Oleksiak makes PSEA history

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Oleksiak makes PSEA history

Voice: September 2017

In a first for the Association, Pennsylvania’s governor has tapped a PSEA president to become part of his cabinet.

On Sept. 2, PSEA President Jerry Oleksiak left the Association to serve as Gov. Tom Wolf’s secretary of labor and industry.

“This is an incredible honor,’’ Oleksiak said. “But this isn’t just about me. When Gov. Wolf asked me to join his cabinet, I knew that it really spoke to how powerful PSEA is and how committed our members are to fighting for working people, students, and the future of our state.’’

When he announced Oleksiak’s nomination on July 21, Wolf made clear that he believes the new secretary is the perfect fit for the department.

“I am confident that Jerry can lead the Department of Labor and Industry to build on our improving business climate, to encourage companies to locate and expand in Pennsylvania, and to provide apprenticeships and other job-training programs so workers have the skills to succeed in the 21st century economy,” Wolf said.

The news thrilled PSEA’s officer team and generated enthusiastic support from members across the state.

“Jerry Oleksiak has been an outstanding PSEA president, and he will be an excellent secretary of labor and industry,” said President Dolores McCracken. “I have known Jerry for nearly 20 years, and I can tell you that he is one of the most fair-minded, committed, and dedicated leaders I’ve ever met.”

As he takes the helm of the Department of Labor and Industry, Oleksiak will be responsible for making policy that impacts working people, industrial production, workers compensation, and worker protections.

“No matter where you live or what you do for a living, Gov. Wolf and I want to make sure that all Pennsylvanians have jobs that can open doors for a better future for their families,” Oleksiak said. “That makes sense for our state’s economy, the businesses that create jobs, and the men and women who make our state work.

“This is an exciting opportunity, and I’m eager to get started.”

Oleksiak has served as PSEA president since September 2015. Prior to his election, he spent eight years as PSEA’s vice president and treasurer. He was also a member of the PSEA Board of Directors, Mideastern Region president, and a local leader in the Upper Merion Area School District, Montgomery County.