Task Force will develop a strategy to strengthen manufacturing in Philadelphia
Philadelphia, January 15, 2013– Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed an Executive Order establishing the Manufacturing Task Force, which will evaluate the state of manufacturing in Philadelphia and develop a strategy to promote and grow this important sector of the economy. The task force will examine the challenges manufacturing companies face and recommend specific measures that will help support their growth and increase our region’s competitiveness.
“Manufacturing has always been an important part of Philadelphia’s economy. By focusing our attention on manufacturing, our goal is to do everything we can to continue growing this fast-moving sector and ensure that Philadelphia is poised to be the place where innovative products are designed and made,” said Mayor Nutter. “Establishing this Task Force will allow City officials, economic development experts, business leaders and manufacturing executives across Philadelphia and the region to evaluate the industry’s strengths and weaknesses, and create a clear plan of action to help position the region for future success.”
Manufacturing generates more than $1.3 billion in total wages and supports 23,100 direct manufacturing jobs in Philadelphia. Nationally, the sector is experiencing a resurgence as traditional and advanced manufacturing companies respond to increasingly favorable markets for high-quality and innovative products.
Mayor Nutter named the following people as Co-Chairs of the Task Force: City Councilman Bobby Henon, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Alan Greenberger, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman Daniel Fitzpatrick and AgustaWestland CEO Bill Hunt. “I want to thank Councilman Henon for his dedicated leadership on this issue and I look forward to working with this Task Force,” the Mayor said.
The Task Force members will be named in the coming weeks and will bring together manufacturing industry executives, policy experts and business leaders. These members will work with a consultant to develop an action plan that will encourage business growth and attraction as well as promote innovation. The City anticipates that these recommendations will help position the Greater Philadelphia region to compete for federal funding opportunities that will further boost the economy in the future.
“This announcement is the first step toward making Philadelphia and our region an epicenter for the new manufacturing economy in the state and nation,” said City Councilman Bobby Henon. “Manufacturing companies and the jobs that they provide will be the fuel that will drive our economy. We have a great deal of work to do, and I am excited about the opportunities that lay ahead.”
The Mayor’s Task Force will be comprised of up to 25 members appointed by the Mayor in consultation with members of City Council and leaders from within the manufacturing sector. It will be housed in the Department of Commerce.
“Through the work of this Task Force we will develop a strategy that strengthens Philadelphia’s identity as a home to manufacturing and positions us to attract the private sector investment and public funding opportunities that lead to job creation in our city,” said Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. “By convening leaders in city government, PIDC and the private sector, we have a real opportunity to lay out a sustainable framework for growth in manufacturing that will serve our economy for years to come.”
Dan Fitzpatrick, Chair of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and President of Citizens Bank – PA/NJ/DE, added, “I am very enthusiastic about the opportunity to help lead this Manufacturing Task Force initiative in the City of Philadelphia and our region. We are at a unique juncture in our economic history that has positioned this Greater Philadelphia region to cultivate and expand our manufacturing renaissance and grow jobs and skills in this vital sector. Our city and regional manufacturers have an opportunity to maximize our competitive advantages, from both a domestic and global perspective, due to the quality of our advanced, automated manufacturing capacity coupled with our ample, cost-effective energy supplies and our desirable location and related transportation hub.”
AgustaWestland Philadelphia CEO Bill Hunt said, “It is an honor to be invited to join this important Task Force as a co-Chairman. AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica Company, is ready and energized to support Mayor Nutter’s initiatives aimed at facilitating regional manufacturing growth. Having been part of AgustaWestland’s significant expansion and transformation in this region, I know that there is great potential for our team to leverage our knowledge and experience for the benefit of the Philadelphia manufacturing community.”