Last month, just ahead of the holiday season and in time for the New Year, the City of Philadelphia’s Manufacturing Task Force released Manufacturing Growth Strategy for Philadelphia, a detailed analysis with recommendations to strengthen and grow the manufacturing industry in the Greater Philadelphia region. The report is the culmination of a year of work by the task force, which was established by Mayor Michael Nutter in January 2013.

In defining the manufacturing sector in the city and the region, the task force noted that it is broad and diverse, comprised of many different product offerings and employing people of varying skill levels.  Statistics cited in the report indicate the importance of manufacturing to Philadelphia and the surrounding ten counties: 163,000 jobs and over $105 billion in economic output in the region.

The key issues identified and recommendations made by the task force were in the following areas:

  • Talent – Expanding technical training programs and increasing the focus in education on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM);
  • Innovation – Expanding linkages and collaboration between local universities and manufacturers;
  • Access to Capital – Creating new loan and equity funds for manufacturers and expanding access to loan programs;
  • Advocacy – Conducting image and business attraction campaigns for the industry;
  • Energy – Increasing the supply of natural gas to manufacturers and promoting the use of energy efficient technologies;
  • Government and Regulation – Decreasing the tax burden on manufacturers and enhancing communication between government and the industry.

According to the press release announcing this report, the implementation of some of these recommendations has already started, reflecting the importance of this effort and an immediate commitment toward its success. A copy of the full report and executive summary can be downloaded here.


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