PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Labor & Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway today announced the findings and recommendations of the Governor's Manufacturing Advisory Council while visiting Edison/Fareira High School in Philadelphia.
Hearthway was joined in making the announcement by Michael Pearson, president of Union Packaging in Yeadon, and also a member of the Governor's Manufacturing Advisory Council. Union Packaging manufactures paperboard packaging products for quick-service restaurants.
"This country was built with power from our coal, steel from our mills and the hard work of men and women dedicated to their families, their communities and the commonwealth," Hearthway said. "With more than half-million workers in Pennsylvania's manufacturing sector, it's easy to understand why it's the lynchpin of our economic vitality – past, present and future."
The Governor's Manufacturing Advisory Council, or GMAC, is tasked with identifying and prioritizing strategies to influence, sustain and advance Pennsylvania's manufacturing sector.
The 24-member council, led by the Team Pennsylvania Foundation, today sent its report to Governor Corbett and the General Assembly. The report details 15 key recommendations that will help Pennsylvania manufacturing remain competitive in today's global economy.
"By conducting a close and thorough examination of manufacturing in Pennsylvania, the council has been able to identify the sector's strengths and needs; develop strategies to achieve and sustain success; and suggest a plan for Pennsylvania manufacturing to lead the way through the 21st century," said Hearthway.
In addition to investigating the challenges faced by manufacturers in the 21st century, the report details the necessary components of a strong foundation for the industry; fostering new tools to drive innovation and product development; improving access to domestic and international markets; encouraging strategic private-public collaboration; developing a highly skilled, well-educated workforce and expediting the connection between manufacturing employers and job seekers.
"Without a skilled workforce, all the cutting-edge technology and computer-controlled equipment in the world is meaningless," Hearthway said. "Just as important as developing advanced technologies and methods is having access to a workforce with the aptitude, education and skill to use those technologies, and to excel in the knowledge-based, globally connected workplace."
Edison/Fareira High School offers students an array of career and technical education opportunities focused on developing the skills and technological capabilities needed by today's manufacturing employers. Hearthway and Pearson announced the council's report and recommendations in the school's welding instruction facility. Workforce development and preparing workers for advanced manufacturing jobs is a key component of the GMAC report.
GMAC, co-chaired by Department of Community & Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker and Carlos Cardoso, chairman, president and CEO of Kennametal Inc., gathered information about the challenges facing the industry from a variety of experts and manufacturers. The council conducted meetings over six months beginning in January 2012.
The council members represent an array of manufacturing interests, including heavy machinery, minerals, pharmaceuticals, plastics, steel and textiles. Three members of manufacturing trade associations also sit on the council, and one representative from the Industrial Resource Center. The private Team Pennsylvania Foundation funded the council. No public funds were used to support the initiative.
The full GMAC report is available online at www.teampa.com/manufacturingcouncil.
Editor's Note: The GMAC members are:
C. Alan Walker, (co-chair), Secretary, Department of Community and Economic Development, Harrisburg
Carlos Cardoso, (co-chair), Chairman, President and CEO, Kennametal Inc., Latrobe
Samuel "Pat" Black, President & CEO, Erie Management Group, Erie
David Barensfeld, President & CEO, Ellwood Group Inc., Ellwood City
Greg Booth, CEO, Zippo Manufacturing Company, Bradford
Heather Chandler, President, Sealstrip Corporation, Gilbertsville
Frank Epifano, CFO, sanofi pasteur, Swiftwater
Janis Herschkowitz, President, PRL Industries, Cornwall
Jeff Kelly, CEO, Hamill Manufacturing Company, Trafford
Todd Kennedy, President & CEO, McClarin Plastics, Hanover
Leroy "Tighe" King, Chairman & CEO, Perform Group LLC, York
Daniel Langdon, President, East Penn Manufacturing Co., Inc., Lyon Station
Michael McLanahan, Chairman & CEO, McLanahan Corporation, Hollidaysburg
Louay Mishu, Plant Manager – Family Care, Proctor & Gamble, Mehoopany
Scott Meuser, Chairman & CEO, Pride Mobility Products Corp., Exeter
Michael Pearson, President, Union Packaging, Yeadon
Jim Rutkowski Jr., Vice President, Industrial Sales & Manufacturing Inc., Erie
David Simpson, President, Diamond Manufacturing, Wyoming
Mike Williams, Senior Vice President, United States Steel, Pittsburgh
Helen Yost, President, The Rowland Company, Philadelphia
Ralph Pontillo, President, Manufacturer and Business Association, Erie
David Taylor, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Manufacturer's Association, Harrisburg
Darlene Robbins, President, N.E. PA Manufacturer's and Employers Association, Pottsville
Jack E. Pfunder, President and CEO, Manufacturer's Resource Center, Bethlehem
Christopher S. Manlove, L&I, 717-787-7530
Kelli Roberts, Governor's Office, 717-783-1116
James Mentzer, Team Pennsylvania Foundation, 717-233-1375
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry