(WKBN) – Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro signed the executive order to improve the state’s current occupational licensing and certification process.

He said unpredictable and long wait times have created unnecessary barriers for workers in the state.

This decision impacts many key industries, including health care and education. Shapiro said he wants the government to better serve the people in the Commonwealth. The executive order will establish set response times for license, permit and certification applications.

Nurses are saying they’ve accepted jobs, but can’t work due to the red tape.
The Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals says they need help getting healthcare workers back to the bedside.

“By itself, the order will not correct the fact that we don’t have enough nurses at the bedside, but it certainly an important step in the right direction,” said President of PASNAP Maureen May.

“Pennsylvanians who’ve trained long and hard to start a new career, who have met the requirements for their field and paid their license or application fee. It is unacceptable to have to wait and wait and wait and remain in limbo out of work,” said Shapiro.

Shapiro said that the long wait times are not helpful when the state, like many others, are facing labor shortages. He is asking state agencies to compile a catalog of all the licenses, permits and certifications they issue. He is also asking for a timeline of the application process and what the fees are.

The governor is giving agencies 90 days to complete this and send to his office. After that, the recommendations will be made on processing times. If an agency does not comply, they will have to refund the application fee.