MFG Day Celebrations

Across the nation on Friday, Oct. 4, manufacturers are opening their doors, hosting tours, and giving workshops in recognition of National Manufacturing Day, celebrating America's manufacturers and recognizing them for their ingenuity in both the products they make and jobs they provide. On behalf of the Manufacturing Matters Task Force, I'm excited to be hosting a number of events in partnership with National Manufacturing Day – aka MFG DAYon both Oct. 3 and 4, across Philadelphia, America's “original start-up city.”

On Thursday, October 3, we are presenting a special City Council Resolution to salute and honor our Philadelphia-area manufacturers. We will also host two events in support of Philadelphia's manufacturers:

  • Coffee Council: Along with three local coffee roasters: Green Street Roasters, D & L Coffee, Inc. & Reanimator Coffee, who will provide free samples of their Philly-made products, from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. on the fourth floor of City Hall, just outside of Council Chambers.

  • Yards Happy Hour: We are excited to team up with Yards Brewery for a National Manufacturing Day Happy Hour from 5.30-7.30 p.m. Please come and have a pint with us and toast our manufacturers!

On MFG Day Friday, we're excited to join Task Force member Joseph Houldin, president of the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center (DVIRC), who will host a series of seminars at Industrial Revolution 3.0: Made In America at Penn State Great Valley, Malvern, PA.

Later that morning, we'll be joining Task Force members at NextFab 3D Printing Studio in South Philadelphia, who are opening their doors for tours and equipment demonstrations, as well as hosting students from MaST Community Charter School on Friday morning (11:30-2:00 p.m.).

I encourage you to support many other Philadelphia-area manufacturers who are opening their doors on National Manufacturing Day, providing opportunities to see a bolt factorycustom injection molding, and medical device manufacturing, among many, many others. 

And to cap off the day, join me around town for some of our "manufactured" happy hour specials from 5:00 -7:00 p.m. on Oct. 4. Mention Manufacturing Day to receive drink and food specials at our following partners:

Strangelove's
216 S. 11th St.

Resurrection Ale House

2425 Grays Ferry Ave.

Local 44

4333 Spruce St.

Memphis Taproom

2331 E. Cumberland St.

Sidecar Bar & Grille

2201 Christian St.

Kraftwork

541 E. Girard Ave.

or order online markys.com

687 N.E. 79th Street, Miami, FL, 33138

These two days should serve as a celebratory spotlight on Philadelphia's manufacturers. They not only make things in our city – they make our city great. The work of the Manufacturing Task Force will support these businesses and also provide a roadmap for how to get Philadelphia back to being a hub for American manufacturing. I hope you'll join us.

Cheers,

Bobby

Bobby Henon

City Councilman - 6th District 

Infrastructure Investment Critical to Manufacturing

I applaud Gov. Ed Rendell and Jay Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, for their recent argument in favor of investing in our nation's infrastructure (Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 18, “Worth the Investment”). To ignore how infrastructure stretches into so many different facets of our daily lives is a short-sighted view of public policy. It's a view not fit for a Commonwealth with needs as diverse as Pennsylvania's – or a manufacturing economy as important as Philadelphia's. It's an investment we can't afford to ignore.

Gov. Rendell and Mr. Timmons were also right in tying the importance of infrastructure investment to manufacturing. In Philadelphia, I firmly believe we are on the cusp of a manufacturing renaissance. That's why I pushed for the creation of the the Manufacturing Task Force last year. Along with my colleagues, including fellow co-chairs Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development; William Hunt, CEO of AgustaWestland Corp.; and Dan Fitzpatrick, President of Citizens Bank Pennsylvania and the more than two dozen task force members, I was tasked with helping to not just evaluate the state of manufacturing in Philadelphia, but to also develop a strategy that encourages growth in that sector.

There are inherent benefits to doing business here: our location alone should make our City a manufacturing center, with our proximity to other major urban centers and the wealth of energy resources available to us, but those are not nearly enough. We also need a workforce with the right skill-set to take on the new jobs in manufacturing, a responsive civic environment and fair tax climate. But maybe most important, we need adequate infrastructure that allows for the free movement of goods, services and people. What would that look like?

