By Rep. Anita Kulik
Lately, I’ve had many conversations about manufacturing in the United States. The recent supply chain crisis has brought the issue to light, as many of us deal with a scarcity of parts, supplies or products. Many of the problems would not exist if these goods were produced in our country, as opposed to relying on foreign-made products.
Back in the day, our region was a hub for manufacturing. Steel production, glass-making and equipment manufacturing provided jobs and economic support to the people of Western Pennsylvania. Coal mining and other industries supported so many of the small manufacturing companies that existed in our area.
Many of these industries remain on a smaller, yet highly productive, scale. Communities like Robinson and Collier, among others, are home to many small manufacturing companies that have found success in our district.
While farming and tourism have been leading industries in Pennsylvania, manufacturing looms large here.
According to information from the Department of Community and Economic Development, Pennsylvania has more than 14,000 manufacturing establishments. We have the sixth largest manufacturing industry in the United States by employment, with more than 562,700 employees.
Some of the top manufacturing clusters in Pennsylvania include food processing and manufacturing, plastics, production technology and machinery and automotive material.
Other successful entities include upstream metal manufacturing, downstream metal products, and metalworking technology. Each of these industries provides tens of thousands of jobs to Pennsylvanians. Information technology and biopharmaceuticals also play large in our manufacturing industries and business entities.
The House, particularly the Commerce Committee, continues to address issues that deal with industry within our Commonwealth.
House Bill 2783, which passed out of the Committee, seeks to broaden the scope of the job creation requirement to attract more businesses to the Commonwealth.
This bill would amend the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Program by changing the minimum level of job creation requirement to include both job creation and retention, as part of the qualifications for Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority loans. The purpose of the bill is to help attract more businesses to the Commonwealth.
The Corporate Net Income Tax rate in Pennsylvania has long been looked at as an impediment to business growth in the Commonwealth. Act 53 of 2022 passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support.
This Act cuts the CNIT rate by five percentage points over the course of nine years. This should help make Pennsylvania more competitive and attractive to businesses.
Bills are continually being considered to better recruit and retain business in Pennsylvania.
The communities within our district are home to many manufacturing companies and the numbers continue to grow.
In the past few months, I have met with several companies and investors who are looking to bring their companies into our communities.
The convenience of our towns to major highways, the locations along the Ohio River, and the interest from our local government officials make our communities along the Parkway West corridor ideal for growing businesses.
Among our strengths are the incredible technical and union training schools, as well as universities, that offer excellent technology education and resources.
All of this, added to our inherent work ethic, makes our area ideal for job creation and growth.
I believe that our area will continue to grow in the fields of business and manufacturing industries.
We have to make sure that our laws support such development.