Study credits IMC with job creation

According to a news release, an independent analysis performed by the Fors Marsh Group, an applied research firm based in Arlington, Virginia, credited the Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center program with the creation and retention of 5,943 manufacturing jobs in 2016.

Companies participating in IRC engagements also recognized $775.1 million of additional revenue, invested $174.4 million in modernization or expansion within Pennsylvania and realized $61.8 million in operating cost savings, the news release said. These results were accomplished by the IRC Program’s seven centers: Catalyst Connection, DVIRC, IMC, MANTEC, MRC, NEPIRC and NWIRC. Collectively, those centers cover every county of the commonwealth.

These results represent the summation of client-reported IRC engagement impacts gathered by the Fors Marsh Group through a voluntary survey process, the news release said. Survey participants identify the impacts as direct results of IRC engagements. Results are subsequently reported to the state Department of Community and Economic Development and the U.S. Department of Commerce, each of which funds a portion of IRC operations.

“Manufacturing plays a critical role in Central Pennsylvania’s economy,” said Dan Manetta, executive director and CEO of IMC, the IRC headquartered in Williamsport and covering 12 counties in Central Pennsylvania. “As part of the IRC program, IMC is the only economic development resource dedicated solely to meeting the needs of Central Pennsylvania’s small and mid-sized manufacturers. We do this by providing objective, expert advice and actionable solutions that help these companies become more innovative, productive and profitable.”

The IRCs provide small and mid-sized manufacturers with the technical, consultative and technology-based services they need to grow and thrive in a global economy. Such growth, in turn, accelerates the creation of good-paying manufacturing jobs within Pennsylvania, the news release said. IRC services encompass traditional manufacturing disciplines focused on improving productivity, product quality and profitability, but have also expanded into revenue growth, supply chain optimization, advanced manufacturing technology and Industry 4.0 areas, such as cybersecurity, additive manufacturing, smart factories and broadband technologies.

In 2016, the IRCs performed substantial engagements with 867 companies, the majority of which reported that their local IRC was the only consultative resource available to them.

Those companies reported the following 2016 results: Creation and retention of 5,943 jobs, retention of $634.4 million of at-risk sales, realization of $140.6 million of sales into new markets or new customers, operational cost savings of $61.8 million, investment of $174.4 million in expansion, including $95 million in facility projects or equipment upgrades and $48.5 million in new process or product development.

As part of another study, the IRC Program outputs are being analyzed by the Regional Economic Studies Institute of Towson University. Preliminary results of that study suggest that IRC engagements added nearly $3.75 billion to the Pennsylvania economy in 2016 and provide a return of $14.42 to the Pennsylvania treasury for each $1 invested in the program, according to the news release.

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