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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar


What to look for on Smart Talk Friday, September 21, 2018:

The U.S. job market is red-hot. The government reports the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits is at a near 49-year low, a sign the job market remains strong. In fact, the labor market is viewed as being near or at full employment. 

Skilled jobs, on the other hand, are going unfilled in Pennsylvania and many parts of the country. Often, it’s the result of the promotion of four-year colleges and universities to youth in grades K-12, at the expense of vocational training.

Labor and industry specialists began sounding the alarm several years ago, as the economy began to ramp up. According to a Forbes report the problem today, while significant, is going to get worse as skilled-trade workers in the U.S age.

Friday on Smart Talk, we are joined by area vocational schools to discuss trends and initiatives to increase enrollment. Stephen Ampersand, Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) vice president of student affairs and enrollment management and Vic Rodgers, HACC associate provost of workforce development and continuing education are in the studio. Also, on the program are Michael DeGroft, Dean of Enrollment services, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology and Valerie Hatfield, Lancaster workforce development board.

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Valerie Hatfield, Michael DeGroft, Vic Rodgers, and Stephen Ampersand