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Wilkes-Barre, PA – The International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the world’s largest association of economic development organizations and practitioners, recently presented the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC) with an International Silver Award for its COVID-19 Resiliency, Recovery & Mitigation Efforts for Manufacturers. According to data reported by the U.S. Department of Commerce and obtained directly from firms that utilized NEPIRC’s services during the pandemic, the organization’s COVID-19 response allowed the region’s manufacturers to avoid 1,700 layoffs and 4,661 temporary job furloughs. Firms that called upon NEPIRC also reported the retention of $124.7 million in sales that would have otherwise been lost due to closure, supply chain breakdowns, raw material outages or other pandemic-related consequences. More than 1,800 regional manufacturers took advantage of NEPIRC’s no-cost COVID-19 assistance efforts during the peak of the pandemic – with more than 100 receiving highly-customized pandemic response solutions.


“This recognition by our peers is a testament to the tireless work of our team members and our collective innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, which allowed us to develop and deploy workable solutions and approaches for our manufacturers quickly and effectively,” said Eric Joseph Esoda, NEPIRC’s President & CEO. “Our team members were our greatest asset, followed by our I.T. infrastructure, which allowed us to transition to remote working environments and virtual services without missing a beat,” he added.


Within the award presentation, the IEDC applauded NEPIRC’s proactive approach to contacting manufacturers during the pandemic and providing them with free COVID-19 impact assessments and customized response plans. IEDC’s recognition also noted the value of NEPIRC’s informational webinars and seminars, online manufacturer guides, virtual CEO and Leadership networks and other services.


The award was conferred at a special ceremony during IEDC’s Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee on October 5th, which was broadcasted internationally. NEPIRC plans to celebrate the award with its clients, Board of Directors and staff at a later date.


NEPIRC is a not-for-profit economic development organization that provides manufacturers throughout northeastern, the northern tier and parts of central Pennsylvania with the training opportunities, objective performance assessments and world-class consultative and technical services they need to grow and thrive in today’s competitive manufacturing economy and thereby create good-paying jobs within their communities.


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