Smart Talk

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

Not Enough Workers? / Bones: Brothers, Horses, Cartels and the Borderland Dream by Joe Tone

Written by Rich Copeland - Producer, WITF's Smart Talk | Sep 14, 2017 8:00 PM
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There are about 55,000 jobs available in Central Pennsylvania and only around 30,000 people looking for work in the region.  That's according to data collected by South Central Pennsylvania (SCPa) Works  this summer.  According to Doran Condon, a program officer with SCPa, these numbers reflect many seasonal positions but also indicate many currently employed Pennsylvanians are unhappy with their work.

What does this mean for the region's economy and wages for its workers?  Are we cultivating the right kind of jobs for the workforce we have?  Are we adequately traing a workforce for a 21st century economy?  And how does this square with the national narrative that America is hemorrhaging jobs?

Friday's Smart Talk addresses these questions with Jesse McCree, CEO of SCPa Works and we'll go over the employment numbers with Eileen Cipriani, deputy secretary for workforce development with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry and Jeff Newman, Central PA Labor Market Analyst, PA Department of Labor & Industry's Center for Workforce Information & Analysis.

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Jesse McCree - CEO, SCPa Works / Eileen Cipriani - Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development, Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry / Jeff Newman - Central PA Labor Market Analyst, PA Department of Labor & Industry's Center for Workforce Information & Analysis

Also, Bones: Brothers, Horses, Cartels and the Borderland Dream tells a true story of two brothers born in the Mexican bordertown of Nuevo Laredo.  One immigrates to the United States to pursue the American dream; the other consumed by a life of violence within a notorious drug cartel.  Their lives converge later when they both become embroiled in a money-laundering scheme involving the horse racing industry.

Joe Tone, author of Bones: Brothers, Horses, Cartels and the Borderland Dream, joins us on Smart Talk to discuss his book and how this tale tells a broader story of life on the border.  

Tone will talk about his book and sign copies at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore in downtown Harrisburg on Saturday, September 16th from 4pm to 6pm.  Smart Talk host Scott LaMar will lead the conversation.

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Joe Tone


- My experience with finding a a second job.

I have three degrees, two in business and a Masters in Education.

I've noticed with minimum wage jobs, especially in the restaurant or grocery sector, the questions on the employment application are:

Are you or anuone in your family receiving food stamps?

are you or anyone in your household receiving TANF?

Are you or anyone in your fmaily currently umployed?


These questions correlate with the hiring qualifications from the SBA for the HUBZONE (High Underutilized Business Zone)

Therefore, if any selected applicants do not meet the low to very low income earners for the business to qualify for government subsidies, they are not hired.  - Mark

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