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Grinding on in Penn
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« on: April 22, 2012, 04:47:51 PM » Reply with quote

I like this article because I have spent so much of ma early machining career in front a production grinder like  Landis or a Universal like Cincinnati even tho they are not talking about grinding.

Industry analysts say they have seen signs manufacturing is growing again in Pennsylvania.

Manufacturing has been on the upswing for some time, said Eric Esoda, executive director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center, an organization that helps manufacturers prosper and grow through a nationwide network of experts.

"For each of the last six quarters, manufacturing has grown, and 2011 marked the first year in over a decade in which net job growth in manufacturing in Pennsylvania was positive," Mr. Esoda said.

During 2011, manufacturing employment in Pennsylvania grew by 2.9 percent, he said. Overall, Pennsylvania employment grew by 1 percent.

"While you are dealing in relatively low percentages, manufacturing grew three times as much," Mr. Esoda said.

At the 16th annual Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce Job Fair, Amy Clegg, owner of Express Employment Professionals said she was there because she is gearing up to hire a lot of people in anticipation of the need in 2012. Ms. Clegg said she plans to hire "300 to 500 more," to add to the 200 the agency already has in the fold.

Her company was one of nine employment agencies at the fair.

Darlene Robbins, president of the Manufacturers and Employers Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania, said she's seen proof the manufacturing boom is on.

"I just returned from a National Association of Manufacturers meeting," Ms. Robbins said. "In a room of 300 manufacturers, there was only one who wasn't sure if they would be hiring more employees this year."

Mr. Esoda says the economy is the reason for the manufacturing boost.

"It's largely a function of the recession turning around, and companies seeing that their products are becoming in demand again," he said. "They've gotten as much productivity as they can out of their processes, and out of their existing workforce. They need to add workforce in order to add productive capacity."

Mike Mikus, a spokesman for the Consumer Energy Alliance - a group that wants to see Marcellus Shale gas stay in the U.S. and reduce energy prices for the consumer and business - said it's the gas.

"We're in the very early stages of what is going to happen with Marcellus Shale, and there's already been a great deal of benefit to manufacturers, not only here in Pennsylvania but also nationally," Mr. Mikus said.

In Philadelphia, Sea River Maritime, signed an agreement with the Philadelphia Shipyard to build new tankers that will mean thousands of jobs, he said. Shell, he added, is going to build the first petrochemical plant outside the Gulf Coast Region in western Pennsylvania. Most people in the petrochemical industry are saying this will be the first one - not the last one, he said.

Mr. Mikus said a good amount of natural gas in this country is used by business and industry.

"Being able to develop a resource like natural gas, here in Marcellus, and other shale places around the country, will lead to a stable supply of low-cost energy for manufacturers," he said.

Manufacturers know energy costs make up a great deal of overhead, Mr. Mikus said.

"Manufacturers who spend over $1 million a month on natural gas are down to $800,000 a month," he said.

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