South-Central PA gets major Shipbuilding boost from DCED, Manufacturers’ Association

13 October 2023- Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Rick Siger announced a $542,135 grant to support a new Shipbuilding Pathway Initiative by the Manufacturers’ Association that will train workers to help build submarines for the United States Navy. Secretary Siger made today’s announcement at Precision Custom Components, a regional training partner for the Shipbuilding Pathway Initiative.

Governor Josh Shapiro proclaimed Manufacturing Week in Pennsylvania from October 6-13, 2023, to recognize and highlight the vital role manufacturers like Precision Custom Components have in making the Commonwealth the sixth largest economy in the U.S.

“The Shapiro Administration is proud to invest in this initiative as part of our efforts to build a strong workforce, help people get jobs, and make it clear that Pennsylvania is truly open for business,” said Secretary Siger. “This program will spark interest in high-quality manufacturing careers and empower workers by giving them the skills they need to obtain a great career – and thrive within it.”

Through this new Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career (MTTC) grant, the Shipbuilding Pathway Initiative aims to train 50 machining/welding individuals and place them in local Navy manufacturing suppliers such as Precision Custom Components. This initiative will support and complement the U.S. Navy’s PA Talent Pipeline Program’s efforts that help source talent for the submarine suppliers.

“Developing the next generation of skilled Americans is one of the most critical objectives for the advancement of modern manufacturing,” said Brett Butler, General Manager of Precision Custom Components. “These investments will provide a step-change for this community to accelerate the growth of a talented workforce to defend this country. As a critical supplier to the Submarine Industrial Base, we are excited to collaborate with the Manufacturers Association to make this a positive impact for people in this region.”

Additionally, the MTTC grant funding was used by the Manufacturers’ Association as part of a match to apply for a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Defense. The Manufacturers’ Association was awarded a $4,908,960 Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program grant to help reach the U.S. Navy’s national security goal of increasing production from one to three submarines annually through a sustainable pipeline of skilled talent. The Manufacturers’ Association was one of only six sites nationally to receive this grant funding.

“Pennsylvania is home to the largest number of critical Navy shipbuilders in the nation, and the investments by DCED and the U.S. Department of the Defense will address one of the biggest challenges for our national defense – skilled talent,” said Tom Palisin, Executive Director of the Manufacturer’s Association. “This initiative will attract and train machinists and welders to access these family-sustaining careers.”

Key Facts About Pennsylvania’s Manufacturing Industry

Manufacturing is at the heart of Pennsylvania’s economy:

  • 6th largest manufacturing industry in the U.S. by employment
  • $113.2 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021
  • 564,700+ employees (approximately 9.5 percent of all private sector jobs in PA)
  • 14,000+ manufacturing establishments

Manufacturing offers well-paying, family-sustaining jobs in PA:

  • Manufacturing workers earn 33 percent more compared to the average for other nonfarm business in the state
  • $86,129 average compensation in manufacturing in PA, including benefits