The Westmoreland County will lead, educate, engage, inform and advocate to advance a federal policy agenda that serves as the voice for business. Our members want to advocate for workforce development and economic growth. Our member driven federal policy agenda is outlined below
1. PROVIDING + ATTRACTING A SKILLED WORKFORCE - Economic viability and long-term prosperity for Westmoreland County depends upon a well- educated and skilled workforce, paired with a healthy talent pipeline that addresses the growing skills gap identified by our companies. Federal programs should prioritize existing jobs, retention efforts, skills shortages, and talent retraining for jobs of the future. Funding for educational institutions should be tied to the employment of graduates in the local community. Federal legislators should prioritize programs and funding to states experiencing population decline or stagnation.
2. BALANCED LABOR + EMPLOYMENT LAWS - Changes to labor relations and employment policies are necessary to facilitate a fair work environment and address abuse. Employers oppose excessive mandates that unnecessarily increase the cost of doing business and efforts that seek to disrupt functioning employer/employee relationships through the PRO-Act or other regulatory overreach.
3. MODERN, SAFE, EFFICIENT AND RELIABLE INFRASTRUCTURE - Ensure our infrastructure is adequately funded to enable construction and maintenance of our aging transportation and utility systems along with other infrastructure. Modern, safe, reliable, and efficient Transportation Infrastructure Systems are a core function of government. Transportation systems and utility infrastructure is vital to attract and retain quality businesses to grow the economy, increase regional and PA competitiveness, and retain/create jobs. This includes Transportation, Transit/Mobility, Energy, Broadband and Water/Wastewater. The Chamber supports continued regulatory reform due to current impediments on improvements and skyrocketing costs.
4. ENERGY INDEPENDENCE + ECONOMC GROWTH – The Chamber supports a responsible development of all US energy, fossil and renewable. We oppose policies that lead to the sourcing of energy from non-domestic sources, forcing our nation to rely on other/outside governments to supply energy that could be produced here. The Chamber supports policies that seek to achieve net energy independence, reducing energy market volatility which negatively impacts all Westmoreland County businesses. The Chamber supports investments in programs that expand economic development opportunities that will help grow existing businesses and attract new businesses to the county.
5. RETAINING A COMPETITIVE BUSINESS TAX STRUCTURE/ RESPONSIBLE BUDGET + GOVERNMENT SPENDING Comprehensive reforms of and reductions in specific business taxes remain necessary to help stimulate economic development in recovery. The Chamber encourages Congress and the Administration to work collaboratively towards passing annual budgets and away from continuing resolutions while understanding that all opportunities for cost-savings and efficient spending should be exhausted before new or higher taxes are considered to address deficit spending, entitlement programs, or new initiatives.
6. AFFORDABLE + ACCESSIBLE BENEFITS - Westmoreland County employers want to be able to offer workers quality, affordable health care options. We will continue to advocate for reforms to the heath care, insurance and medical liability that will improve the system, providing flexibility to encourage (rather than mandate) and promote competition.