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Manufacturing Excellence: Pennsylvania ranks among top 10 states in the manufacturing industry

Pennsylvania residents find fulfilling career opportunities in the manufacturing industry and this served as the focal point for the Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) 2017 Manufacturing Week programs. Throughout the week, DCED officials provided comprehensive insight into the many positive benefits the manufacturing industry brings to PA, including the wide variety of available careers in the industry.

As the eighth largest manufacturing state in the country, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its residents have been the benefactors of the tremendous economic impact that the manufacturing industry has on Pennsylvania and the nation. The DCED touted many of the industry’s positive attributes during its Manufacturing Week programs, including great employee benefits, strong job security and fulfilling work with ongoing professional development.

Across Pennsylvania, manufacturing, including the production from the food processing sector, generates $84 billion in annual economic impact and $59,000 in average annual wages, which is nearly 15 percent higher than the average salary for other professions across the state. In Luzerne County, approximately 15,000 individuals, or 11 percent of the workforce, are employed in the manufacturing sector, earning an average of $50,000 in manufacturing wages.

More specifically, Luzerne County is one of Pennsylvania’s top counties for food processing positions. According to the Luzerne/Schuylkill Workforce Investment Board, Luzerne County has seen a 2.4 percent growth increase in food processing jobs in the past five years, compared to a 1.2 percent increase across Pennsylvania and a 1.4 percent increase nationally. The more than 2,600 employees working specifically in food processing across the county have helped to sustain 782 indirect jobs and another 621 induced jobs that have generated $1.2 billion for the local economy.

Locally, food processing industry companies with a presence in Greater Hazleton cited having a workforce of dedicated and highly skilled employees as a major reason for their business success. In Greater Hazleton, statistics from a recent wage and salary survey conducted by the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce show that food processing employees earn an average salary of $19.50 an hour. The area also has a large pool of available employees, including many who have food processing industry experience or possess the necessary skills to hold a position in the food processing industry.

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