Workforce Development

Support the Growth of Southeast Pennsylvania’s Talent

For manufacturers, filling open jobs has been an ongoing challenge in recent years, but the current conditions are reaching serious levels, as the number of open jobs exceeds the number of people looking for work.

Manufacturing plays a key role in the regional economy. Southeast Pennsylvania’s manufacturing sector brought in $24.2 billion in earnings in 2020, generated $712.8 million in taxes, and contributed $52.8 billion to the gross regional product of Southeast Pennsylvania.

Responding to this workforce shortage is now more vital than ever.

Programs for Engagement

DVIRC Dream Team

DVIRC Dream Team is a manufacturing career awareness program that recruits young manufacturing professionals from area companies to serve as ‘ambassadors’ for manufacturing careers by visiting targeted high schools and sharing about the requirements and rewards of their profession to students, teachers, and administrators.

The goal of this effort is to get more high-school students to think about manufacturing-related post-secondary education and careers.

What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?

The “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” (WSCAM) statewide video contest was designed to help build a strong pipeline of talent and give middle school-aged students a new perspective on exciting STEM career opportunities that exist at area manufacturing companies. The ultimate goal of WSCAM is to increase enrollment in technical education programs, which will support the local manufacturers’ needs for talent and create viable career opportunities for youth—two key contributors to local and regional economic stability. The students improved skills and career awareness through training, visiting a local manufacturer, interviewing workers and creating a short video to share with their peers and community in the video contest and awards ceremony. The student video contest received 129,897 votes over a three-day voting period. Both set records in this region’s third year in the contest.

DVIRC is proud that the state-wide winner of the WSCAM contest was Macron Dynamics and Neil A. Armstrong Middle School from Bucks County, PA! Watch their video here.

Manufacturing Summit

More than 5,500 small and mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs) serve the Philadelphia region, yet until DVIRC created the Manufacturing Summit, there was no single organization or event in the area that convened SMMs to network, share best practices, and discuss the state of the industry.

For the past seven years, DVIRC has hosted an annual manufacturing summit, which brings together industry leaders, local and national technology companies, large manufacturers, small to mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs), academics, makers, designers, and hardware entrepreneurs and students for a day of innovation and education.

The purpose of the Manufacturing Summit is to celebrate our community of manufacturers and cultivate new relationships and opportunities. Guest speakers share business practices, and inspire and challenge leaders to think differently about their businesses. Attendees explore and learn how to thrive in the midst of accelerated

disruptions not experienced in over a century, while collaborating with the diverse ecosystem of private, public, and academic thought leadership. Exhibitors demonstrate technology-driven manufacturing, reinventing American manufacturing ingenuity and leadership for the 21st century.

While the theme of the Manufacturing Summit changes every year, what remains constant is the need to address the workforce issue facing the manufacturing community, and the need to fill the talent pipeline as a majority of manufacturers move into retirement. Additionally, the rate at which advanced technologies are occurring is changing how modern manufacturing gets done. Each year, the Summit features a variety of speakers and breakout sessions specifically focused on addressing these and other issues, offering manufacturers new ways of thinking about how to solve their business problems to help them thrive and grow.

Labor Study Findings

DVIRC & MontcoWorks commissioned Lightcast (formerly Emsi burning glass) to conduct a Labor Market study for Philadelphia, Reading, & Lancaster. Here are some of the highlights.