The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, under Governor Tom Wolf, has launched a workforce development initiative, part of which is to promote and expand the state’s agriculture education opportunities, as well as career and technical education (CTE) programs.
Through this workforce development initiative, the department has assessed the present employment picture in agriculture and food industries and developed a forecast for the future.
Today, there are nearly 600,000 Pennsylvania jobs tied to these industries. The department has identified the 25 most in-demand occupations, which span sectors like production agriculture; animal health and veterinary services; landscaping; food manufacturing, forestry, lumber and wood products; and conservation and natural resources.
The department is pursuing the workforce development initiative to:
- Identify demand-driven career pathways and agriculture and food-related occupations,
- Marshal substantial resources that already exist in a variety of systems,
- Identify gaps in education and training,
- Focus on work-based learning including micro-credentials and apprenticeships as methods to fill those gaps, and
- Address the needs of young people and adults on the way to finding solutions to the shortage of talent in the near and long-term.