Eric Joseph Esoda, president and CEO of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC), kicked off a statewide legislative briefing on strategies to bring more manufacturing jobs back to Pennsylvania. The event was conducted in the state capitol and attended by members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and manufacturing experts from across the commonwealth.
House Majority Policy Committee Chairman Kerry A. Benninghoff requested the workshop as a way to provide House members with a deeper understanding of manufacturing reshoring and its impact on Pennsylvania, according to Esoda.
Esoda introduced keynote speaker, Harry Moser, a nationally recognized leader on reshoring and president of the Reshoring Initiative, who briefed members on the state of reshoring in Pennsylvania. Esoda and Moser then responded to legislators’ questions about catalysts and challenges that impact manufacturing’s return from overseas.
According to Moser, Pennsylvania ranks 19th nationally in reshoring activity and is experiencing success within a number of industry sectors including metals, plastics and textiles. Most reshoring activity, Moser noted, was attributed to the rise of Chinese labor rates and increases in American worker productivity. Other factors spurring a return to onshore production include shorter lead times for domestic products, higher domestic product quality and concerns over foreign disregard for intellectual property laws.
Experts outlined the critical steps that should be taken to maximize the number of Pennsylvania jobs created through reshoring, including increasing federal and state tax credits for skills training; stimulating company investment in lean manufacturing practices and equipment upgrades; investing in a new, updated image of manufacturing; and expanding resources for the Industrial Resource Centers to engage manufacturers in reshoring discussions and domestic supplier scouting.
“Legislators need to know that this initiative of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States and back to Pennsylvania is taking hold,” Esoda said. “The discussion that took place among legislators was healthy in identifying a future framework to accelerate these efforts.”
NEPIRC and other Industrial Resource Centers, along with the Nutec Group – an industrial planning, design and construction firm – co-sponsored the event. NEPIRC leads regional reshoring efforts by providing no-cost facilitation, supplier identification and expansion financing advisement to companies considering reshoring to northeastern and northern Pennsylvania.