Pennsylvania earned its nickname as the “Keystone State” because she was an important piece, both geographically and politically, in shaping and connecting the young United States. In our work across the country and across the Commonwealth, it seems that Pennsylvania is once again living up to its nickname, this time as an example and hub of connectivity for a component of the burgeoning US manufacturing and energy revivals.
Pennsylvania is a keystone in US manufacturing right now because it has energy, a skilled workforce, and a prime location, close to major US population areas. Some examples include:
- Marcellus Shale – it is real, it is producing cheap energy, and it is having many positive secondary and tertiary impacts on the region and the US.
- Philadelphia-area oil and gas refineries are experiencing a revival – Delta Airlines bought Conoco Phillips’ Trainer refinery; Energy Transfer Partners bought Sunoco (based in Philadelphia), while Sunoco’s refinery in Marcus Hook is “being groomed as a potential multi-purpose site for storing, handling and processing fuel and by-products of the Marcellus Shale region.”
- Close proximity to large majority of US population – timing and location mean something again; cheap labor is not the most important factor anymore.
- Pennsylvania has deep-seated culture in manufacturing that includes skilled workers.
- Pennsylvania has a Republican governor and a Republican legislature (House and Senate) that is creating legislation and regulation that is more balanced than the approaches taken in neighboring states, such as New York.
Could it be that as Pennsylvania goes, so goes the country? Keep an eye out!