Corbett Makes Business Trip To Saxonburg

Valley News Dispatch

Gov. Tom Corbett yesterday pitched state budget provisions that he says will create and sustain jobs to about 150 Du-Co Ceramics employees gathered in the company’s Saxonburg plant.

Corbett has made several such visits to busiinesses statewide in the past month.

“We’re always trying to find more pieces of businesses, as any manufacturing company is,” said Du-Co President Thomas Arbanas. “So his platform falls right in line with what we’re trying to accomplish here.”

Du-Co, founded in 1949, ships more than 1 million ceramic parts per day from the plant to locations worldwide.

Corbett praised the company as an example of the kind of business the state needs to support to bring real job growth to the region.

The company shut down its operations Thursday to allow employees on site to gather for Corbett’s talk. A question-and-answer session followed. Questions ranged from education funding to rising gasoline prices, Arbanas said.

Corbett’s $27.1 billion 2012-13 budget proposal does not call for a state tax hike and contains four programs focused on jobs and manufacturing.

His “Jobs First PA” plan would provide a single point of access between job creators and state government to shorten the time it takes for an idea to become an operating business, allow unemployed workers to receive benefits while getting job training from companies with available jobs, and provide increased grants for college and trade school students who are training for high-demand occupations.

Corbett’s Liberty Financing Authority, which he proposed last year, is being finalized. It will provide the flexibility to direct loans to expanding businesses.

Prior to his talk, Corbett met with Arbanas and Du-Co CEO Lora Cooper Rothen. They talked about potential business opportunities related to natural gas drilling into the Marcellus shale.

“There are some ceramic components involved, and we’re trying to find ways to get into that business opportunity,” Arbanas said. “He seemed very willing to work with us on that. He seemed willing to put us in touch with the right people.”

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