Town Hall with Rep. Houlahan: Panel Talks Workforce, Tech & STEM Trends, Job-Seeker Resources

Coatesville, PA – On July 6, Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (PA-6) hosted a Jobs Town Hall for constituents to hear about the latest legislative activity in Washington, the outlook for economic growth, and local resources for individuals seeking to grow their education and careers. The meeting featured a panel, including i2n director Patrick Hayakawa, to share perspectives on regional economic trends, business services, and job seeker resources, as well as answer audience questions and feedback. 

The panel covered worker apprenticeship programs active in the Commonwealth; resources for veteran job seekers & entrepreneurs and their families; initiatives in the City of Reading to attract and support small businesses; degree paths and job options for students in skilled trades and advanced technology; efforts to increase opportunities for women and people of color pursuing skilled trades and STEM fields; and the general outlook for tech sector growth and entrepreneurial innovation in our region.

Rep. Houlahan’s remarks centered on the sweeping American Rescue Plan she helped pass through Congress earlier this year. Four key investments were included in the $1.9T package: opening classrooms and expanding access to childcare, distributing vaccines to every American who wants one, providing direct relief to working families through additional $1,400 economic impact payments and child tax credits, and supporting small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program, which she noted provided $56.5 in loans just in the Coatesville area zip code – 19320.

Rep. Houlahan also discussed two bills she introduced since the beginning of the pandemic to assist economic recovery: the STEM RESTART Act would help mid-career residents transition to the STEM field, a growing industry in our region. Her RAMP for Innovators Act would help fund small business research. Before moving to the panel Q&A portion of the evening, Rep. Houlahan invited the audience to engage with Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senators to help these bills pass in the Senate.

The event, held at the Chester County Public Safety Training Campus in South Coatesville, PA, was Rep. Houlahan’s 49th town hall.

Left to right: Ken Lebron – Director, Berks County Veterans Services; Jamal Abodalo – Director of Community Development Service, City of Reading; Tara Loew – Director of Apprenticeship and Training, Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry; Dr. Karen Kozachyn – VP of Workforce and Economic Development, Delaware County Community College; Patrick Hayakawa – VP of Innovation and Marketing, Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC); U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan