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Silgan Containers Opens Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, Manufacturing Plant

Sligan Containers, a manufacturer of steel and aluminum containers for human and pet food will expand its operations into the Keystone State by setting up a manufacturing plant in Upper Macungie Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. The company is expanding into a facility that will enable it to meet its growing east coast customer requirement and the training of its employees. The company is investing $15 million into the project, which will include the purchase of equipment. The project will create 29 new jobs over the next three years. “The Silgan Containers development in the Lehigh Valley is an example of the synergy of how manufacturing and product distribution grow together,” said Do

State announces industrial apprenticeship program

Department of Labor and Industry Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Eileen Cipriani continued the Wolf administration’s ‘Jobs that Pay’ tour today at the Gettysburg Campus of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, and announced a new industrial manufacturing technician apprenticeship. “Employers across Pennsylvania need trained and skilled workers and apprenticeships give young people and experienced workers the chance to earn while they learn,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “Creating new apprenticeship programs not only helps meet the needs of regional employers, but provides job seekers with training that leads to family-sustaining jobs.” After the tour concluded, Cipriani announced

Why Made-in-USA Fashion is Turning Heads

Faster delivery and customization are combining with automation to spur a return of apparel manufacturing to the U.S. From small startups like Massachusetts-based Yogasmoga, known for their high-tech fabrics, to widely recognized brands like No nonsense, Made-in-USA apparel and textile manufacturing is in vogue. But that wasn’t always the case. Apparel was among the first industries to be lost to offshore manufacturing. The trend for the labor-intensive apparel industry began as companies chased cheap labor to low-wage countries forty or more years ago. Today, only about 3% of our consumption is domestically sourced but the domestic industry is starting to recover. This is good news because

Are manufacturing jobs on educators' minds when advising the next generation of workers?

Ashleigh Royer expected to see several hundred workers packing shoes into boxes when she and about 40 other members of her high school class visited the Clarks Americas distribution center outside Hanover in early October. What the South Western School District senior did not expect to see was robots — robots and gizmos and gadgets of all kinds moving boxes of loafers and boots through a 450,000-square-foot distribution center that Clarks employees say is the largest building in Adams County. Companies in fields like manufacturing and distribution have spent the past decade or so fighting the perception that working with them means signing up for hard manual labor in dirty factories. They al

As boomer owners prepare to sell, a push for workers to buy

Your company's next owner could be sitting in a cubicle down the hall, assembling parts on a factory floor or laboring on a construction site down the street. That, at least, is the hope of a burgeoning movement concerned about what will happen to the thousands of small and midsized businesses owned by baby boomers in Central Pennsylvania. Most, if not all, of those owners will be looking to sell their companies over the next few years. While many will turn to family members, industry peers or even private equity firms, an effort led by a Lancaster-based nonprofit is hoping owners will at least contemplate handing over the reins to employees. "Widespread ownership transitions in our communit

Manufacturing in the U.S. Just Accelerated to Its Best Year Since 2004

Photographer: Jim Young/Bloomberg U.S. manufacturing expanded in December at the fastest pace in three months, as gains in orders and production capped the strongest year for factories since 2004, the Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday. Highlights of ISM Manufacturing (December) Factory index climbed to 59.7 (est. 58.2) from 58.2 a month earlier; readings above 50 indicate expansion Gauge of new orders advanced to 69.4, the highest in nearly 14 years, from 64 Measure of production increased to 65.8, the strongest since May 2010, from 63.9 Key Takeaways The survey-based measure of factory activity -- the year’s second-highest behind September, when storm-related supply delays boos

Survey: Manufacturers optimistic about what 2018 will bring

Manufacturers head into 2018 optimistic about their industry, according to a national survey from EKS&H. National optimism increased 18.1 percent year-over-year, while regional optimism grew by 11.1 percent and globally it grew 13.7 percent. In fact, about 62 percent of manufacturers surveyed expect their sectors to grow. “One thing that leads off the top is the remarkable optimism,” Chris Otto, a partner with EKS&H and leader of the manufacturing niche for that firm, told BizWest. In fact, one indicator of that optimism is the growth in response the survey got this year compared to last year. It’s the second time EKS&H has done this survey and there were more than 450 participants. There ar

Governor Wolf Tours All Sports America, Touts Collaboration in Reshoring and New Jobs Creation

Northumberland, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today visited All Sports America, a manufacturer of athletic uniforms, to highlight the administration’s support for the project and manufacturer’s efforts to reshore jobs from overseas to Pennsylvania. “In an era in which so many companies choose to move their operations overseas, success stories like All Sports America show that the best place for a company to grow and thrive is often right here in Pennsylvania,” Governor Wolf said. “I applaud All Sports America for their success so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing them continue to grow in the years to come.” In April of last year, the Governor announced that All Sports America would expand and

Small-scale manufacturing is on the rise in American cities

Rose Lerann works on a pack at Frost River in the Lincoln Park neighborhood's craft district in Duluth, Minnesota. - Derek Montgomery for MPR News Three decades ago, Duluth, Minnesota, was in the doldrums. A steel mill had just closed. Unemployment was more than 20 percent. Someone posted a billboard on the way out of town that read: "Last one out, turn out the lights." "We were as Rust Belt as they come," recalled Andy Goldfine, who in 1984 rented an old three-story brick building, bought a bunch of used sewing machines and started a company called Aerostich. His vision was to make motorcycle gear for hard-core riders to wear over their work clothes. "I thought if we made a summer coverall

Shaping the Manufacturing Workforce with Apprenticeships

Midsize manufacturers and supporting groups across the country are increasingly addressing workforce challenges through apprenticeships. Thanks in part to financial assistance from government, private sources and businesses themselves, companies are adopting modern apprenticeship programs to remedy the supply and demand imbalance in manufacturing. These initiatives are increasing the pool of skilled workers and creating a pipeline of higher-quality talent in the trades. “Because apprenticeship training is so effective, we’re experiencing a renewal of apprenticeships in the United States,” says Charlotte Weber, director and CEO of the Robert C. Byrd Institute, which supports economic developm

A real-life lesson in business succession

Dan Laird doesn't need a sales pitch on business succession planning. He has lived through it. Twice. He lost his longtime friend and business partner in August, a little more than three years after the death of another partner in the same business, Commonwealth Fire Protection Co., a fire sprinkler system contractor in Upper Leacock Township, Lancaster County. "We’ve been through a heck of a lot," said Laird, who is the company’s president and owner. The company’s former majority owner, Stephen Scott, died of a suspected heart attack in 2014 just short of his 56th birthday. Scott's father, John W. Scott, founded the company with two partners in 1977. Paul Hoffnagle, who joined Laird in taki

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