To compete in this rapidly evolving world economy, Philadelphia must fight for wholesale investment in transportation and energy infrastructure, including the maintenance and development of our current surface transit systems, bridges and roadways, ports, water and wastewater systems, along with modernizing our electrical grid systems and encouraging private sector investment in high-speed communications and broadband infrastructure, as outlined in the recent National Association of Manufacturers report. We can't just tinker around the edges – we need to go all in, because infrastructure supports every industry and taxpayer. But it also matters a great deal to the manufacturing sector, which should matter to everyone.

Why should manufacturing matter? The industry supports more than 12 million jobs in the United States – nearly 10 percent of the American workforce. 23,000 of those jobs are in Philadelphia – solid, middle-class jobs. For every dollar spent in manufacturing, another $1.48 is returned to the U.S. economy. That's a real return for investment at a time where taxpayers are looking to their elected leaders for consensus on something, anything. And it's also the right thing to do.

Here's just one example: with the Panama Canal expansion set for completion in 2015, only two of the 15 East Coast posts are equipped to handle the megatankers that will move through the widened canal – and neither is in Philadelphia. Deepening the Delaware shipping channel would allow our ports to handle 98 percent of all oceangoing ships, according to the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority. Packer Marine Terminal’s location south of the Walt Whitman Bridge also means taller ships can offload in Philadelphia, giving us an advantage over New York, where the Bayonne Bridge will have to be raised in order to handle these taller vessels. I don't remember the last time we claimed advantage over New York outside of when the Phillies stole Cliff Lee in baseball free agency in 2010.

We can't afford to govern by crisis, especially when it comes to infrastructure. We can't afford the cost, in dollars or the tragic potential loss of lives, of another bridge collapse or road wash out because we failed to meet the basic upkeep investment. We can't afford to see companies leave Philadelphia or choose not to do business here because of inadequate resources. We need to do all we can to encourage investment in infrastructure. We can't afford not to.

Bobby Henon

Philadelphia City Councilman, 6th District

Why Manufacturing Matters

Several months ago, Mayor Nutter and I met to talk about the ways that we might partner to create jobs in Philadelphia.  After a few meetings and a lot of discussion, we decided that we needed to focus on the manufacturing sector.  And so, we’ve created a joint initiative: Manufacturing Matters.  You can learn more about the task force and other aspects of this initiative on the pages of this website.

Mayor Nutter and found common ground on this issue because we share a common belief that investing in our manufacturing sector is crucial to the growth and vitality the City of Philadelphia.  Manufacturing means jobs.  And nothing matters more than jobs. 

I am on City Council today because 23 years ago I got a job.  

Over the years, I worked hard to move up the IBEW Local 98’s ladder.  First I was an apprentice, then a sub-foreman, then a foreman and then a political director.  I worked hard every single day. 

But I would not be here today if I wasn’t given the opportunity of that first job. 

My dream for this city is that every person who wants a job can find a job.  If you give a man a good job, you give him hope and you give him opportunity.  I don’t think that there is anything more important than ensuring that Philadelphians have jobs that provide a living wage. 

Can you imagine what Philadelphia would be like if every person who wanted a job, could get one?  Can you imagine how great our city would be? 

The solutions to Philadelphia’s biggest problems- problems like blight and food insecurity and homelessness and crime- are to bring more jobs to Philadelphia. 

My commitment is not to create a “business friendly city.”  My commitment is to creating a “jobs friendly city;” a city where every person who is willing to work hard can find a job that will enable them to provide for their family.  Manufacturing matters because our manufacturers provide the types of living wage jobs we need to make Philadelphia work.

I am truly thankful for Mayor Nutter’s leadership on this issue and his willingness to partner with my Council colleagues and me to make this project happen. 

I sincerely hope that every business leader, community leader and resident of our City will pitch in and help us in this effort.  There are a lot of ways to get involved and we need help from everyone.  When we work together, we can achieve great things.

Get Connected

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