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Lawmakers hold hearing on adult education, Pennsylvania's workforce

The Pa. Senate Education and Labor & Industry Committees held a joint hearing on adult education and workforce readiness on Sept. 22.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Senate Education and Labor & Industry Committees held a joint hearing this morning on adult education and workforce readiness. 

The Dept. of L&I discussed the skills required to connect to work, specifically when it comes to technology, automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. They say having a basic understanding of technology is crucial to ensuring people have the basic skills needed to meet future job requirements. 

In submitted testimony, the Dept. of L&I said the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis has accelerated some pre-existing trends in the labor market, which is the adoption of new technology and deepening income inequality because of technology. The department also said some workers that perform manual or routine tasks, like factory workers, are most at risk of being replaced by technology. 

According to the U.S. Dept. of Education, 54% of U.S. adults lack proficiency in literacy, reading below a sixth grade level. Experts say this is a solvable problem, and one the state can fix if it puts resources into doing so.

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