Manufacturing in Pennsylvania is vibrant, innovative, and a path to economic success for many across the commonwealth; the sector has been the heart of Pennsylvania’s economic engine for more than 250 years. Manufacturing is the commonwealth’s largest economic sector in terms of the size of its contribution to state GDP; in 2021, the sector comprised about 13% of Pennsylvania’s economic output. Today’s manufacturing sector is a source of technological innovation, great career opportunities, and the economic foundation of many smaller communities. A strong manufacturing sector is critical to Pennsylvania’s economic growth and essential to the economic success of its citizens.

The Pennsylvania Manufacturing Advisory Council was launched in July 2021, with support from Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development, to facilitate and energize the attention for manufacturing. The Council seeks to provide a stronger, more unified state-level voice for manufacturers – to tell the story of what Pennsylvania manufacturing is and what it can be. Given the importance of the manufacturing sector to Pennsylvania’s economy, Team Pennsylvania Foundation serves on the Council and provides support to its efforts.

The Playbook

In September 2022, the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Advisory Council released Pennsylvania’s Manufacturing Competitiveness Playbook – an actionable strategy document that identifies three game changers and 10 specific recommendations to make Pennsylvania’s manufacturing economy more robust and resilient – thus creating more good-paying jobs for Pennsylvanians.

Based on input from more than 500 manufacturers, the Playbook is grounded in and responsive to the current challenges and opportunities facing manufacturers in the commonwealth. The Playbook is accompanied by a media toolkit, a video providing an overview of the game changers and actionable strategies, and a set of infographics.

The Survey of Manufacturers

The Pennsylvania Manufacturing Advisory Council engaged in focus group conversations with manufacturing leaders during the winter of 2021-2022 and conducted a survey of manufacturers during the spring of 2022. This engagement with manufacturers sought to identify what Pennsylvania manufacturers see as the sector’s greatest challenges and opportunities. In total, the Council engaged more than 500 manufacturers who represent the diversity of the Commonwealth’s regions and industries. Findings from the focus groups and the survey are summarized in a report released by the Council: A Survey of PA Manufacturers.