Josh Shapiro signs executive order to attract PA residents into public service

Josh Shapiro executive order

Gov. Josh Shapiro posing for photos with members of SEIU 668 after signing an executive order at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg on May 13, 2024. (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Sean Kitchen

May 14, 2024

Gov. Josh Shapiro signed an executive order on Monday with the hopes of making the commonwealth the best employer in Pennsylvania.

Gov. Josh Shapiro signed an executive order in Harrisburg on Monday hoping to attract Pennsylvanians into a career of public service with the commonwealth.

The executive order establishes the Hire, Improve, Recruit, Empower (HIRE) Committee in partnership with labor representatives and aims to recruit Pennsylvania residents to work for the commonwealth, keep the Commonwealth’s workforce competitive and make the state government the best employer in Pennsylvania.

“The Executive Order I am signing today will ensure the Commonwealth is a competitive, attractive, and fulfilling place to work – and we have a workforce that is representative of Pennsylvania as a whole and accessible to our residents,” Shapiro said.

“Whether you’ve just graduated at a recent commencement and you’re starting a new career or have been in the workforce for a while now – we want you to build your career with the Commonwealth.”

Shapiro signed the executive order inside the Farm Show complex during the first-ever Commonwealth Job Fair, which had over 40 state agencies set up recruitment tables with information for 600 open positions with the commonwealth.

The commonwealth employs close to 80,000 Pennsylvania residents, and at the beginning of his term, Shapiro announced that 92% of commonwealth jobs, or 65,000 positions, do not require a four year college degree.

Since my first day in office, we’ve worked to break down barriers and create real opportunities for Pennsylvanians who want to work in state government – but we have to do more to remain competitive in a challenging labor market and set an example for the private sector,” Shapiro said.

Almost a quarter of the commonwealth’s workforce is eligible for retirement in the next five years and the HIRE Committee will work with the Office of Administration and other agencies to find ways to plug these gaps.

This includes building a pilot program to attract multilingual employees to the commonwealth, create recruitment strategies for the hardest to fill jobs and create an inclusive workplace, expand child care options and expand the availability of free menstrual products in state-owned buildings and facilities.

“If we want to provide the best services for the citizens of Pennsylvania, it’s vital we incentivize recruiting and retaining highly qualified staff. We look forward to working with Governor Shapiro and our partners in organized labor to make these initiatives a reality,” said Steve Catanese, President of SEIU Local 668.


  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.



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