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Pennsylvania just elected a new governor and US senator. Here’s where they stand on tech and business issues

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In the early morning hours of Wednesday, November 9, 2022, they were called: The two major statewide races for governor of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Senate went to Democratic candidates running for office.

In January, the governor-elect Josh Shapiro and elected senator John Fetterman will be sworn. Both ran on issues of fighting for access to abortion, the right to vote and raising the minimum wage.

In Philadelphia, a few labor issues were on the ballot this year, including questions about creating a permanent aviation department within city government and changing local labor regulations. the civil service, giving preference to graduates of the Philadelphia School District career technical education programs. Both issues were approved by voters on Tuesday.

But business and technology issues haven’t been as centered in the statewide conversation. Technically spoke with the candidates in September to learn more about their positions on changing technologies, STEM education, startup growth and high-speed internet access, among other topics.

Fetterman on investing in technology

Fetterman responded to our survey by saying he would invest in workforce development programs, seek more funding to expand high-speed internet access statewide, and make Pennsylvania a place where STEM organizations and startups “can thrive” with better access to capital.

He called for support for continued funding of broadband internet programs and the CHIPS and scientific lawwhich will provide billions of dollars for research, development and manpower development in semiconductor technologies.

“This is exactly the kind of legislation we need to prepare our workers for high-paying jobs in emerging technologies,” Fetterman told us. “If America is to compete with countries like China and continue to be a technology leader, we need to invest in innovation, research and development.”

He also explained a plan to combat the “brain drain” by improving residents’ quality of life and expanding access to resources, well-paying jobs, affordable housing and health care. Fetterman said his support for small businesses will come from his experience as mayor of Braddock, a blue-collar town where he was able to attract start-up companies to set up shop during his tenure, including the company claimed by Pittsburgh. power meter.

“We need to invest and provide businesses with the capital they need to get started,” Fetterman said. “We also need to invest in programs that teach start-up business owners best planning practices, such as where to set up a business, when to scale, how to differentiate themselves from competitors, and how to lead.”

The State (in Pennsylvania) of STEM Education

In terms of improving STEM education, Fetterman said he aims to invest in higher education institutions’ STEM programs, “nurturing diverse tech communities that attract talent and building the infrastructure to ensure the industry growth and workplace retention”. A similar position was taken by Shapiro. Although he did not respond to Technical.ly’s request to return the technical survey of candidates, he expressed his support for teaching STEM in schools.

During a campaign stop in July organized by the Pittsburgh Robotic Network in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Shapiro said he aims to make western Pennsylvania the “robotics capital of the world,” echoing a familiar PRN line. He also promised that the state would triple its investment in apprenticeship programs if elected.

“We are going to make sure that we offer vocational, technical and computer training in our high school classrooms. I want a 10th grader to see the robotics work that’s going on in Pittsburgh, I want him to be excited about it, I want him to see this as part of his future,” Shapiro said. “For thousands of these robotics jobs, you don’t need a PhD. of [Carnegie Mellon University] to get that job, you need some specialized low-tech training, maybe supplemented with an apprenticeship program to be able to do that job for tomorrow.

Upcoming commercial moves

The victories were welcomed by local professional organizations. On Tuesday night, shortly after Shapiro was named the winner of the governor’s race, the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce congratulated him on his victory.

“We look forward to partnering with the new administration to achieve a vital, globally competitive Pennsylvania where all people prosper,” the House Speaker said. Matt Smith said in a statement. “We are very encouraged by the Governor-elect’s commitment to serve as Pennsylvania’s chief sales officer, and we stand ready to actively engage with the administration in economic development initiatives that will position the Pittsburgh area and the Commonwealth to compete successfully for new jobs, talents and investment.

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