Mission: Readiness Pennsylvania Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Military leaders caution workforce readiness gaps pose national security threat
In Harrisburg on November 12, members of Mission: Readiness stood with Governor Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania’s Adjutant General Major General Anthony Carrelli and a bipartisan group of state lawmakers to release a new report documenting the impact that workforce readiness gaps among young adults are having on the military. The report, Workforce Readiness: The National Security Threat From Within, outlines how fierce competition for qualified individuals among all employment sectors is impeding military recruiting efforts and warrants greater investment in our next generation.
I am committed to making investments in education at all ages to help ensure we provide Pennsylvanians with the skills needed for every open job and that includes positions with the Pennsylvania National Guard and all branches of the military.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf
Retired Air Force Lieutenant General Ralph Jodice stressed the importance of cultivating both the hard (academic) and soft (social emotional) skills of every child. Continued investments in high-quality early care and education programs as well as equitable and adequate K-12 funding for all PA schools are “pipeline” investments in workforce (and military) readiness.
The vast majority of today’s service members operate complex, high-tech weapons systems and find themselves in intense situations that require not only proficiency in technology, but strategic thinking and diplomacy.
Pennsylvania’s Adjutant General, Major General Anthony Carrelli
“Research is clear that brain development from birth to age 5 sets the foundation for children’s future success,” said Retired Air Force Lieutenant General Ralph Jodice. “High-quality child care and early education programs like pre-k set the stage for readiness by improving children’s cognitive ability, health and behavior throughout life.” Given that most children under the age of 5 have all available parents in the workforce, the report emphasizes the role of high-quality child care as also being critical for the development of young learners. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania families struggle to find and afford high-quality child care options for their children. A strong model to look to is the Department of Defense’s overhaul effort of the Military Child Care System for much needed reforms and increased investments in child care quality, affordability and access.
State leaders made progress in passing a Fair Education Funding Formula designed to eliminate equity imbalances between schools, but the report also identifies that only about 10 percent of Basic Education Funding goes through this formula. The members of Mission: Readiness in attendance called for greater state K-12 education funding via the fair funding formula to ensure that more of Pennsylvania’s young people are college or career ready, including service to our nation if they so choose.