Last Friday, Steel Valley Authority Founder and Director Tom Croft met with the Ownership Conversion Project partners to present about the Authority's programs, including their best practice Early Warning System.
The Steel Valley Authority, which is based in Pittsburgh and run by Tom Croft, has been using $1.5 million a year in WIOA funds to support their Strategic Early Warning Network. They have offices in 5 communities across the state. Tom has been influential in helping shape the language of WIOA to incorporate innovative approaches to increase their ability to identify problems in manufacturing companies before they become a crisis. Through this approach, the SVA has saved 26,000 jobs since 1993 and $45.4M in unemployment compensation costs for PA in the past 5 years.
Croft provided a detailed presentation on the work of their SEWN (Strategic Early Warning Network) initiative which has been helping manufacturing companies retain workers and keep their doors open for over 30 years. He also touched on their LATTE (Layoff Aversion Training and Technical Expertise) and Heartland Programs, both of which have helped the SVA become an international leader in layoff avoidance and socially inclusive, environmentally friendly manufacturing industry advocacy programs and policy.
Guests included senior staffers from Senator Dick Durbin's office, Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Raja Krishnamoorthi's offices, who all share an interest in supporting the manufacturing industry. They all recognize the unmatched potential for the manufacturing sector to create high-wage jobs, improve the overall economy and advocate for responsible stewardship of the environment. The assembled group seemed energized by what they heard and plans are underway to explore applying some of the SVA practices in Chicagoland.