– Rep. Rob Mercuri (R-Allegheny) hosted a House Republican Policy Committee hearing Thursday to discuss Pennsylvania’s role in promoting cutting-edge manufacturing and how to prepare the workforce for the jobs of tomorrow.
“The time to start innovating for the future of manufacturing in Pennsylvania is now,” Mercuri said. “To remain competitive throughout the country and around the globe requires us to adapt to the rapid advancements in our tech and manufacturing sectors.”
The hearing, held at the Hampton Community Center in Hampton Township
, featured two panels, one of which focused on the economic impact of current manufacturers in the Commonwealth and what they need to grow and expand here. The second panel outlined best practices to prepare the workforce for the jobs and industries of the future and what more the state can do to help.
“The impact of those jobs provide hope for working families through prosperity and opportunity,” said Joshua D. Kail (R-Beaver/Washington), chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee. “While the local manufacturing plant might be the premier employer, countless other small businesses will thrive as a result of the success in the local economy.”
Among the testifiers was Bryan Iams, vice president and chief communications and government affairs officer with PPG. “By promoting advanced manufacturing, we can make the products that will boost our economy, protect our country, and make life easier for consumers right here in Pennsylvania, while providing quality jobs in the workforce and a significant tax base for state and local government,” he said.
Another testifier was Matt Blackburn, senior manager of government relations at Aurora AI. Last year his company launched a program with the Pittsburgh Technical College to facilitate an associate degree in Science, Robotics and Autonomous Engineering Technology for the next generation.
“Programs like ours are helping to shape what manufacturing looks like in the future. They are programs that connect the digital work of computer science with the physical work of hardware and mechanical design,” Blackburn said. “The connection of these two disciplines — often seen as separate and disconnected — is accelerating the new manufacturing revolution that is happening here in Pittsburgh and across the country.”
Also offering testimony was Brian Kennedy, senior vice president for Operations and Government Affairs with the Pittsburgh Technology Council.
“The introduction of these new programs geared toward the incoming college students who are eager to catch this wave of technological development is a great step forward,” Mercuri said. “I’m thrilled that the western side of Pennsylvania is trailblazing in the effort to change the way we approach job training and manufacturing as a whole.”
Testimony and video of the hearing will be available at PAGOPPolicy.com