Philadelphia – October 4, 2018 – Sen. Art Haywood (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) hosted a Manufacturing Day roundtable this morning at Arcadia University. Sen. Haywood led panelists in a discussion on Governor Wolf’s PAsmart initiative, a new $30 million investment to strengthen Pennsylvania manufacturing by supporting STEM education, increasing the number of apprenticeships, and promoting industry partnerships.
Panelists included Jerry Oleksiak, Secretary of the Department of Labor and Industry, Eileen Cipriani, Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development for the Department of Labor and Industry, Carol Kilko, Deputy Secretary for Business and Financing for the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), and Terri C. Cooper Smith, Pipeline Safety Inspector for the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
“There are over three thousand open manufacturing jobs in Southeastern Pennsylvania,” Sen. Haywood said. “I am committed to working with my colleagues in the legislature, business and education leaders, investment and workforce development boards, and anyone else at the table to fill those jobs and strengthen the jobs pipeline.”
The average manufacturing worker in the United States earns $80,000 per year, $15,000 more than the national average across all industries. Despite high wages and available opportunities, manufacturers often struggle to find highly-skilled, trained workers to fill those openings.
Deputy Secretary Kilko said, “DCED appreciated the invitation to speak to Senator Haywood’s constituents about the various programs DCED offers to assist manufacturers in the southeast region. We are seeing Governor Wolf’s commitment play out through several key programs and initiatives.”
Secretary Oleksiak said, “Today’s manufacturing jobs are high-skilled, high-tech, often computer-based positions that frequently require post-secondary training. These jobs often provide family-sustaining wages and job seekers can obtain the necessary training through registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs, skilled-trades training, or degree and certificate programs offered by local career and technical institutes. These hands-on training experiences provide them with the real-world skills employers are seeking.”
Panelists, participants, and invited guests closed the event with an open question-and-answer period and networking session.