Governor Josh Shapiro Talks Public Safety, Jobs, and the Economy on Fox News

Gov. Shapiro on Fox NewsImage via Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

PENNSYLVANIA — On Thursday, Governor Josh Shapiro joined Fox News to talk about his focus on making communities safer and his first executive order as Governor, announcing 92 percent of state government jobs do not require a four-year college degree. Governor Shapiro is getting right to work, highlighting his commitment to improving public safety, opening the doors of opportunity for more workers, and building an economy that works for everyone.

In his first full week in office, Governor Shapiro is already delivering on the campaign promises he made, spearheading common-sense solutions to the economic challenges facing our Commonwealth. Earlier this week, the Governor signed an executive order establishing the Pennsylvania Office of Transformation and Opportunity, creating a one-stop-shop for business looking to grow in Pennsylvania.

See below for key excerpts from Governor Shapiro’s interview on America’s Newsroom and watch the full interview here:

Dana Perino: We are lucky to be able to bring in Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro, he joins us now. Thank you. It’s good to have you on the program. Is the drug addiction problems that I’m sure you saw it on the campaign trail, but now that you’re in the governor’s office is that one of the most difficult problems you’re facing?

Governor Shapiro: It’s a tremendously difficult challenge, and it’s going to take an all-hands-on-deck approach to address it. Dana, we lose 15 Pennsylvanians every single day to drug overdose. You know, prior to being elected governor, I served as Attorney General and as Attorney General, we arrested over 8000 drug dealers, shut down major drug trafficking rings. But I’m the first to tell you that we cannot arrest our way out of this crisis, a strong law enforcement response needs to be present. In fact, I want to add more police to the situation. But we have to make sure that there are real resources for treatment, particularly as we’ve seen this migration, from heroin to fentanyl, and now to tranq, which is even more potent, claiming more lives. It’s one of the reasons why as Attorney General, I took on the pharmaceutical companies and won and brought over a billion dollars back to Pennsylvania specifically earmarked for treatment. So, we need a multi-pronged approach: more law enforcement resources and more resources for treatment to help those who are battling the disease of addiction. Understand, drug addiction is a disease, not a crime, those peddling these poisons need to be held accountable. But those who are battling the disease of addiction need our help. […]

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Bill Hemmer: You’ve got a big job cut out for you. Meanwhile, you’re cutting the college degree requirement. This is the reason why you came on today, for 65,000 state jobs. Why is that so important?

Governor Shapiro: Look, fundamentally, I believe Pennsylvanians need to have the freedom to chart their own course, and the opportunity to succeed. And for too long, we’ve had these barriers to entry, these barriers to opportunity. And so, I wanted to plan a marker on my first day in office, I signed an executive order, making sure that 65,000 jobs – it’s about 92% of our state jobs – wouldn’t require a college degree, then instead, you would be judged on your merits, your ability to do the job, maybe the practical work experience, or the apprenticeship program you went through, instead. […] Now, if you have a college degree, great, you can still put that in your application. But what we are prioritizing here in Pennsylvania, is your skills, your knowledge, your ability to do the job, and we want to open up the doors of opportunity for all to succeed. That’s a fundamental freedom – a real freedom that I talked about on the campaign trail, I talked about in my inaugural address, and I’m going to keep on pursuing as Governor, the real freedom to achieve success here in the Commonwealth.

Dana Perino: You’re a new governor, and I’m sure you’ve been talking to a few of your colleagues that are around the country. There are some other states that have done this as well, in Maryland, for example, maybe even in Utah, a possible trend coming. But what types of people do you think, perhaps never would have applied for a state job that you might see, apply to those 550 jobs that are open right now?

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Governor Shapiro: You know, Dana, I’ve heard it a lot on the campaign trail. I began talking about this issue, you know, I don’t know 9-10 months ago, and actually several folks came over to me and said, ‘I work for the Commonwealth and yet I can’t advance in state government because they require a college degree.’ Or folks who have the necessary skills that we want, at a time where, by the way, we have a workforce shortage, not just here in Pennsylvania, but across the country, and folks would go apply, Dana, and they see that college degree requirements. And even though they have the skills to be able to be successful, they just shut the application down and went on to something else. We’re going to obviously collect the data from this initiative and report back on that in some number of months. But the bottom line here is we’re opening up the doors of opportunity for more Pennsylvanians to be able to come through and succeed and it’s a value added for us.

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