Josh Shapiro and Austin Davis Visit Laborers Training Center in Philadelphia, Discuss Expanding Job Opportunity in Black Communities - Shapiro For Governor
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February 16, 2022Press Releases

Josh Shapiro and Austin Davis Visit Laborers Training Center in Philadelphia, Discuss Expanding Job Opportunity in Black Communities


Wednesday, February 16, 2022


SPA Press,


Josh Shapiro and Austin Davis Visit Laborers Training Center in Philadelphia, Discuss Expanding Job Opportunity in Black Communities

PENNSYLVANIA – Today, Attorney General Josh Shapiro and State Representative Austin Davis toured the Laborers Training and Learning Center in Philadelphia, a new facility designed to train the next generation of Pennsylvania workers. During the tour, they were joined by the Laborers District Council Business Manager, Ryan N. Boyer, to learn more about the Laborers’ work to train skilled workers in Philadelphia and discuss their plan to create jobs in Black communities across Pennsylvania.

“As Governor, I will grow our economy here in Pennsylvania — and that starts with making sure everyone can find good-paying jobs and support their families through hard work,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “The Laborers’ new facility here in North Philadelphia brings stable union jobs to a community that has been left behind for too long, and I was proud to meet with their class of apprentices today. I’m focused on making sure Black Pennsylvanians are fully included in our economy’s growth, and a key part of that is partnering with unions like the Laborers in Philadelphia to increase access to job skills training and apprenticeship programs.”

“Growing up watching my dad drive a bus and my mom work as a hairdresser in McKeesport, I know how hard Pennsylvanians work every day when given the chance to participate in our economy and succeed,” said State Representative Austin Davis. “Josh and I recognize the challenges folks face right now, and we know that in order to grow our economy and move our Commonwealth forward, we must create jobs in communities that are struggling with high unemployment rates – and as a governing team, that is exactly what we will do.”

“We opened our new training center to show the community that there are stable, good-paying jobs right here in North Philadelphia,” said Laborers District Council Business Manager Ryan N. Boyer. “We’ve worked hard to increase diversity, create jobs in Black communities, and train the next generation of Black workers, and we need our next Governor to work with us to create jobs. Josh and Austin understand the challenges facing us right now and they have the right experience and the right plan to create jobs for Black Pennsylvanians across the Commonwealth.”

Josh and Austin know that in order for Pennsylvania to succeed, every Pennsylvanian must take part in the economy and have a good-paying job. However, Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry data from November 2021 showed that the unemployment rate for Black Pennsylvanians is 13.1%, compared to 5.7% overall, and that Black and female workers have suffered disproportionately high shares of job losses during the pandemic.

That’s why today in Philadelphia, Shapiro and Davis shared their plan to tackle these inequities head-on and create jobs in Black communities:

Utilize Federal Funding: 

Pennsylvania is expected to receive over $18 billion in federal funding which will bring good-paying jobs in the construction, health care, and technology sectors. Josh and Austin will instruct state agencies to ensure that this funding creates jobs that are accessible to all Pennsylvanians, including jobs in Black communities – working to lower the unemployment rate for Black Pennsylvanians.

Train More Black Workers & Build a Talent Pipeline:

To increase access to good-paying and long-lasting jobs, Josh and Austin will invest in job skills training programs, and instruct state agencies to partner with labor and community organizations like the Laborers District Council to train more Black workers for trade jobs, similar to the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, a public-private partnership workforce development program that connects local employers to Pennsylvanians living in high-unemployment minority communities. Josh and Austin will also partner with community organizations and corporations through the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Labor and Industry to increase apprenticeships and career and technical education programs that recruit and train workers from low-income communities.

Stand Up for Workers by Expanding Prevailing Wage Laws:

Finally, Josh and Austin will protect Pennsylvania’s workers and support the creation of more union jobs by signing legislation to expand prevailing wage laws to state-funded programs in manufacturing, health care, and caregiving – industries where Black workers are heavily represented.