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Governor’s Weekly Message Transcript: Reducing Employment Barriers for our Skilled Workforce through Professional Licensing Reform

Former Governor Jack Markell (2009-2017) | News | Date Posted: Friday, April 22, 2016



We have no higher priority than giving Delawareans the tools and opportunities to compete for the skilled jobs in today’s economy. That goal is behind our focus on STEM education at all grade levels and specialized skill training in high schools. We’ve taken steps to improve college readiness and made higher education more affordable. And programs like our TechHire initiative provide short-term intensive training for expanding fields like IT. Even when people have the right skills, however, we know other barriers sometimes prevent them from entering the workforce.

More than a quarter of U.S. workers now require a license to do their jobs, and our state’s Division of Professional Regulation has issued more than 85,000 active licenses. Many of our licensing and certification requirements are well-founded, ensuring professionals are trained to keep people safe and earn the public’s trust. However, some requirements may no longer be necessary and these burdens can reduce employment in those fields, lead to higher prices for professional services, and limit opportunities for Delaware workers.

A few years ago we identified ways to expand access to the barber and cosmetology fields, recognizing that certification options either took too long or were too expensive for some people. I support a proposal to remove long waiting periods for ex-offenders seeking professional licenses. And this past week I signed an executive order to bring together my cabinet, legislators, community advocates and members of regulated professions to review existing licensing regulations, look at best practices from other states, and recommend ways to eliminate unnecessary barriers to entry.

A thoughtful and collaborative approach to licensing reform will ensure professional regulations are instruments of opportunity, rather than arbitrary and expensive barriers to the job market. And that will keep Delaware moving forward.

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Keep up to date by receiving a daily digest email, around noon, of current news release posts from state agencies on news.delaware.gov.

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Governor’s Weekly Message Transcript: Reducing Employment Barriers for our Skilled Workforce through Professional Licensing Reform

Former Governor Jack Markell (2009-2017) | News | Date Posted: Friday, April 22, 2016



We have no higher priority than giving Delawareans the tools and opportunities to compete for the skilled jobs in today’s economy. That goal is behind our focus on STEM education at all grade levels and specialized skill training in high schools. We’ve taken steps to improve college readiness and made higher education more affordable. And programs like our TechHire initiative provide short-term intensive training for expanding fields like IT. Even when people have the right skills, however, we know other barriers sometimes prevent them from entering the workforce.

More than a quarter of U.S. workers now require a license to do their jobs, and our state’s Division of Professional Regulation has issued more than 85,000 active licenses. Many of our licensing and certification requirements are well-founded, ensuring professionals are trained to keep people safe and earn the public’s trust. However, some requirements may no longer be necessary and these burdens can reduce employment in those fields, lead to higher prices for professional services, and limit opportunities for Delaware workers.

A few years ago we identified ways to expand access to the barber and cosmetology fields, recognizing that certification options either took too long or were too expensive for some people. I support a proposal to remove long waiting periods for ex-offenders seeking professional licenses. And this past week I signed an executive order to bring together my cabinet, legislators, community advocates and members of regulated professions to review existing licensing regulations, look at best practices from other states, and recommend ways to eliminate unnecessary barriers to entry.

A thoughtful and collaborative approach to licensing reform will ensure professional regulations are instruments of opportunity, rather than arbitrary and expensive barriers to the job market. And that will keep Delaware moving forward.

image_printPrint


Graphic that represents delaware news on a mobile phone

Keep up to date by receiving a daily digest email, around noon, of current news release posts from state agencies on news.delaware.gov.

Here you can subscribe to future news updates.