Nutter says high-tech factories will yield new jobs

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter made a pitch for more investment in manufacturing during a meeting Tuesday with “economic development professionals,” officials from around the country charged with growing their local economies.

The appearance was one of Nutter’s first talks to a national audience since he was sworn in as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Philadelphia used to be called the workshop of the world, Nutter said, vowing that Philadelphia and the Conference of Mayors will focus on making things again – this time in new, high-tech manufacturing facilities.

“Given the poverty level in this city and the educational challenges that we face, we need more entry-level positions here for people in this city,” Nutter said. “The green economy, the tech economy, provides those in ways we could not have imagined 10 years ago.”

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High-tech, machinery-filled manufacturing employs fewer people by definition. However, companies have expressed urgent needs for people with advanced math and science skills.

The Philadelphia conference was hosted by the federal Economic Development Administration, which has invested in several science and tech projects around the city. They include the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub and University City Science Center, which support the commercialization of technologies developed at Philadelphia-area campuses.

Editor’s Note:  In a previous version of this story, Energy Efficient Buildings Hub, a U.S. Department of Energy regional innovation cluster, was misnamed.

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