During its 25th anniversary year, Mantec is celebrating by doing what it does best — helping midstate manufacturing businesses.
York-based Mantec is a nonprofit that works to strengthen the manufacturing companies within its nine-county reach by being a resource for businesses in a global economy they sometimes aren't equipped for.
In addition to the York headquarters, the company also has field offices in Lebanon, Lancaster and Chambersburg.
"We pride ourselves on being able to provide whatever a manufacturer needs," Mantec President and CEO John W. Lloyd said. "Every manufacturing company needs something. We haven't found a perfect manufacturer yet. We don't have expertise in every area, but we have people on staff who might, and if they don't, we have contacts who do have the expertise manufacturing companies are looking for."
Lloyd talked with the Business Journal recently about Mantec and the future of manufacturing in the midstate.
Q: What is Mantec?
A: We're a resource for manufacturers to improve their business. We drive strength in manufacturing through continuous growth and help manufacturing companies not only compete but thrive in today's global marketplace, which has become too complicated for one company to have all the expertise it needs to succeed in all aspects of the business. We come in to help manufacturers bridge the gaps.
How long has Mantec been around?
We're celebrating our 25th year this year. We were started in 1988. I think it's important to know that when we formed in 1988, manufacturing was the biggest industry in Pennsylvania and remains the biggest today. Some think that agriculture or tourism is, but manufacturing is clearly No. 1 in every key category.
I know agriculture likes to claim being No. 1, but you can only make that claim if you count everything food related, from the manufacturing to the distribution centers like restaurants and grocery stores. But manufacturing leads all sectors in gross state product at about $71 billion in Pennsylvania.
Why is manufacturing so important?
Manufacturing creates growth. You're converting raw materials into a finished product, and invoices are being created, bringing dollars into the company through a manufacturing company. In turn, those people who make that money go out to restaurants and hotels and service establishments, and the money gets recycled many times over. Manufacturing really creates wealth for an economy.
Where do you see the future of manufacturing in both Central Pennsylvania and the country headed?
I think the future is bright. We're definitely going through a period of change that won't stop for a while. But it's very encouraging that things are happening.
One of the things we see now is the trend toward reshoring (companies that took operations overseas now returning to the states). We're seeing more and more of that. Companies that fled to go overseas are rethinking and re-evaluating that decision and bringing back jobs to Pennsylvania and the United States. They're seeing the improved technology and productivity here, and they're bringing their business back.
How does Mantec plan to grow?
We're determined to grow by serving more companies. We want to be able to do more services and programs and, if we grow, it helps us reach even more companies to help them. When we grow, we can service more companies and do more projects that will help the companies do more projects than they have in the past.
How can we attract more manufacturing business to the region?
I think the best strategy isn't so much to attract new business to the region but to grow the ones we have. It's a zero-sum game to try and attract businesses, because it's so competitive out there. I'm talking about the (manufacturing businesses) that have significant growth potential, that have roots down here, we can help those companies grow. I think that should be our No. 1 strategy.
Last year, Gov. (Tom) Corbett's manufacturing council asked what can make Pennsylvania more competitive when it comes to attracting business. The recommendations boiled down to improvements in innovation, workforce strategy, opening new markets, gaining access to capital and making governments work better for business.
I think we need to appreciate and help facilitate growth among the manufacturers here, the ones that are already contributing to the tax base of our communities. From that premise, that's why Mantec exists and we're helping one company at a time to help the economy of all of Pennsylvania.
Meet John W. Lloyd
Position: President and CEO of Mantec, the industrial resource center of Southcentral Pennsylvania
Lives in: York
Family: Wife Elizabeth, three children.
Career: Sold family company Encon to a competitor in 2000 after growing it from a start-up to a 250-person firm. In 2012, worked with the Governor’s Manufacturing Advisory Council. Serves on the board of six local organizations and businesses. Graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he was a four-year member of the varsity hockey team.