We Must Continue Our Efforts to Grow Our Economy

As the year 2021 quickly approaches, there are probably very few people – me included – who are not more than ready to put 2020 behind us. Our lives and livelihoods have been shaken and many routine parts of the pre-pandemic world are gone for good.

But, we can — and must — look ahead with optimism and hope. As researchers and laboratories continue their progress in development of a vaccine, we should prepare for better days for ourselves and our communities.

I truly believe the Erie community can emerge from the trials of 2020 with new vitality, ready to renew our efforts to not only recover from our losses, but to capitalize on our strengths and move forward.

The coronavirus pandemic taught us an important lesson about breakable supply chains. The quarantines that hit Asia shut down American factories before the virus affected us. It’s time to rebuild our local economy. This starts with a renewed effort by state and local leaders to promote new investment in technologies and businesses that can do more than simply replace the lost jobs and industries of the past.

Earlier this year, WaveClear of Erie was one of nine high-tech-companies in our region that received support from Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central & Northern Pennsylvania to promote their efforts to develop solutions related to the impact of COVID-19 on our Commonwealth and its economy.

WaveClear, a cutting-edge medical device design and development company focused on markets for ultrasonic therapeutic devices for the treatment of vascular occlusive diseases, is exactly the kind of high-tech industry that we need, and I truly appreciate Ben Franklin’s support of its development.

This should be just a launching pad for this effort. We have the resources and location to be a major player in the high-tech world. With three major interstates, we are a crossroads region, and we also have Great Lakes access, which provides substantial shipping possibilities here in the United States, in Canada and around the world.

However, we cannot and should not limit our focus to developing high-tech companies. It’s time to build the economy of scale that allows us to manufacture everything from electronics to clothing right here on our shores.

I will continue to work to bring jobs to the Erie region. I feel that our population decline, and related problems, such as crime and blight, are directly tied to the loss of jobs in our region.

Addressing this challenge will take a comprehensive and dedicated collaboration between community leaders, business executives and government officials at all levels. We must all be stakeholders in this effort. This is a battle that we can win together or lose individually.

In closing, I encourage local residents to visit my website, www.senatorlaughlin.com, and my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/senatorlaughlin/, to keep up to date with state government news and learn more about state services and agencies.


Contact:         Matt Azeles                 mazeles@pasen.gov  

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