Made in PA
Quickly now, without looking up anything, name 10 consumer products that are manufactured in Pennsylvania. Hershey candy and Crayola crayons might quickly come to mind. And if you're a cook you might know that All-Clad cookware is a Pennsylvania product. But there are thousands of products that are unknown to many consumers, even to other Pennsylvania businesses that could use state-manufactured components in their own products.
State Rep. Neal Goodman, a Schuylkill County Democrat, said he realized while shopping at a Lowe's home-improvement store that many products with which he is unfamiliar are manufactured in Pennsylvania.
So, at the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, Mr. Goodman introduced a bill that would create a "Made in PA" program modeled on the successful PA Preferred program for agricultural products.
Under the agriculture program, the state Department of Agriculture and thousands of food-related business statewide work together to promote Pennsylvania products to consumers and to food producers, processors, distributors and retailers.
The state agency operates a website providing information on where to find anything from animal feed to meat.
Under Mr. Goodman proposal, the state Department of Community and Economic Development would create a website detailing products made in Pennsylvania and information on their manufacturers. It would serve as a reference for consumers and as a portal for businesses seeking finished goods or component sources for their own production.
Qualifying manufacturers also would be able to place a blue-and-gold "Made in PA" label on products that are manufactured and sold in-state.
The state government is a natural clearing house for that kind of information, and it has the resources and the data on-hand to do the job at minimal expense.
Mr. Goodman's idea is a good example of drawing inspiration from life outside of politics. The Legislature should pass the bill and establish the program soon after its return from the holiday recess.