WILKES-BARRE — Data voluntarily provided to independent researchers by 541 small and mid-sized manufacturing firms across Pennsylvania throughout 2022 — and subsequently verified by the U.S. Department of Commerce — confirm that the statewide Industrial Resource Center (IRC) initiative generated significant positive results amidst a turbulent economy.
IRC is the Commonwealth’s flagship program for strengthening the competitiveness and resiliency of smaller industrial firms.
“Over the past year, nearly 2,000 small and mid-sized manufacturers across Pennsylvania called upon their regional IRC to help them address the lingering challenges of the pandemic, the emerging threats of unpredictable domestic and global economies and the persistent shortage of qualified workers,” said Eric Joseph Esoda, President & CEO of NEPIRC, the IRC that services manufacturers across northeastern, northern and north central Pennsylvania. “The outstanding results reported by the 541 companies selected to participate in the impact process conducted by an outside entity are impressive, but also reflect just a fraction of the true impact of IRC services upon Pennsylvania’s manufacturing economy.”
Over the past 12 months, manufacturers that utilized IRC professional services avoided 4,099 layoffs, while adding 1,226 full-time workers to their payrolls.
They also realized $398.9 million in retained sales and secured $108.9 million of new customer orders as results of their IRC assistance.
In addition to growing their work-forces and increasing top-line revenue numbers, companies that performed consultative projects with their regional IRC reduced their non-personnel operating costs by $43.1 million over the past 12 months and invested more than $212 million in new equipment, facility expansion, advanced technologies and workforce training.
Over the past three years, since the initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, services provided by the IRCs across Pennsylvania have enabled manufacturers to avoid 12,565 layoffs, create 3,506 new manufacturing jobs and increase revenues by nearly $370 million.
Pennsylvania’s IRC initiative consists of seven affiliates – DVIRC, Catalyst Connection, the Innovative Manufacturers’ Center (IMC), MANTEC, the Manufacturers’ Resource Center (MRC), NEPIRC and NWIRC.
In addition to providing specific monetized impacts, 442 of the 541 firms that participated in the study indicated that working with their IRC improved their overall competitiveness, and 468 stated that they anticipate using their IRC again in the future and would recommend their IRC to other Pennsylvania manufacturers. More detailed survey analyses are available by contacting [email protected]
NEPIRC is a not-for-profit organization providing world-class technical, engineering, consultative, and training services to small and mid-sized manufacturers across an 11-county region of northeastern, northern and parts of central Pennsylvania.
More information can be found at www.NEPIRC.com or via email to [email protected] or Eric Joseph Esoda at [email protected]
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.