Manufacturing will still support the Erie Economy, despite GE's announcement that they are shutting down locomotive manufacturing in the city.
Manufacturing isn't dying, it's just changing; that was the theme of today's Manufacturing Seminar at Penn State Behrend. Experts say Erie has to adjust to the new demands of the industry.
Down...but not out... That's the attitude in the manufacturing community. Local leaders say they're ready for the challenges ahead.
Beth Zimmer, Innovation Collaborative Managing Director says, "We can make any damn thing here in Erie, Pennsylvania. We have the capacity and the skill set and the work ethic here to make anything here... For someone that has been working in a typical blue collar job, the educational opportunities here are there to help them bridge that gap and learn the new skills that are necessary to work in the advanced manufacturing fields."
Dr. Ken Louie, Director of the Economic Research Institute of Erie says, "We're probably going to continue to produce lots of products, but not in the way that we're accustomed to. Instead, you will see advanced manufacturing processes such as digital or additive manufacturing."
Labs like those at Penn State Behrend prepare people for that shift.
They said they understand that GE is doing what they need to do to make money and that it's time to focus on entreprenuership.
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A new summer program proved to be effective.