On August 26th, 2015, SCPa Works Board and staff were honored to host Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino during her visit to York as part of Governor Tom Wolf’s “Jobs That Pay” tour. As part of her visit to learn more about how workforce development investments in our region are driving economic growth, Secretary Manderino visited Weldon Solutions, a manufacturer based in West Manchester, as well as the PA CareerLinkⓇ office in York.
Secretary Manderino joined members of SCPa Works and PA CareerLinkⓇ staff on a tour of Weldon Solutions. Weldon Solutions manufactures and services the Weldon line of CNC grinders, designs and integrates robotic automation solutions to satisfy a variety of applications, and installs and services storage and retrieval and automation systems for bakeries. They provide customers with cutting edge technologies that increase performance, enhance efficiency and generate cost-effective processes in manufacturing and industrial environments.
During the tour, Weldon Solutions President Travis Gentzler demonstrated how strategic investments in training their workforce to adapt to new technologies and new markets has allowed the company to grow during challenging times for manufacturers. According to Secretary Manderino, “Weldon Solutions is a tremendous example of a company keeping family-sustaining manufacturing jobs here in Pennsylvania while competing and adapting in a 21st century global marketplace.”
After our tour of the facility, Secretary Manderino and SCPa Works staff returned to the PA CareerLinkⓇ to participate in a roundtable discussion with local employers, local partner agencies and members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly to discuss the needs of employers and their thoughts on the difficulties of finding employees to fill the positions they have to offer. A significant part of the conversation centered around the need for changing the perceptions of manufacturing jobs for both young people and their parents to dispel the notions that manufacturing jobs are “dark, dirty and dangerous.” Companies like Weldon Solutions are actively engaged in working with school districts to expose students to new career opportunities in manufacturing that they might not otherwise know about.
As part of SCPa Works efforts to incorporate a comprehensive Sector Strategy, Secretary Manderino’s visit highlighted the importance of investing in our region’s people and businesses to spur economic growth. Advanced manufacturing plays a significant role in driving our regional economy, and we are committed to working with companies like Weldon Solutions to craft employer-driven training solutions that help unlock the human talent for both businesses and individuals.