GMAC: 15 Ways to Make PA Manufacturing Matter Again
In some ways, Pennsylvania manufacturing was reborn on Tuesday.
More than anything, the GMAC will focus on closing a moderate-to-serious skills gap among manufacturing employees, which a Deloitte/The Manufacturing Institute study found 82 percent of manufacturers nationally are experiencing. What's more, nearly three in four manufacturers say that gap has negatively impacted their company's growth.
On Tuesday, Governor Tom Corbett and other state officials and GMAC members announced report findings at press conferences at manufacturing sites and education centers in Allentown, Hanover, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Corbett was in Allentown with GMAC chair Carlos Cardoso, President/CEO of Kennemetal in Latrobe, visiting the Westport Axle plant, which makes axles and sub-auto assemblies and just announced a major expansion
that will bring more than 500 new jobs there in the next three years.
“Many people never consider a career in manufacturing because their perception of the industry is not in line with the reality of modern-day manufacturing,” said Cardoso, according to a report from the TeamPA Foundation
. “Modern manufacturing is, in fact, an industry that affords workers a highly technological and safe work environment and excellent, family-sustaining wages and benefits.”
The GMAC announcement comes a week after a public-private team from Pennsylvania, in partnership with Northeast Ohio and West Virginia, earned a $30 million grant from the Department of Defense to create the Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute
, entering a cutting-edge, $6 billion industry that Corbett believes has potential for significant job creation.
Here's a look at the report's focus areas and recommendations:
- Talent and Workforce Development: Develop a manufacturing sector-led "Adopt-A-School" program; industry-led standardization of skills needs and curriculum; better connections to job openings in sector; expanding support for sector-related career and technical education; expand proven strategies for workforce pipeline development; create measures and supports for school districts that are tied to effectiveness.
- Opening New Markets: Develop a statewide energy plan that charts a course for energy independence; increase use of existing in-state export and technical assistance; and invest in infrastructure improvements.
- Making Government Work Better for Manufacturers: Use tax reform to encourage investment, innovation and job creation; improve communication pathways between manufacturers and regulators to increase compliance and reduce costs; and promote workforce cost competitiveness.
- Innovation: Develop an Innovation Marketplace as an online portal and process that drives connections between manufacturers, technology and business opportunities; and improve growth-focused collaboration between stakeholders like government, industry associations, and higher education.
- Access to Capital: Create more access to tools and resources around capital that is tailored specifically for the PA manufacturing sector.
Some by-the-number highlights of the report:
- Manufacturing's average annual cmopensation is 44.2 percent higher than non-manufacturing sectors
- Manufacturing accounts for 10 percent of the state's total workforce
- More than 12,000 jobs were created in 2011 at the state's nearly 15,000 manufacturing establishments
- Manufacturing maintains a 90 percent share of the state's exports and 70 percent of all research and development expenditures, which total $9.8 billion.
The council includes 24 members, is chaired by Corbett and co-chaired by Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Alan Walker and Cardoso. Also on the council:
Samuel "Pat" Black, President & CEO of Erie Management Group LLC
(Erie); David Barensfeld, President & CEO of Ellwood Group Inc.
(Ellwood City); Greg Booth, CEO of Zippo Manufacturing Company
(Bradford); Heather Chandler, President of Sealstrip Corporation
(Gilbertsville); Frank Epifano, CFO of sanofi pasteur
(Swiftwater); Janis Herschkowitz, President of PRL Industries
(Cornwall); Jeff Kelly, CEO of Hamill Manufacturing Company
(Trafford); Todd Kennedy, President & CEO of McClarin Plastics
(Hanover); Leroy "Tighe" King, Chairman & CEO of Perform Group LLC
(York); Daniel Langdon, President of East Penn Manufacturing Co. Inc.
(Lyon Station); Michael McLanahan, Chairman & CEO of McLanahan Corporation
and Louay Mishu, Plant Manager, Family Care of Proctor & Gamble
(Mehoopany); Scott Meuser, Chairman & CEO of Pride Mobility Products Corp.
(Exeter); Michael Pearson, President of Union Packaging
(Yeadon); Jim Rutkowski Jr., Vice President of Industrial Sales & Manufacturing Inc.
(Erie); David Simpson, President of Diamond Manufacturing
(Wyoming); Mike Williams, Senior Vice President of United States Steel
(Pittsburgh); Helen Yost, The Rowland Company
(Philadelphia); Ralph Pontillo, President of Manufacturer and Business Association
(Erie); David Taylor, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association
(Harrisburg); Darlene Robbins, President of NEPA Manufacturer's and Employers Association
(Pottsville); and Jack Pfunder, President & CEO of Manufacturer's Resource Center
JOE PETRUCCI is managing editor of Keystone Edge. Send feedback here.
Photos courtesy of TeamPA Foundation.