Pennsylvania's labor force faces a number of challenges in 2009. The state's unemployment rate increased from 4.5 to 6.5% between 2006 and 2008. Retail, construction, and manufacturing industries have been particularly hard hit across the state. Average wages in Pennsylvania lag behind the national average. There was a significant decline in the number of Pennsylvanians who receive employer-based health insurance between 2001 and 2007. Currently, 62% of the state's uninsured are employed.
Conklin believes that a strong economy requires a strong labor force. He supports organized labor and the expansion of Career and Technical Education for Pennsylvania residents. Conklin voted in support of the Pennsylvania Access to Basic Care (ABC) program, which would provide access to basic health care for more than 270,000 uninsured Pennsylvania workers. As a county commissioner, Conklin served as chairman for both the Salary and the Employee Benefits Trust boards where he worked on behalf of the county labor force. His experience as a small business owner has given Scott direct experience with the issues facing small business.
* Increase advocacy for jobs that provide family-sustaining wages
* Work with organized labor to protect retirements and expand collective bargaining.
* Support infrastructure projects for jobs that cannot be sent overseas
* Work toward the implementation of new energy technologies to build a green jobs industry in Pennsylvania
* Expand support for the Pre-K Counts program to give Pennsylvania's working families access to quality preschool
* Continue to fight for the ABC programs to provide health insurance to thousands of Pennsylvania workers and provide relief for small businesses who supply health insurance.
Scott Conklin Strongly Supports Working Families
In 2005, more than half of Pennsylvania's working families earned less than $27,000 per year. Real wages have dropped for all workers in the past decade and Pennsylvania families at the lowest income levels have seen the most significant drop. More and more working Pennsylvanians are losing employer-based health insurance and, in 2008, one of every 1400 Pennsylvania homeowners faced foreclosure.
Conklin believes that the strength of Pennsylvania depends on the strength of working families. He is a strong advocate of organized labor and affordable healthcare for working Pennsylvanians. As a State Representative, Conklin voted in favor of the Earned Income Tax Credit, which would decrease the state taxes paid by working families across Pennsylvania. Conklin will work toward legislative solutions to support the working families of Pennsylvania.
* Work toward full implementation of the recommendations made by the Governor's Task Force for Working Families.
* Work toward implmentation of the ABC and CHIP insurance programs to provide health insurance for low income working families.
* Support spending on education and technical training to make college and re-training accessible to working families
* Expand support for Pre-K counts to provide quality preschool programs for children in working families.
* Advocate spending on the development of green jobs and infrastructure construction for jobs that provide family-sustaining wages.