Forge The Future, a business-led initiative in support of Pennsylvania’s economic and community development, has traveled a purposeful path since initiated late in 2016. First was a McKinsey & Company econometric study setting forth broad strategies for realizing the potential of an amazing asset: the third largest natural gas field on Earth. Next was “Ideas for Action” – a statewide workshop convening leaders in business, government and beyond to brainstorm how those strategies could be acted upon. Those two reports can be accessed at paforgethefuture.com.
When we began socializing this work, it was met with enthusiasm and optimism. The reaction was often grounded in something simple: a vision for growth. Forge The Future represented the articulation of opportunity – on a once-in-a-generation scale – to dramatically improve prospects to increase jobs, in-migration and wealth for individuals, local communities and the Commonwealth.
To be sure, the need is compelling. With Pennsylvania’s lackluster economic and employment growth, and in many years more people leaving than arriving, some may conclude that the amenities and quality of life we enjoy could be threatened if we do not more aggressively harness the resources available to protect and enhance them. Infrastructure, social services, education, health and wellness and cultural assets are among the community needs that cannot be sufficiently and sustainably served in a stagnant, status quo economic setting.
Pennsylvanians are winners. We’re known for creating and building things, and for doing it together with an unparalleled commitment to succeed. With the resources under our feet, we can win – and we can do it with innovative technologies that serve our economic and environmental interests.
Going forward, Forge The Future will be publishing the story of how energy and advanced manufacturing – automated, data/analytics and robotics driven – can be grown in Pennsylvania to make us a national and international leader. Where they are key elements of a diverse economy alongside technology, health care, education and more. Where people are drawn for opportunity and quality of life second-to-none. And where we are smart and committed enough to manage and leverage a tremendous natural resource for the benefit of all members of our towns, cities and Commonwealth.
We look forward to helping Pennsylvania Forge The Future, and to serving you. More to come!