Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett announced the formation of a new public-private council that will work to identify and prioritize issues that can lead to a more sustainable and successful manufacturing sector.
"The manufacturing industry is the largest industry by gross state product in the state, and over the past 20 years or so, it's declined at twice the national average in Pennsylvania. So our purpose it to improve that plight and make sure the manufacturing sector is alive and well in Pennsylvania," said Matt Zieger, President and CEO of Team PA Foundation, the organization leading the council.
The main goals of the group include determining what economic or regulatory roadblocks exist that may be keeping the sector from growing, and also to find ways to market the state's manufacturing sector statewide and beyond.
"We're spending a lot of time on export assistance and understanding how we can help Pennsylvania small- and medium-sized manufacturers see themselves as global players and as players that can find their markets anywhere in the world," said Zieger.
The 23-member group will also focus on talent and innovation, energy costs, efficiency, and research and development. Starting in January, they'll meet regularly for about 6 months, after which they'll issue a report and policy recommendations to Governor Corbett and the state legislature.
The council includes members from a cross-section of manufacturing interests, including heavy machinery, minerals, pharmaceuticals, plastics, steel, and textiles. Zieger said the Team PA Foundation is funding the council. No taxpayer dollars are being used to support the initiative.