Burns commends creation of Pa. Manufacturing Call to Action portal to combat COVID-19

Saturday announcement dovetails with Burns’ March 18 request

EBENSBURG, April 6 – Following up on a coronavirus-fighting manufacturing mobilization as state Rep. Frank Burns called for nearly three weeks ago, on Saturday Gov. Tom Wolf announced the creation of a state-level mechanisms to boost production of COVID-19 related products.

Burns said the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Call to Action Portal will:

•  Match manufacturers and distributors to fill specific supply chain needs to meet increasing demands for medical supplies and related products.
•  Assist manufacturers that have workforce needs or gaps and aid them in identifying skilled workers.
•  Identify manufacturers that can pivot or innovate to fulfill the demand for medical supplies and related products.

Burns said the state-level effort falls philosophically in line with his March 18 call for the governor to utilize his Action Team to marshal Pennsylvania’s manufacturing might to produce much-needed ventilators.

“I commend this effort to tap into our state’s diverse and skilled manufacturing sector, which is what I sought weeks ago,” Burns said. “As lives are on the line, we must leave no stone unturned as we seek to identify opportunities and solutions.”

Burns urged any local company that thinks it could contribute during this time of great need to visit the portal at: https://spportal.dot.pa.gov/ppeinventory/pages/mschain.aspx

Burns said he’s particularly pleased to see the mobilization effort shift into gear now, as he recently asked the governor to make sure rural areas like Cambria County get a fair share of masks and other protective medical gear. Burns made that request after consulting with Conemaugh Health System officials who identified it as their No. 1 priority.

For the longer term, Burns has announced a package of “American Made” legislation designed to create thousands of good-paying jobs by bringing manufacturing – including that of prescription medicines – back from foreign supply chains, including China.

“In a time of crisis such as this, the immediate concern must be saving lives – the lives of people who fall ill, but also the lives of our brave workers in the medical field,” Burns said. “But in the long run, we need to focus on making sure we never again face a situation where we can’t produce enough ventilators, hospital-grade face masks, and gowns and other protective gear our doctors, nurses, EMTs and other first responders need to do their jobs.”