An historic pillar of Pennsylvania industry, manufacturing remains an important part of the state's economy, making up $64 billion annually of the Gross State Product and employing nearly 640,000 Pennsylvanians. Food processing giants such as H. J. Heinz Company and Herr Foods Inc. headquarter in Pennsylvania, and numerous tool and plastics manufacturers maintain strong operations in Erie and the Northwest.
Pennsylvania's geographic location makes it a natural manufacturer; six of 10 major U.S. markets are within a 500-mile radius of Harrisburg, reducing transportation costs. With a robust infrastructure--120,000-mile road system, 134 airports, 3 major ports, more than 5,100 miles of railways and 69 railroads--heavy manufactured goods such as powdered metals and prefab housing can be easily shipped to markets across the country and overseas.
Add to these advantages the intellectual capital coming from the state’s colleges and universities, and it's no wonder that Pennsylvania has adapted its historic manufacturing industry to remain competitive in key industries of the future.