Penn. Panel to Address Industry Job Losses

Wednesday, 23 Nov 2011 05:41 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Pennsylvania’s manufacturing industry lost about a third of its jobs over the past decade, and Gov. Tom Corbett is forming an advisory council to identify the top issues blocking growth.
 
“Manufacturing adds more than $75 billion in value each year to our state’s economy, and it is paramount that we do all that we can to preserve and support that sector of our economy,” Corbett said in a statement to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.
 
Corbett’s council will make recommendations to strengthen manufacturing and “ultimately allow manufacturers to add jobs for Pennsylvanians.”
 
The council will consist of representatives from heavy machinery, minerals, pharmaceuticals, plastics, steel, and textile businesses, plus manufacturing trade associations. It will focus on how to attract and keep industry.
 
Recruiting talent is a particular problem for manufacturers, especially for factory jobs and metallurgy engineering positions, said David Barensfeld, CEO of Ellwood Group, which makes heavy-metal sections for equipment makers.
 
“We need to train more of our own or allow more of the foreign students to remain in the United States,” Barensfeld said.

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