The U.S. Secretary of Labor visited Philadelphia Wednesday for a look at a manufacturing plant in Port Richmond. The stop followed President Barack Obama’s call for developing more middle-class jobs during his State of the Union address .Tuesday night
Secretary Thomas Perez toured the PTR Baler and Compactor plant on Ontario Street, actually starting a welding robot as part of his review of the manufacturing facility in the heart of the city.
“They are not afraid of innovation, they embrace innovation here. And what they’ve been able to do is use robotics to become more efficient to they can get more business,” Perez said. “This is the example that the president talks about all the time when he talks about America at its best.”
Mayor Jim Kenney called positions at the company the kind of good middle-class jobs Philadelphia needs.
“It’s a great success story for Philadelphia that we can replicate — with the right amount of training and the right partnership with the federal state government and the local business community here,” Kenney said. “And we’re looking forward to doing this.”
Mike Savage, president of PTR Baler and Compactor, said his firm does everything it can to make sure his workers have the right training.
“A lot of the training programs here that we talked about are partially subsidized by federal funds,” he added.
The company was heralded as a model for other manufacturers to follow during the stop by Perez.