Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro issued his first executive order, ending the four-year degree requirement for most state government jobs.
The change opens 92% – or roughly 65,000 – positions with the Pennsylvania government to people who do not have a bachelor’s degree.
“Whether you have a four year degree on the wall, an apprenticeship under your belt, or are simply ready to enter the workforce — there’s a place for you in Pennsylvania,” tweeted Shapiro on Jan. 18. “I signed my first Executive Order today to tell Commonwealth employees… whether you’re Gen-Z, late-career, or anywhere in between — that we support you. With or without a degree.”
The Democrat said that “the people should decide what path is best for them, not have it decided by some arbitrary requirement or any arbitrary limitation.” The governor also said that degree requirements that “reward folks” who only pursue bachelor’s or master’s degrees “while shutting out those who pursue others, hurts us all,” per Fox Business.
There are currently 738 open positions with the Pennsylvania government, which can be viewed through a new career website.
“There are millions of Pennsylvanians who have the skills and work experience required to serve the Commonwealth, but too many of them think they’re barred from seeking good-paying jobs,” per the new page.
Shapiro defeated Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano 56.5% to 41.7% in November. A former attorney general, Shapiro promised to focus on crime in the state and support pro-abortion policies.
He celebrated his Jan. 17 inauguration with a 3,000-person celebration. The event included musical performances from rapper Wiz Khalifa, R&B singer Smokey Robinson, and indie rock band Mt. Joy and drew comparisons to a presidential inauguration, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
“The event was packed with Pennsylvania-themed gimmicks and vendors: Primanti Bros. sandwiches, Wawa coffee, scrapple waffle bites, and tomato pie, to name a few,” reported the outlet. “The dance floor was branded with both Shapiro and Davis’ names running along the baseline on either side, with a massive administration logo at center court. The Philadelphia 76ers’ drumline performed at the start of the event.”
The celebration was organized by Weymouth Watson, an events management company that has worked with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Obama Foundation.
Former Governor of Maryland Larry Hogan was the first state leader to eliminate the four-year degree requirement for state jobs in March 2022.
“Through these efforts we are launching today, we are ensuring that qualified, non-degree candidates are regularly being considered for these career-changing opportunities,” the Republican said at the time, per WTOP. “This is exactly the kind of bold, bipartisan solution we need to continue leading the nation by giving even more Marylanders the opportunities they need to be successful.”