Eric Joseph Esoda, president & CEO of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC), served as part of a panel of experts on strategies that help manufacturers avoid layoffs during a Rapid Response Summit held in Harrisburg on April 19th. Over 100 economic development professionals from seven states attended the event.
As part of his presentation, Mr. Esoda highlighted the need for economic development organizations, consultants and government officials to get involved early with manufacturers that are experiencing business downturns. This, he noted, was important to ensure early action while business turnaround options and resources to implement solutions still exist. Esoda provided attendees with a listing of warning signs that may indicate that a manufacturer is not meeting sales, profitability or cash flow expectations and provided guidance on how to approach companies exhibiting fiscal challenges.
In closing his comments, Esoda urged professionals to use a “common sense” approach and “intuition” to identify companies that may be struggling. “If a company hires in one month and lays off in the next, no longer attends job fairs, appears to not be maintaining its facility, cuts back on its community involvement – these may all be subtle signs of financial hardship,” Esoda said, “meaning it’s time for support organizations to get involved.”
Last year, NEPIRC’s engagements enabled regional manufacturers to create and retain more than 1,500 manufacturing jobs and invest $28.9 million in regional expansion projects.