City Manufacturing Task Force releases report

AgustaWestland, a helicopter manufacturer at 3050 Red Lion Road, hosted the news conference where the city’s Manufacturing Task Force released a 97-page report.

Among those in attendance were Mayor Michael Nutter and City Councilman Bobby Henon, a task force co-chairman.

The task force was formed in January 2013.

“We shouldn’t rely on the manufacturing jobs of our parents — that’s not the aim of this report,” Henon said. “We need to help our neighbors meet the educational demands of these jobs, make our city a more attractive place to do business in a tax and regulatory sense, and help our manufacturers start, develop and grow here — and stay here.”

Recommendations include expanding technical training programs at community colleges; focusing high school and technical education programs on science, technology, engineering and math; conducting a campaign to educate students, parents, teachers and guidance counselors about employment opportunities in manufacturing; and decreasing taxes and regulatory burdens on manufacturing companies.

“An important step to reducing cost gaps with competing regions is addressing the tax burden on manufacturing and creating a simple and competitive tax and regulatory environment,” Henon said.

After the release of the report, Nutter created the Office of Manufacturing and Industry.

“It is my hope that this office will bring together resources already committed, but scattered, across many departments and offices, while exhibiting a single-issue focus on a sector poised for growth,” Henon said. “Among its aims must be to attract and capitalize on private sector support, identify state and federal resources and promote advanced manufacturing jobs as attainable, family-sustaining options.”

To view the full report, go to ••