Gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf released an ad Thursday afternoon featuring his push to bring manufacturing jobs to Pennsylvania.
Wolf, a former secretary of revenue under Gov. Ed Rendell, abandoned a gubernatorial bid in 2009 to reinvest and restructure his business, The Wolf Organization.
In the ad, Made in Pennsylvania, Wolf referenced his kitchen cabinet business and explained that all of the company’s cabinets are made in America.
“Pennsylvania can do a much better job maximizing its manufacturing capacity,” Wolf said in the ad. “ My kitchen cabinets, Wolf cabinets, are made in the United States. The thing that makes that precious to me is that they are competing with cabinets manufactured all around the world.”
In the video, Wolf claims that American manufacturers can be competitive in a world market, despite competition overseas.
“What I’ve found is that American manufacturers are competitive, they can compete with anybody, anywhere in the world and American workers can make things as well, or better, than anybody in the world. They’re more productive, and better craftsmen,” Wolf said.
Although the candidate does not offer an established plan to bring manufacturing to Pennsylvania in the ad, he said that the way to do it is by connecting institutions of learning with “the world of work.”
“We have a lot of skilled labor in Pa. I think one of the things that we need to do is make sure that what we’re teaching our folks in high school, what we’re teaching our folks in our institutions of higher education, in our universities and colleges, are actually applicable for a manufacturing world — the world of work,” Wolf said.
According to Wolf, if the state can connect institutions of learning with manufacturing careers, it will set into motion an opportunity for the state to increase manufacturing potential.
“I think if we figure that out, and do a better job of that, we’re going to have a much more robust manufacturing economy,” Wolf said.
The campaign goes deeper into Wolf’s plan on his website. According to the site, the manufacturing plan will introduce students to the opportunity to work with local businesses via a grant initiative.
“As governor, Tom will make sure that students, specifically those engaged in vocational training, have the opportunity to work directly with local businesses,” the website says. “Through a training-to-career grant initiative, manufacturing businesses will receive funds to help technical programs and community colleges develop new training programs. One component of these programs will be hands-on training through apprenticeship programs, on-the-job training opportunities, and paid internships.”
The plan calls for the institution of a “cash-back” jobs creation program that rewards companies that create middle-class jobs in the Commonwealth. According to the website, manufacturing companies that increase their taxable payroll by at least $1 million, will receive cash payments of up to 5 percent the following year.
The web video was first posted on the Wolf campaign’s Twitter account Thursday afternoon.
“I think we need to convince ourselves that manufacturing in the United States, manufacturing and Pennsylvania actually go together,” Wolf said.