Manufacturing council advises influence on curriculum, less taxes in report to Corbett

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Giving industry more input on curriculum, a statewide energy plan, investing in infrastructure, and reducing taxes are among the recommendations issued today by an industry group advising Gov. Tom Corbett on manufacturing policy.

The governor's Manufacturing Advisory Council issued 15 broad recommendations targeting work force training, promoting exports, lightening the tax and regulatory burden and other issues manufacturers face.

The task force was co-chaired by state Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker and Carlos M. Cardoso, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Kennametal, a Latrobe-area tool maker.

Its report said manufacturing employees 574,000 Pennsylvanians, or 10 percent of the state's work force. The industry accounts for more than 12 percent of the state's economy and 90 percent of its exports, according to the report.

Council members said allowing industry to be more involved in the curriculum taught in schools and workforce development programs would produce more job applicants with the skills employers need.

The state should make sure school-funding formulas do not punish schools that offer career and technical education programs, according to the report.

On the tax front, council members called for creating accounts similar to IRAs, which provide workers with tax benefits for saving for retirement.

The Manufacturing Reinvestment Accounts would encourage manufacturers to save income in a tax-free or reduced tax investments and spend the money later on research and development, new equipment, or training, council members said.

They recommended developing a statewide energy plan to build Pennsylvania's energy independence and competitiveness.

They said any state energy-related mandates should not exceed federal requirements.

"A goal should be to have Pennsylvania energy costs be the lowest and most stable in the United States," according to the report.

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Len Boselovic: lboselovic@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1941.


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