Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Names Sandi Vito Acting Secretary Of the Department Of Labor and Industry

                               Harrisburg, PA (CompNewsNetwork) - Pennsylvania Governor announced Sandi Vito, has been named as the commonwealth's acting secretary of the Department of Labor & Industry.
Sandi Vito, Pennsylvania's deputy secretary for workforce development for the past five years, is replacing Stephen Schmerin, who announced his resignation this past month after serving as Labor & Industry secretary since the Governor appointed him in 2003.
“Sandi has proven to everyone that she has what it takes to help our hardworking men and women find better jobs and to become the highly skilled employees for whom companies are looking, and to help Pennsylvania create record job growth,” Governor Rendell said. “As acting secretary for the Department of Labor & Industry, the commonwealth, the agency and the thousands of businesses and people it serves will be in good hands.”
Vito helped to devise “Job Ready PA,” which greatly boosted Governor Rendell's economic growth strategy by expanding employment and training opportunities in high-skill, high-wage jobs. Job Ready PA, a complete overhaul of the commonwealth's workforce development system, was urgently needed to adapt skill development, training, and business service models to the global marketplace.
She became the first-ever policy leader, last year, to be honored with the National Network of Sector Partners Trailblazer Award. Vito was also awarded the first ever Workforce Development Leadership Award by Pennsylvania Partners.
“This is an honor to be named by the Governor as acting secretary,” Vito said. “It's the department's job to lead the way in helping make our industries more competitive and guaranteeing economic security for the commonwealth's most valuable asset -- our workforce. That's what we're going to continue to do.”
Under Vito's watch as deputy secretary for workforce development, Pennsylvania has:
Increased market penetration in the PA workforce development system from 1 percent in 2003 to 13 percent and now serves 34,940 businesses;
Enlisted more than 5,900 companies in 86 active industry partnerships (representing 20 industries), to close skills gaps and address other workforce challenges to improve Pennsylvania's competitive position;
Helped employees who have received training under this initiative (in 2005) earn wages that were 12.89 percent higher;
Helped participating businesses significantly improve productivity and achieve an 83 percent employee retention rate; and
Dramatically increased the number of RN and LPN graduates since 2003. In 2006, RN graduate numbers went from 2,939 to 5,937; LPN graduate numbers increased from 1,236 to 2,017.
The Department of Labor & Industry is the commonwealth's fifth-largest agency, employing more than 6,000 employees in 200 statewide offices. It helps thousands of workers and employers through programs such as workers' compensation, job retraining, and vocational rehabilitation.
Schmerin was Pennsylvania's 31st L&I secretary. During his tenure, the commonwealth increased its enforcement of labor law, resulting in more money for Pennsylvania's workers; reduced the number of labor disputes to 28 in 2006, the lowest amount on record; significantly reduced the time it takes to process workers' compensation and unemployment compensation claims; and placed more people with disabilities into employment.
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