Saturday, September 5, 2015

Pa. factory math: Corbett cheers 74 new Wipro jobs, but GE cuts 950

The state is still bleeding manufacturing to cheaper places like Texas and Mexico

Pa. factory math: Corbett cheers 74 new Wipro jobs, but GE cuts 950

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Wipro Infrastructure Engineering, which makes industrial hydraulic equipment for Volvo and other big customers, is opening a plant in a Chambersburg, Pa. industrial park and hiring 74 people.
Wipro Infrastructure Engineering, which makes industrial hydraulic equipment for Volvo and other big customers, is opening a plant in a Chambersburg, Pa. industrial park and hiring 74 people.

Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett flew all the way to Brazil (where he was stiffed by one of his scheduled hosts, the Governor of Sao Paulo, but other meetings went nicely, he told us in a telephone news conference yesterday) to announce that Wipro Infrastructure Engineering, which makes industrial hydraulic equipment for Volvo and other big customers, is opening a plant in a Chambersburg, Pa. industrial park and hiring 74 people.

Too bad that General Electric Co. at the same time is cutting 950 high-paying jobs from its locomotive factory in  Erie, Pa., and moving the work to lower-paid plants in Texas and Mexico, as Bloomberg reported here, while Corbett was down South.

The GE plant will still employ more than 4,000, but demand for its product has slackened, GE claims, as U.S. coal use has declined with the switch to natural gas for generating electricity. So they're looking to cut costs, and Pennsylvania -- even Erie -- costs too much, compared to the competition. Which just goes to show it's still a Sisyphean task, keeping manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania. Add 74 here, lose 950 there...

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PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com, distefano251@gmail.com, 215.854.5194 or 302.652.2004.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

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