Another Step Towards Reducing Barriers to Work

Pennsylvania licenses over 250 occupations, creating unnecessary bureaucracy and obstacles to good paying jobs.

Across the country states like Arizona, Michigan, Rhode Island, and Nebraska are eliminating licensure requirements for nutritionists, auctioneers, nurses, massage therapists, lab scientists, audiologists, and barbers/cosmetologists. Earlier this month, Pennsylvania finally got in the game. Gov. Wolf released a study on occupational licensing burdens and proposed eliminating 13 licenses. These occupations include barbers, auctioneers, cemetery brokers, campground membership salepersons, hair braiders, orthotic fitters, oriental medicine practitioners, rental listing agents, and vehicle factory representatives.

The Governor also proposed ending the 10-year automatic ban on licenses for ex-offenders convicted of a drug-related crime. This broad, discriminatory ban is especially counterproductive given unemployed ex-offenders are far more likely to return to prison or become dependent on human service programs.

Last week, Pennsylvania took another step forward. The State Board of Veterinary Medicine announced they will begin waiving the 10-year ban on certifications for veterinary tech applicants with past drug felony convictions.

Governor Wolf reacted:

This commonsense step provides a second chance to hardworking people, will reduce crime and recidivism rates, and will help to modernize our job certification requirements. I urge more licensing boards to follow suit so we can make sure we are not creating unnecessary barriers for qualified workers.

Finally, Pennsylvania is tackling its overly-burdensome occupational licensing process. Licensing reform is a critical piece of a work-first approach to reduce recidivism and welfare dependence, helping more Pennsylvanians achieve permanent earned success.