(L-R) Don Smith, Franklin Industries; Bob Zaruta, NWIRC; Gwen Ross, DCED, and Steve Steve D’Ettorre, DCED
(L-R) Bob Zaruta, NWIRC; Steve D’Ettorre, DCED; and Gwen Ross, DCED

Representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) were visiting with Northwest Industrial Resource Center (NWIRC) in the region this week  and had the opportunity to get to know a couple of manufacturing companies in Venango County. Steve D’Ettorre, Deputy Secretary of Technology and Innovation; Gwen  Ross, Director of Workforce Development Initiatives; and NWIRC President, Bob Zaruta made stops at Franklin Industries and Time Machine.

Don Smith, Operations Officer at Franklin Industries, along with some of his team members, reminisced about the company’s 100+ years’ history. Smith spoke of their engaged workforce, and how their employees are always coming up with new ideas for improvements, finding solutions to new challenges, and their sense of pride in the accomplishments they have made over the last several years.

(L-R) Gwen Ross, DCED; Cheryl Ferry, Time Machine; Steve D’Ettorre, DCED; and Bob Zaruta, NWIRC

Time Machine’s management team member, Cheryl Ferry, toured the group through their facility pointing out some of their newest technology. She spoke of the many ways the company engages with schools and students for helping to build their talent pipeline, including their successful apprenticeship program.

D’Ettorre said, “We visited some impressive manufacturing companies that serve as great examples of positive management, and efforts, occurring in PA.” He and Ross were interested to hear how area companies are working towards adopting new technologies.

NWIRC is one of the seven PA Industrial Resource Centers (IRCs) and serves small and mid-sized manufacturers throughout thirteen counties of northwestern Pennsylvania. Their mission is focused on helping manufacturers achieve and sustain top and bottom-line growth through continuous improvement, advanced manufacturing technologies, customized-workforce training and skills development programs, and supply chain optimization.