A group of seven Pennsylvania universities is taking the manufacturing revolution into its own collective hands.
Media outlets throughout Pennsylvania have run an op-ed penned by the presidents of Penn State University, Drexel University, Lehigh University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and Temple University. The column highlights a joint-venture establishing a statewide investment in advanced manufacturing research:
To that end, we are pursuing an unprecedented collaboration: seven universities with a single vision for reinvigorating our manufacturing industry through science, engineering and innovation. Our goal is to support the entrepreneurial efforts that will make Pennsylvania a manufacturing powerhouse, and in doing so, create high-wage jobs.
The seven universities have taken a step back to look at the big picture. While research plays a key role in sustaining and creating jobs in the state, the opinion argues, workforce development is essential to ensuring that the research translates into production and jobs. "Universities are a hotbed of talent," they write:
We can use it to serve Pennsylvania, while better preparing our students — some 222,000 strong— to meet the rising needs for skilled trades, research and development, entrepreneurship and success in the workplace.
The fact is, we cannot revitalize manufacturing with old thinking, tinkering around the edges, working in silos and retooling timeworn strategies. Research and advancements in science and engineering are the bridge to the future and the conduit to creating high-wage manufacturing jobs.
While this collaboration is Pennsylvania-focused, its members hope to impact how the entire country operates. In fact, the title of the op-ed reveals those objectives: Made in Pennsylvania, but a model for America.