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Veteran Business Owners: Help Is Out There

There are more than 2.5 million U.S. military veteran business owners, the Small Business Administration reports. Fortunately, there are plenty of places and people who can lead you on the way to startup success. Get started! Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs) Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs) are one-stop-shops for veterans, service members transitioning out of the military, and military spouses who want to launch, buy, or grow their businesses. There are VBOCs across the country providing business training, counseling and mentoring services. VBOCs also offer two programs, Boots to Business and Boots to Business Reboot, to help transitioning service members and veterans of

Penn College to Sponsor Apprenticeship Programs

Pennsylvania College of Technology is addressing the manufacturing skills gap by sponsoring apprenticeship training programs for regional companies. The Pennsylvania Apprenticeship and Training Office recently approved the college’s programs focusing on mechatronics and computer numerical control occupations. As sponsor, the college will oversee all elements, including related classroom training and collection of records from the companies offering on-the-job training. “Through sponsorship, Penn College is able to bring companies together in a way that reduces cost and minimizes administrative burden,” said Christopher P. Ray, executive director of business development for workforce developm

Why Drexel is setting up a smart-fabric manufacturing and research center

Drexel University will house Pennsylvania’s first Fabric Discovery Center, a statewide hub aimed at manufacturing and research on smart fabrics. It’s a partnership between Drexel and the Department of Defense–backed Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA). The center, the first such hub outside of AFFOA’s home state of Massachusetts, will be housed in the Schuylkill Yards development. The plans will also bring together research and expertise from universities across the state that are also members of AFFOA, including Carnegie Mellon, Penn State University and Jefferson University. The partnership with Drexel is the first move in what the organization — a public-private partnership led

Austrian manufacturer investing $15.2 million, bringing jobs to south Bethlehem

An Austrian company that makes plastic packaging products for other businesses will be entering the Lehigh Valley for the first time next summer, creating 59 jobs. Alpla Inc. plans to invest $15.2 million into the project and create 59 manufacturing jobs over three years when it opens a plant at 2120 Spillman Drive at Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII in south Bethlehem, said Peter Irby, Alpla finance director, speaking from the company’s U.S. headquarters in McDonough, Ga. The privately held company employs about 1,200 people in 14 locations nationwide, he said. “We have some customers in the region, and as we were looking for space, the Lehigh Valley was a place that suited multiple custom

Steel fabricator’s growth galvanizes move to Allentown

It’s not easy to start a business, but on the flip side it’s an opportunity to do exactly what you want. For Gaston DiBello, owner of DiBello’s Metal Designs, that’s precisely what he found. “When the market crashed, that’s when I started, in 2008,” he said. “I always wanted to do high-end fabrication.” He was newly married and, even though the economic climate was unstable, thought the time was right. DiBello began his business on Furnace and 10th streets in Emmaus and for four years was the sole employee. While he enjoyed easily walking to shops and meeting other business owners, he was running out of space as commerce began to grow. So in December, he bought a building at 270 E. Hamilton

Manufacturing Isn't Dead, It's Evolving

If you watch the news every night, you probably think that manufacturing in the U.S. is on the verge of death. Fortunately, that’s not the case. I've been active in economic development for more than 30 years, and I don’t see an industry on its last legs. I see an increasingly efficient system that’s reshoring jobs and creating more opportunities for growth than the public might think. The New Face Of Manufacturing The black-and-white images of Henry Ford’s human-filled production line are a world away from the reality of manufacturing in 2017. Of manufacturing jobs lost between 2000 and 2010, 85 percent were due to technology-enabled automation, not companies fleeing the country. While that

Manufacturing a Better Paying Pennsylvania - Video

The Steel Valley Authority and The Century Foundation’s Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative hosted "Manufacturing a Better Paying Pennsylvania", a half-day summit in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, October 17, that brought together local and national leaders committed to revitalizing manufacturing and spurring economic development in the Keystone State. SVA's Executive Director Tom Croft is featured starting at marker 46:50. StartFragment EndFragment

Meet The Maker: Organic Climbing, Made In The USA

Meet the brand behind American-made crash pads, chalk bags, and backpacks that last a very long time. Organic Climbing earned its reputation for high-quality soft goods by using strong Cordura fabrics, expert sewers, and technical advice from top climbers. Rural Philipsburg, Pa., may seem an odd locale for this outdoor-oriented company, but the area’s robust textile industry made it an ideal spot for manufacturing. We toured Organic Climbing‘s facility last month and caught up with founder Josh Helke. We asked about his manufacturing methods, commitment to made-in-America products, and insights into the climbing industry. Organic Climbing Culture Helke and Organic’s two office dogs happily t

The Business Case for More Women in Manufacturing Leadership

The bottom line from five decades of research on women in leadership is that there is an irrefutable and verifiable link between women in leadership and improved business performance. The many challenges facing the manufacturing sector include recruiting, retaining and advancing top talent. Manufacturing needs leaders who will create the future and inspire innovation. Research shows that women are ideally suited for this type of leadership, yet women continue to be under-represented in manufacturing at all levels. The data and research related to women in manufacturing create a compelling business case for having more women in manufacturing leadership. Fortunately, there are many effective s

Pittsburgh Forges Ahead with Green Manufacturing

­ American manufacturing has been on the decline for decades. Like immigration and healthcare, the nation’s industrial state of affairs has become a recent point of contention, simultaneously an opportunity or a challenge to shape the future of the country’s economy. Pittsburgh has very publicly experienced both sides of this reality—polluted rivers, lead-laden soil, fair wages, and consistent community reinvestment. Regardless, manufacturing still represents the United States’ largest economic output by a considerable margin, more than the six smallest sectors combined (including mining, construction, transportation, and hospitality). So perhaps the debate lies not in the acceptance or reje

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