The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the weakness in our country’s supply chains and the consequences of relying too heavily on a global economy to supply the critical goods and manufactured products we need. We as a country somehow lost track of what’s important to us and turned a blind eye to lower standards and lower quality for what, on its face, seemed like cheaper goods. We see a different and brighter future built on our values and shining a light on what’s important to each of us. One that builds on our strengths and assets right here in our Pittsburgh region as we work toward reshoring the country’s supply chain and training and reemploying the greatest force of skilled workers in the world.
A diverse economy that includes traditional industry alongside our emerging technology companies is the surest path to sustainable prosperity for everyone. We need to make things in America, that reflect our values and placing a premium on quality while protecting and valuing our workers and our environment. Supporting and growing our country’s manufacturing capacity is a matter of national security, economic vibrancy, sustainable employment, and environmental stewardship. The Get To Work & Build It Here policy agenda is a commitment to put the Pittsburgh region at the epicenter of this movement. The natural resources and goods produced in the Pittsburgh region have had a very positive impact on our quality of life. In addition, the good-paying jobs created by industry and manufacturing can lift families up, open doors to prosperity, and raise the standard of living.
Here in the Pittsburgh region, we are truly fortunate to have a strong manufacturing base and to be sitting on top of one of largest natural gas plays in the world—the Marcellus Shale. The opportunities to develop our energy and manufacturing sectors in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner are now before us. The members of Pittsburgh Works Together have a strong commitment to our shared environment. Indeed, through innovation and advanced technology, industry and the workforce in the Pittsburgh region operate within environmental standards that are among the most stringent in the entire world. By comparison, a supply chain that relies on our foreign competitors, including those countries that lack a commitment to protecting the environment while denying workers their basic rights and opportunities, will surely result in continued job loss, further economic uncertainty, and harm to our shared environment. The Pittsburgh region can lead the country if we are smart, nimble, strategic, and above all, bold enough to prepare for a new reality. Some will say we can’t. Yet we are at a crossroads in our region, and our destiny will be the one we choose. We can either take advantage of southwestern Pennsylvania’s world-class assets in energy, manufacturing, construction, technology, research, and a skilled workforce unafraid of hard work, or we can watch this generational opportunity pass us by, leaving our future up to others. By adhering to the following policy recommendations, Pittsburgh Works Together believes we can set the region on the best path forward to lead the country, protect our shared environment, and create opportunity and prosperity for our residents and their families.