The industry partnership focuses on Berks producers

Manufacturing has always been a cornerstone of Pennsylvania’s economy, and that trend continues today, accounting for nearly 10% of all jobs in Pennsylvania. Locally, we have more than 30,000 employees at 507 manufacturing facilities in Berks County alone.

Manufacturing ranks first as the largest industry sector based on employment and gross domestic product (GDP). Manufacturing accounted for the largest share of GDP in 2021 at $4,799,310,000, accounting for nearly 20% of Berks County’s economy.

With a large base of manufacturing employers in the county, the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA) manages the Manufacturing Industry Partnership of the Greater Reading Region. This Industry Partnership (IP) is founded by the leaders of about 40 local manufacturers who come together to share challenges, opportunities and programs.

Supported by educational partners and workforce development organizations, this public-private partnership brings together all stakeholders to create solutions for sustainable change to ensure economic growth and success in the manufacturing sector.

GRCA’s aim in facilitating the work of the SP is to focus on the development and support of the manufacturing industry of the Greater Reading region. This local IP has defined priorities. Each priority area has been designated by a committee of action team members who volunteer their time and talent to ensure the goals are met to move the needle for our community.

Continuing its support of the manufacturing sector, the GRCA will host its 2022 Regional Manufacturing Summit from 8 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, October 26 at Reading Area Community College’s Miller Center for the Arts. The summit will be held during the widely recognized Manufacturing Month!

This half-day event recognizes and celebrates manufacturing and focuses on bringing together manufacturers across the field to discuss common trends, current challenges and exciting, future opportunities.

Tim Simpson, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, will deliver a keynote presentation titled “Manufacturing in the Metaverse.” Simpson is the Paul Morrow Professor of Engineering Design and Manufacturing. His presentation will be followed by an expert panel on industry trends and best practices, as well as a keynote workshop.

As part of this year’s event, Manufacturing Summit 2022 sponsors will also help support the next generation of the manufacturing industry. A portion of all sponsorship dollars will provide free admission to the summit for several students. GRCA and sponsors will work with local colleges and career and technology centers to coordinate efforts.

If you work in the manufacturing sector or your business supports the manufacturing industry, you won’t want to miss this year’s event. To purchase tickets and learn more about the summit, visit

Anyone interested in more information about this year’s Manufacturing Summit or the Greater Reading Region Manufacturing Industry Partnership can contact me at or 610-898-7776.

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