The launch meeting for a Next Generation Manufacturing Partnership in Northwestern PA was held November 6th at Honeywell in Franklin, PA. This initial meeting, facilitated by subject matter expert Francie Genz, had great participation from manufacturing leaders and representation from most of the eight counties in the NW PA region. The outcome from the discussion resulted in the manufacturers defining three key priority areas to focus on for the most immediate impact to strengthen manufacturing in the region. Follow-up conference call meetings were set for each of the action teams with manufacturer champions who signed up at the launch meeting. Conference call meetings were held just before Thanksgiving for a facilitator-led discussion to further define next steps for action. The three Priority Groups include: 1) Branding the Region; 2) Manufacturing Branding/Careers; and 3) Business to Business (B2B) Connections. Additional conference call meetings are being planned for the coming weeks.

NWIRC is currently the convener for the Next Gen Manufacturing Partnership meetings, with collaboration from a regional support team encompassing education, workforce development, economic development and other organizations throughout the communities. If you are an executive leader at a regional manufacturing company (in Erie, Crawford, Warren, Mercer, Venango, Clarion, Forest, or Lawrence Counties), please contact Laurie Knoll ( to be placed on the list for future in-person meetings, conference calls, and updates.