Pennsylvania Manufacturers, IRC Clients Report Strong Sales, Jobs & Investment Levels Over First Six Months of 2020 Members News September 14, 2020 The Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC) reported that statewide Industrial Resource Center (IRC) manufacturing clients realized $252.4 million in new and retained sales and $15.3 million in cost savings during the first six months of 2020 as results of their recent IRC engagements. Those companies also invested $57.4 million in expansion, capital improvements and technology initiatives over the same period while avoiding 2,550 layoffs and adding 439 jobs to their rosters. Those results were gathered by an independent market research firm during the months of July and August and reviewed by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, NEPIRC and its IRC counterparts across Pennsylvania continuously worked with small and mid-sized manufacturers to address their sales, operations, workforce, technology, supply chain and workplace safety challenges. Services to manufacturers were provided through a blend of on-site and remote training and consulting platforms. In addition to working directly with manufacturers, NEPIRC and the IRCs played a key role in developing and launching the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Manufacturer Call to Action Portal, which accelerated manufacturer entry into critical medical device and consumable safety item supply chains, and the Commonwealth’s B2B PPE Interchange Directory, which connected manufacturers to providers of masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, disinfectants and similar items. “We are delighted to see that our advisement, training and consultative services are continuing to yield dynamic results for our clients and their employees despite very challenging times,” says Eric Joseph Esoda, NEPIRC’s President & CEO. “The engagement impacts and outcomes reported by our clients are testament to the importance of the IRC Program to the Commonwealth as manufacturers continue to rebound from COVID-19 and drive our economy forward,” he added. NEPIRC and its fellow IRCs are funded in part by Manufacturing PA, an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development. That funding allows the IRCs to work with small and mid-sized manufacturers that otherwise would not have access to consultative services in the latest manufacturing technology, operational improvement, workforce training and long-term business competitiveness disciplines. Independent studies have confirmed that that IRC Program yields a one-year return to the Pennsylvania treasury in excess of 5:1 on its Manufacturing PA support. According to the latest reports, Pennsylvania is home to more than 15,000 manufacturers, over 90% of which have fewer than 250 employees. Manufacturing constitutes the Commonwealth’s third-largest private employment sector, with more than 537,000 full-time workers.