Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

PA manufacturing in spotlight/Recovery successes

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Oct 4, 2017 4:01 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, October 4, 2017:

We are in the midst of Pennsylvania Manufacturing Week. 

Gov. Tom Wolf said, "Pennsylvania Manufacturing Week and Manufacturing Day, (Friday, October 6) are part of a movement to build positive perceptions about manufacturing, draw attention to the amazing career opportunities available, and highlight the industry's important contributions to our economy."

The manufacturing industry could use a boost.  Over the past 30 years, much of the news about manufacturing focused on job losses and manufacturers shutting down due to overseas competition or technology.  However, manufacturing is still a significant part of Pennsylvania's economy.  According to the state, it has an $84 billion economic impact, almost 19,000 employers and offers an average wage of $59,000 a year.

Sheri Collins, Pennsylvania's Deputy Secretary of the Office of Technology and Innovation with the Department of Community and Economic Development appears on Wednesday's Smart Talk to discuss manufacturing.

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Sheri Collins, Pennsylvania's Deputy Secretary of the Office of Technology and Innovation with the Department of Community and Economic Development

Also, America is dealing with an opioid crisis that started with many people using painkillers that often led to heroin.  Of course, opioids is just one of many substances that have led to dependence - alcohol, methamphetamines, and cocaine all come to mind.  At the same time, there are tens of thousands of people who have worked hard to recover from substance use.  And in Pennsylvania that usually means they went through a county program.

We talk recovery on Wednesday's program with Kristin Varner, Director of Training and Advocacy for The RASE Project as well as a Certified Recovery Specialist and Mike Krafick, Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS), and Supervisor with Armstrong Indiana and Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission.


- two questions

why is it that applicants for jobs do not have "soft skills"?  to me this is a sign of some breakdown in society over all.

second question,  i would think that the tax structure in pa. and the regulations have also played a part on good paying "smokestack" jobs leaving this state.  i am in lancaster county, and all the jobs i see being created are low wage service jobs at malls, and most of these jobs are part time.   - Thomas, Manheim Township

- I'm listening to your show this morning and I have to say I'm really disappointed with the tone of manufacturing week.

We're talking about a program that exists that subsidizes companies to train their workers on new lines that they would create

The idea that the taxpayer is bearing the costs to train workers on tasks that companies make themselves instead of the companies picking up that cost is frankly not something to be celebrated during manufacturing week, and instead something to be condemned.     - John

- Every time I hear the term skills gap it always reflects badly on our education system     - Roger

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