DuBOIS — There are a lot of good things happening in the Tri-County Area, according to Dennis Davin, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development
Davin was the speaker at Thursday’s Greater DuBois Area Chamber of Commerce Business Connections luncheon at the DuBois Country Club.
“This region is certainly not down and out,” Davin said. “The area has come back in a big way and much of this can be attributed to the folks in this room today who facilitated and promoted economic development and provided technical assistance to businesses.”
At the state level, there is emphasis on making Pennsylvania a better place to work, live and play every day, Davin said.
Here in the region, glass manufacturing and fabricating metal productions are proud traditions that are used to fuel the local economy, said Davin.
“But the day-to-day manufacturing sector is different,” he said. “Rather than changing technology the shifting global economy is reflected in what we make, how we make it and how we prepare our workers to take on the challenges of a sector that is evolving at an inconstant rate.”
Davin said manufacturing makes up a strong and critical component of the regional and state economy. It is the third largest industry in Pennsylvania with more than 550,000 workers making an average annual salary of $60,000.
To meet the challenges of our manufacturers, Davin said the state launched a Manufacturing PA initiative in October of 2017 to support manufacturing and link job training to career pathways to ensure that training leads not simply to any job, but to careers that provide higher pay and opportunities for advancement with Pennsylvania manufacturers in today’s global economy.
These programs benefit both the workforce and employers by creating customized training that is tailored to specific needs, and produce highly skilled employees while giving them access to a family sustaining wage and opportunities for advancement, Davin said.
Manufacturing PA partners the commonwealth’s research universities and Industrial Resource Centers to accelerate manufacturing technology advancement and adoption, foster manufacturing innovation and commercialization, and build a 21st century workforce.
Workforce development is at the top of the state’s agenda for a good reason, Davin said.
“As I and my staff travel across the state visiting with businesses of all kinds on a daily basis, one of the things that we hear consistently is that one of the top challenges is finding talent for the job openings they already have,” Davin said.