Fifth Annual Bedford County Manufacturing Day hailed as a great success

JLG Industries employees hosted nearly 200 area students at Bedford County Manufacturing Day.
JLG Industries employees hosted nearly 200 area students at Bedford County Manufacturing Day.


BEDFORD, PA —Nearly 200 area students recently attended the Fifth Annual Bedford County Manufacturing Day held at the JLG Industries, Inc. Sunnyside plant.

The day-long event included tours of the JLG plant, information sessions on training and an overview of jobs available in manufacturing.  Student groups from all five Bedford County high schools participated in the event.

According to Andrew J. Tacelosky, JLG Chief Operating Officer, sessions like Manufacturing Day are critical to the future of JLG and American manufacturing in general.

“By participating in days like this, we are placing our future in the future’s hands,” Tacelosky stated.  “It opens up students to what manufacturing can offer right here in Bedford County.”

“We are competing globally and that means we need trained employees with a skill set that will add to our company,” said Jeff Rush, Senior Director of Advanced Manufacturing for JLG.  “The ultimate hope is that we will be able to hire some of the students we see at Manufacturing Day.”  He noted that they are looking forward to a diverse workforce.

According to Carl Barnhart, Director of JLG’s Bedford facility, the company has more demand for its products than it can build.  That is due t0 difficulty in acquiring materials and a lack of local workers with the necessary skills.

“The next manufacturing revolution is upon us,” said Cory Wilson, Director of Operations for JLG’s McConnellsburg plant.  “We are building the future of the nation, perhaps the world.”

Other manufacturers who participated in the day’s event included Bedford Reinforced Plastics, MDL Manufacturing Industries, Inc., Defiance Metal Products, Bedford Candies, Rockland Manufacturing Co. and Lampire Biological Laboratories.

“We’re especially grateful to JLG Industries for their sponsorship,” noted Terri Brumbaugh, Vice President of the Bedford County Development Association.  “We had a well-organized team that worked together to plan a successful event.  The Bedford County Technical Center and all of the school districts were fully involved,” she noted.  “We were pleased to receive many positive comments from the students, their teachers and the business representatives.  It was a great day.”

Jobs in manufacturing are seen as the Keystone of the state’s economy.  Pennsylvania’s manufacturing industry is the 8th largest in the nation, according to information from the PA Department of Community and Economic Development.  Manufacturing has an $87 billion impact on the state’s economy.

Manufacturing accounts for ten percent of all jobs in the Commonwealth, and those jobs are high-paying jobs.  On average, the annual manufacturing wage is nearly 15 percent higher than the average salary.

Manufacturing offers more than just financial benefits.  As an industry, manufacturing companies tend to be good employers.  A significant majority of manufacturing workers receive medical and retirement benefits – national figures place those numbers at 72 percent and 78 percent, respectively.