MEET YOUR SECRETARY OF THE PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR & INDUSTRY:
Kathy M. Manderino
RCPA asked the following questions, to help members become more acquainted with Secretary Manderino, and we thank the secretary for her responses:
- What are your priorities in your new state position?
- What are your goals for your department/office?
- What issues will you be addressing your first year?
- What do you feel are obstacles to achieving your goals?
- How will you work with the appropriate stakeholders as you move the system forward?
Working to serve people in need remains a cause dear to my heart. As a former board member for the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association’s predecessor PCPA, I’m pleased to have the opportunity to discuss my goals for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I).
Governor Tom Wolf’s vision for Pennsylvania is jobs that pay, schools that teach, and government that works. That vision fits the mission of the L&I to a “T,” and dovetails with L&I’s mission to provide jobs that pay for every Pennsylvanian of every ability, education, and training to match those jobs, and the efficient and effective delivery of services.
A key L&I priority this year is the implementation of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, or WIOA. It is an historic collaboration between L&I and workforce development stakeholders statewide to reinvent the state’s workforce development programs. The end goal is to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market, and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.
While there are always some hurdles to implementing change within any state agency, my approach is to address issues by focusing on what can be accomplished – versus what can’t. I’ve charged my team at L&I to be a “can do” agency dedicated to making positive improvements and changes to existing programs that benefit and support Pennsylvania’s workers and employers.
Especially because of my past advocacy work and experience at Intercommunity Action Inc., I’ve taken a keen interest in the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR). Improving services for transition age youth and selecting a permanent director for the Hiram G. Andrews Center and implementing a strategic vision for its future success is another of my first-year priorities. I look forward to continuing to work closely with our OVR management team, and its dedicated stakeholders, to implement our vision to help people with disabilities prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment and independence.