The Business Council of New York State participated in and supported a screening of a new independent film American Made Movie on Tuesday, January 21 at the GE Theater at Proctors in Schenectady. The film focuses on manufacturing, job creation, consumerism and economic recovery in the United States.
Ken Pokalsky, vice president of government affairs for The Business Council, participated in a panel discussion following the screening of the film, attended by approximately 400 people. Other panelists included U.S. Congressman Paul Tonko; Brian Lombardozzi, vice president for state governmental affairs of the Alliance for American Manufacturing; Dr. Quintin Bullock president of Schenectady County Community College; senior advisor, marketing and government affairs Traute (Trudy) Lehner of SuperPower Inc.; and President Alessandro Gerbini of Gatherer’s Granola.
“The benefits of a strong manufacturing sector cannot be understated; the manufacturing sector accounts for roughly 9 percent of total employment in the United States and supports additional jobs and economic activity. When $1 is spent in manufacturing it also generates $1.35 in additional economic activity. Our nation should be doubling down on investments in manufacturing and workforce training,” Congressman Tonko said.
Pokalsky cited the loss of manufacturing jobs upstate as a significant factor holding back middle class wages. “These manufacturing jobs pay roughly $17,000 per year than other jobs requiring similar skills and over the past 30 years New York has lost thousands of those jobs.
Pokalsky cited tax cuts aimed at stimulating in-state manufacturing included in Governor Cuomo’s executive budget as an example of state policy that would support upstate manufacturers and create manufacturing jobs.