Six state legislators gathered in Chambersburg Thursday to discuss issues such as workforce development, education, minimum wage laws and more with the business community at the 4th Annual Franklin County Legislative Breakfast.
More than 190 people attended the event. It was hosted by five chambers of commerce on behalf of the Franklin County Government Affairs Committee.
Sen. Doug Mastriano, Sen. Judy Ward, Rep. Johnathan Hershey, Rep. Rob Kauffman, Rep. Paul Schemel and Rep. Jesse Topper participated.
“The annual Legislative Breakfast is an important and highly anticipated community event,” said Stephen Christian, Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce president.
He said the annual event gives chamber members an opportunity to interact with government officials who directly shape local businesses.
The panel was moderated by Gene Barr, president and chief executive officer of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry. State legislators were encouraged to discuss the focus of their agendas and opinions on recent legislation.
Areas addressed included the state judicial system, the “Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative,” property taxes and recreational marijuana.
Barr talked about primary barriers to the growth of the local workforce, as identified by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry.
Barriers to Workforce Growth
Factors include childcare, transportation issues and the difficulty for those with criminal records in finding jobs.
The legislators also talked about contributing factors affecting the workforce, such as marijuana use and the potential consequences of a raised minimum wage.
Representative Jesse Topper discussed the workforce in light of education, bringing up charter schools and the importance of preparing the next generation for the workforce.
A question and answer session with the panelists raised local issues such as environmental regulations that affect businesses. Mastriano and Schemel highlighted energy and natural gas as one of Pennsylvania’s greatest assets. They encourage the use of this resource for greater initiatives rather than an increase in regulatory limitations.
Patriot Federal Credit Union was the event’s Grand Sponsor.
Participating were members of
- The Franklin County Government Affairs Committee
- Representatives from the Greater Chambersburg Area Chamber of Commerce,
- Greater Waynesboro Area Chamber of Commerce,
- Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce,
- Shippensburg Area Chamber of Commerce
- Tuscarora Area Chamber of Commerce.
For more information about the public policy positions of the Franklin County Government Affairs Committee, please visit Chambersburg.org/PublicPolicyPositions.