The manufacturing sector is fundamental to Pennsylvania’s economic success, can compete more effectively, and offers a growing number of good-paying jobs, but the sector needs the commonwealth’s help.  That’s the findings from a new report released by the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Advisory Council, a nonpartisan partnership of manufacturers and public support organizations.  Pennsylvania’s Manufacturing Competitiveness Playbook identifies three game changers for Pennsylvanian manufacturing and offers ten actionable strategies to help make Pennsylvania’s manufacturing economy more robust and resilient.

Manufacturing contributes $113 billion to Pennsylvania’s GDP and employing some 563,000 Pennsylvanians.  Pennsylvania’s Manufacturing Competitiveness Playbook includes recommendations developed by a group of 25 manufacturing and public leaders with the help of recommendations and insights offered by more than 500 manufacturers from across the Commonwealth.

“Over the course of the past year, the Council conducted industry roundtables, one-on-one interviews and surveys to learn directly from manufacturers what statewide policy, programmatic or procedural changes would most immediately and dramatically enhance their ability to compete, win and grow in today’s economy, and the Council’s report reflects that knowledge and insight,” said Eric Joseph Esoda, President and CEO of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center and Council Co-Chair.

The Playbook recommends three game changers for improving Pennsylvania manufacturing’s competitive position:

  • Recapture Pennsylvania’s manufacturing competitive advantage by aggressively pursuing manufacturing growth sectors to drive prosperity.
  • Invest in the factory of the future to boost the performance of small and medium-sized companies, improve the quality of manufacturing jobs, and provide better career options for more of Pennsylvania’s citizens.
  • Unleash the power of advanced manufacturing to drive regional prosperity through policies and services that are more responsive to the needs of manufacturers.

“It’s vital that we do more for manufacturing because it represents one of Pennsylvania’s largest sectors, pays better than most others and offers good benefits,” said Dan Fogarty, COO of the Berks County Workforce Development Board and Council Co-Chair. “The Playbook is a great first step toward coming together around how we can be there for the sector and for communities across the Commonwealth that both support and benefit from our great industrial employers,” he added.

The Playbook builds on Pennsylvania’s historic strengths in manufacturing and captures a vision for Pennsylvania’s future as a global leader in advanced manufacturing. Bob Zaruta, President/CEO at Northwest Industrial Resource Center (NWIRC), led a focus group of manufacturers in northwest PA to gain their insights to contribute to the Playbook.

Click below to download the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Competitiveness Playbook:

About the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Advisory Council

The Pennsylvania Manufacturing Advisory Council was launched in July 2021 with support from Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development to facilitate and energize the attention for manufacturing. The Council seeks to provide a stronger, more unified state-level voice for manufacturers – to tell the story of what Pennsylvania manufacturing is and what it can be.

It is critical that we focus attention on our manufacturing sector to ensure its viability in years to come. The Pennsylvania Manufacturing Advisory Council engaged with Pennsylvania manufacturing leaders through focus groups and a survey to identify what they see as the sector’s greatest challenges and opportunities. Based on in-depth research and input from over 500 manufacturers, the Manufacturing Advisory Council—representing private and public interests—developed Pennsylvania’s Manufacturing Competitiveness Playbook, which identifies three game changers and ten related recommendations to revitalize Pennsylvania’s economic performance in manufacturing. Learn more: