Manufacturing Jobs

Southwestern Pennsylvania BotsIQ

Robots designed by teams of teens from 53 schools in southwestern Pennsylvania will compete in a two-day, gladiator-style tournament starting Friday.

The aim of the Southwestern Pennsylvania BotsIQ competition, which is being hosted at California University of Pennsylvania, is to get high schoolers to think creatively and collaboratively, while also exposing them to careers in manufacturing.

BotsIQ executive director Michel Conklin said the robots are judged on a variety of criteria.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

*UPDATED: Oct. 4, 2017 at 4:26 p.m.

Pennsylvania manufacturing leaders are hoping that maker spaces can be the entry point for future workers.

John Miller / 90.5 WESA

After moving its headquarters to New York 11 years ago, iconic aluminum manufacturer Alcoa is returning to Pittsburgh, where it was founded, at the beginning of next month.

Matt Rourke / AP

 Retail and manufacturing jobs are on the decline--both in Pennsylvania, and around the country.

So a state lawmaker is looking for ways to pinpoint exactly where those jobs are going--and how to stop the bleeding.

U.S. Factory Jobs Are High-Tech, But The Workers Are Not

Aug 16, 2017
John Minchillo / AP

Herbie Mays is 3M proud, and it shows — in the 3M shirt he wears; in the 3M ring he earned after three decades at the company's plant in suburban Cincinnati; in the way he shows off a card from a 3M supervisor, praising Mays as "a GREAT employee."

But it's all nostalgia.

Mays' last day at 3M was in March. Bent on cutting costs and refocusing its portfolio, the company decided to close the plant that made bandages, knee braces and other health care supplies and move work to its plant in Mexico.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

The number of people unemployed in Pennsylvania is up slightly over the past month, increasing by 8,000.

The state Labor and Industry Department issued seasonally adjusted data Friday showing the Pennsylvania's jobless rate rose one tenth of a percentage point to 5 percent in May, up from 4.9 percent in April.

It's the second month in a row the figure has increased. The national rate is 4.3 percent, down by one tenth of a point from the prior month.