of action, but said he was in discussions with his advisers.
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