WEST WYOMING ‚?? The secretary of the state Department of Community and Economic Development topped off a tour of a Luzerne County manufacturing plant on Thursday with a discussion of the recently released findings and recommendations of the Governor‚??s Manufacturing Advisory Council.
‚??We‚??re here today to talk about Governor (Tom) Corbett‚??s goals for Pennsylvania,‚?Ě DCED Secretary C. Alan Walker said after an afternoon tour of Diamond Manufacturing.
Those goals are ‚??ensuring there is a job available for every Pennsylvanian who wants one, educating and training our workforce for the jobs of today and for the jobs of the future, and creating a business climate in Pennsylvania that gets us back to making things ‚?? reclaiming the status that we once held as a manufacturing mecca,‚?Ě said Walker, co-chairman of the council.
Pennsylvania once had the second largest economy in the nation and produced 35 percent of the world‚??s steel. Now, the state accounts for less than 1 percent of world steel production. But, Walker said, many smaller specialty companies, such as Diamond Manufacturing, are thriving, even with the loss of the steel industry.
‚??You have expertise here that you can‚??t find anywhere else in the country. And that‚??s what makes this region so valuable,‚?Ě Walker said. ‚??The manufacturing sector of Pennsylvania is undergoing a renaissance and a sector once thought to be lost is coming back.‚?Ě
But states must adapt to a changing world economy and take advantage of their assets, Walker said.
‚??In the past, leaders failed to adapt to the industry of the present and build for the economy of the future. I think Gov. Corbett is taking a ‚?Ľ more proactive approach,‚?Ě Walker said.
A good example, he said, is Corbett‚??s assembling the advisory council to identify and prioritize issues to help advance manufacturing in the state.
The council made 15 general recommendations with several recommended initiatives and actions to bring each to fruition. Some focused on the industry working with school systems to develop standard curricula for high-end manufacturing careers. Walker noted there are many high-tech jobs in manufacturing but no qualified workers to fill them. Others stressed the need to make capital available and reduce the tax burden on manufacturers.
Diamond Manufacturing President and CEO David Simpson said the company has increased its employment level consistently over the past 15 years. And he‚??s confident that implementation of the advisory council‚??s recommendations would only help the company, which perforates metal for numerous types of applications, to continue growing in the future.
Find the recommendations of the Governor‚??s Manufacturing Advisory Council below under "Related Content."