- Allen Township, PA will soon be the residence for 6.5 million square feet of warehouse and distribution center space — as much as 100 football fields worth — Transport Topics reported.
- FedEx Ground is already building an 800,000 square foot, $335 million distribution center on Willowbrook Road, while plans by the Rockefeller Group to build a 1 million square foot facility directly across the street are in the works. Ten more warehouses have either been proposed or have received conditional approval.
- A rezoning of the land with the purpose of creating jobs and a tax base inadvertently enabled businesses to see the township as an ideal location for warehouses.
Communities with significant business districts benefit from strong tax bases, which in turn lead to higher quality schools, which can afford to provide a range of job training opportunities for students. These can include advanced computer training, logistics classes, introductions to robotics and other advanced mechanization projects.
Schools offering such programs help to fill the growing skills gap in manufacturing, where predictions of unfilled jobs number in the millions. Not only can better school systems offer programs to ensure future employment for its students, but in areas where business is highly active, mentoring programs, apprenticeships, scholarship contests and even part-time jobs can create a self-sustaining employment pool.
Further, both businesses and schools with sufficient economic support can help address the gender gap in manufacturing by creating special STEM programs for girls who might otherwise struggle in a male dominated environment. Doing so could help address early issues of confidence and competition, and may further contribute to filling future jobs.