U.S. Senator Robert Casey of Pennsylvania recently visited Gorell Windows & Doors’ manufacturing facility in Indiana, PA. Through my involvement as President of the Indiana County Manufacturing Consortium—and because Gorell is the largest manufacturing employer in the county—Senator Casey requested a roundtable discussion with representatives from Gorell and several other manufacturers in our area. Senator Casey, who was recently appointed as Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, wanted to discuss our companies’ needs as an industry to help him as he forms a national policy on manufacturing. We were honored to host Senator Casey, and to have an open forum in which to share our views and needs regarding manufacturing, both as it impacts Indiana County and the entire industry. I think the feedback Senator Casey received will be very helpful to him in creating national policies for the manufacturing sector. Gorell and the other members of our consortium shared views on the challenges we face in workforce development, funding for training programs, the challenges of excessive regulations especially in the area of environmental issues, how coal and gas resources can positively impact the manufacturing sector and more. One of the key points mentioned was the need for all levels of skilled and qualified workers, and funding for programs that promote vocational education as a viable alternative to college for high school graduates.
Senator Casey spoke of the need for a cohesive national manufacturing strategy. He said the country has some elements of one, but not anything that is fully realized. Our hope is that this roundtable event will help all manufacturers and be a positive springboard for getting our country pointed in the right direction.
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