Fitzpatrick, Educators, Manufacturers Focus on Jobs

Aug 16, 2013 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Education
Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick addresses local manufacturing, education, and workforce development leaders at K'nex in Hatfield Thursday
Fitzpatrick, Educators, Manufacturers Focus on Jobs

HATFIELD, PA – Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) brought together leaders in education, manufacturing and workforce development from Bucks and Montgomery counties Thursday for a discussion about the future of local manufacturing and the need to train the next generation of high-skilled workers.

“As I travel around Bucks and Montgomery counties, connecting with local businesses, the one thing I’m continually surprised to hear is that even in this sluggish economy manufacturers are having trouble finding workers to fill their positions,” said Fitzpatrick. “American manufacturing holds the key to getting Americans back to work and propelling our economy- we need to find a better way to get workers trained for these good-paying careers.”

There are roughly 12 million Americans currently unemployed noted Rodon CEO, Michael Araten who co-hosted the event. However, studies find there are over 3 million positions that remain open in the manufacturing field largely due to a lack of skilled, entry-level employees.

“People need to know these stable, family-sustaining careers are waiting for them while manufacturers and educators must work together to ensure the right programs are in place to get people trained,” said Fitzpatrick. “By working together, we can find a better way to train American students for good paying, high-skilled careers in manufacturing.”

The event took place at K’nex, a division of the Rodon Group, based in Montgomery County. Fitzpatrick announced his ‘Made in America Act’ [HR 2667] at Rodon in July. The legislation would help standardize ‘American made’ products by creating an ‘American Star’ labeling program similar to the ‘Energy Star’ program- connecting American businesses and American consumers like never before.

“Americans overwhelmingly say they would buy American if given the opportunity, but what surprised me while researching the global manufacturing market was that a majority of Chinese would prefer to buy American products,” added Fitzpatrick. “The market is there- now is the time to connect students to future careers in a growing, high-skill field.”

In attendance at the meeting were representatives from: Upper Bucks County Technical School, Bracalente Manufacturing Cp., Bucks County Community College, Penn State- Abington, Ziametic, Superior Woodcraft, EF Precision Group, Bucks County Technical High School, SPS Technologies, North Montco Technical Career Center, Montgomery County Community College, PA Career Link- Bucks County, PV Racking, Moore Energy, ‘American Made Matters’, John Prosodt Machine, Philadelphia Works, Middle Bucks Insititute of Technology, K’nex/Rodon Group, Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board, Phillips Corp.

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Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick is serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He represents Pennsylvania’s 8th district which includes all of Bucks County as well as a portion of Montgomery County. He serves as the Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.