A state official urged local business leaders to take advantage of opportunities at a time when manufacturing statewide is on the increase.
Tom Palisin, state manufacturing ombudsman, outlined for Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce members some of the recommendations by the Governor's Manufacturing Advisory Council Report.
The study, he said, focused on workforces, new markets, access to capital and making government work better.
Palisin said communities should adopt schools to connect students to local jobs and expand career and technical education.
He briefly noted the need for developing a state energy plan, increasing exports, improving collaborations among business, government, universities and trade organizations.
Palisin also noted the presence of the natural gas drilling industry.
"As you know, we are a hot spot," he said.
The industry, he said, has helped spur economic activity.
But companies that think creatively can benefit the most from the industry.
He said businesses can identify where they fit within the industry, define their products, partner with suppliers, and consider focusing on environmental and health care safety requirements that are part of the industry's standards.
Palisin said the state is beginning to benefit from companies leaving foreign markets due to increased costs to operate overseas.
"Manufacturing is back on top as the No. 1 economic sector in Pennsylvania," he said. "There is a lot of hiring going on."
Moreover, he said the state has many highly skilled workers in manufacturing that provide diverse opportunities.
Palisin said as an ombudsman he is involved in helping companies resolve issues and access resources.