Not only is October Manufacturing Month, but here in the Commonwealth of PA, Governor Shapiro also declared October 6th through the 13th “Manufacturing Week in Pennsylvania.” Governor Shapiro is not the first governor to recognize the importance of Manufacturing in the Keystone State. Back in 2017, Governor Wolfe launched the Manufacturing PA Initiative to support manufacturing in the commonwealth and build a bridge between job training and career advancement. With Manufacturing Week behind us and the final days of Manufacturing Month closing in, let’s look at the three different programs that make up the Manufacturing PA Initiative.
Training-to-Career Grant Program
The Training-to-Career Grant Program is designed to allow companies to identify and train skilled workforce for existing or new future open positions and build awareness of the career opportunities in manufacturing. The highlights of this program are as followed:
- Who can participate? Schools and nonprofit organizations can participate/apply.
- How much is awarded? Up to $200,000 per grant.
- An example of the grant in action: The Improved Milton Experience (TIME) received $200,000, which allows almost 2,000 students, K-12, in the Milton Area School district to participate in the Manufacturing MakerSpace program. The MakerSpace program includes learning about the history of manufacturing in an interactive way, plant tours, and interaction with members of the industry with specialty areas including woodworking, metalworking, CNC Machine, and more.
- What does this program mean for manufacturing organizations? While manufacturers can’t receive the grant, there is an expectation that the grant recipient will partner with a manufacturing company (or companies). With this option in mind, there is plenty of room for collaboration to help promote the industry or identify areas of focus for training and education.
- More information about the Training-to-Career Grant Program can be found here.
Manufacturing Innovation Program
The Manufacturing Innovation Program is focused on helping PA remain a leader in manufacturing by focusing on science and engineering talent in our home state. Funds are used for student research and related expenses to advance new products or process innovations.
- Who can participate? Any accredited Pennsylvania college or university with an INDUSTRY PARTNER/MENTOR and a designated project encompassing industry engagement, long-term job and business growth potential, and regional diversity across Pennsylvania.
- How much is awarded? Between $10,000 – $70,000 per project.
- The full list of the approved projects as of April 2023 can be found here, but here are a few examples of interesting projects:
- Optimization of a Green and Environmentally Sustainable Candle Manufacturing Process
- Absorptive Acoustic Barriers for Pickleball Sound Mitigation
- Development of a Sonication Method to Rapidly Age Bourbon
- Each project partners with a manufacturing company, as identified on the list of approved projects. If a manufacturing company has a project that’s in need of fresh research and a new perspective from a graduate or undergraduate fellow, participating in the program as an industry partner/mentor could aid that organization’s initiative.
- More information about the Manufacturing Innovation Program can be found here.
Manufacturing PA Industrial Resource Center Program
The Manufacturing PA Industrial Resource Center Program provides small and medium sized manufacturers in Pennsylvania with resources to enhance productivity sales, profits, and investments in jobs and growth. This is primarily driven through funding provided to designated “centers” whose goal is to deliver services to strengthen manufacture and encourage growth and expansion.
- MANTEC is the designated center for South Central PA, which includes Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Lancaster, Levanon, Perry, and York counties. Anyone located outside these counties can find their designated center here.
- These centers provide a wealth of information and ways to connect with other manufacturers in one’s region, like the 2023 SMART Manufacturing Conference that MANTEC hosted a few weeks ago.
- What does this mean for manufacturing organizations? There are resources available that manufacturers can leverage day-to-day and ways to collaborate to make a positive impact on manufacturing in their regions; companies can identify these opportunities through utilizing the Manufacturing PA Industrial Resource Center Program.
As PA tries to keep the manufacturing momentum going, we hope Manufacturing Month inspires organizations to take advantage of one or more of these programs.