Lafayette College will host a hearing of the bipartisan state Senate Economy, Business and Jobs Caucus, 1-3 p.m., Oct. 13 in the Marlo Room at Farinon Student Center. The Lafayette community and general public are invited to attend.

Co-chaired by state Sens.Lisa Boscola (D-18th District) and Bob Mensch (R-24th District), the Economy, Business and Jobs Caucus was formed to create jobs and strengthen Pennsylvania’s economy. The caucus examines ways to break down barriers that hinder economic expansion, with a goal to bring more good-paying jobs to Pennsylvania and preserve existing jobs. 

The hearing will address how government can help businesses in transitioning to a low-carbon future, with testimony from representatives of local manufacturers and utilities, including C.F. Martin & Co., B. Braun Medical Inc., Crayola, PPL Electric Utilities, and UGI Corp.

“We are excited and grateful to bring the Senate Economy, Business and Jobs Caucus to Lafayette College to hear from business leaders to describe how they are implementing sustainability practices now and for years to come,” said Seth Rolko, Boscola’s legislative director and counsel.

“We hope to learn how Pennsylvania can better compete in a global economy and bring those ideas back to Harrisburg to create meaningful legislation that can have a positive impact on all business here in the Lehigh Valley and across the Commonwealth.”

Companies across Pennsylvania are incorporating sustainability into their business strategies nationally and globally, he said, adding that these strategies aim to have a positive impact on the environment and society by addressing a number of current factors. 

“Whether those be fair working conditions, income inequality, depletion of natural resources, or even climate change, companies are adapting to address these factors through their sustainability efforts,” Rolko said.

“We are thrilled to host this hearing at Lafayette College as we come together as a community and continue to recover from the pandemic. The College is a place where we can participate in charting the future of our region as well as the Commonwealth and beyond,” said President Nicole Farmer Hurd

“This will be a valuable opportunity to hear what local business leaders have to say about the actions they are taking to address carbon emissions, future technologies, and workforce development in a changing world,” she said.

John Kincaid, the Robert B. and Helen S. Meyner Professor of Government and Public Service and director of the Meyner Center for the Study of State and Local Government, will welcome the group.

Boscola and Mensch will open the hearing, which will start at 1 p.m. President Hurd will deliver closing remarks at 2:25 p.m., which will be followed by a networking session at 3 p.m. Attendees will include business representatives, 10 members of the caucus, and Lafayette staff, faculty, and students.

Mark Crain, William E. Simon Professor of Political Economy and chair of policy studies, said the hearing will provide a rare opportunity to see effective government in action.

“The media primarily focus on congressional gridlock and partisan polarization in Washington, with much less attention to legislating and policymaking at the state level,” said Crain, who’s encouraging his students to attend the hearing. 

“With little notice, the Pennsylvania General Assembly has passed twice as many bills as the U.S. Congress so far in 2021,” he added. “Hosting Pennsylvania state legislators provides an opportunity for the Lafayette community to gain insights into the workings and performance of the legislative process.”

The hearing will also be livestreamed.


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