PA Manufacturers Council Issues Recommendations


By Donald Applegarth

The Pennsylvania Governor’s Manufacturing Advisory Council (PGMAC) issued its first report on August 21 that highlights a series of challenges that local manufacturers face including, workforce development and access to capital. The report also offers a slew of recommendations on how to solve these challenges.

C. Alan Walker, Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development, Carlos Cardoso, Chairman, President and CEO of Kennametal Inc. (NYSE: KMT) Co-chair PGMAC, and Greg Booth of Zippo Manufacturing, a Bradford-based manufacturer and long-time client of Schneider Downs, played a key role in developing ideas and recommendations.

The report indicated that about 12,000 new jobs were created by manufacturers last year, but Companies still felt challenged by the lack of skilled labor and shortfalls in leadership to carry them into the future.

PGMAC had six recommendations:

• Develop a program led by industry that partners education and manufacturing leaders to show the types of careers available in manufacturing and the skills that are needed through work-based learning and other programs.
• Create a standardized curriculum across Pennsylvania.
• Create a better connection between job seekers and openings in manufacturing.
• Provide greater support for career and technical education including expanding the Educational Improvement Tax Credit as a source of funding for career and technical education organizations.
• Support strategies to boost the pipeline of manufacturing workers.
• Create measures and support systems for districts tied to effectiveness. 

Other topics highlighted in the report are:

• Opening new markets internationally, domestically and within the growing energy sector.
• Fostering a better relationship between government and manufacturers, including using tax reform to encourage innovation and investment and streamlining communication and processes between companies and regulatory agencies. This also includes investing in infrastructure to help Pennsylvania companies stay competitive.
• Encourage innovation through increased collaboration between business, government, trade groups and universities.
• Provide tools to help small- and medium-sized companies learn about different types of capital and how to access capital.

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