News & Updates

The “Whack a Mole” Syndrome:  The Economic and Environmental Challenges of Managing Trash

Jill Boughton, President W2Worth Innovations
Jill Boughton, President
W2Worth Innovations

On January 30th, Allegheny College welcomes Jill Boughton, President of W2Worth Innovations who will share her passion for discovering new solutions to the overwhelming problems associated with waste management in the US and around the world. 

Where others see problems in solving the world’s trash dilemma, Jill, a trained chemical engineer, sees solutions, so much so that her work was recently featured in the November 2019 National Geographic in an article entitled, “Others see waste. She sees worth.”

Jill Boughton is Founder and President of W2Worth Innovations – an organization that seeks to catalyze the use of solid waste as a resource as a means for mitigating the larger social, economic and environmental impacts caused by solid waste.   She began this adventure in 2012 upon retirement from a successful 24 year career at Procter and Gamble (P&G).    Over her career at P&G, Jill managed Product Development activities for several of P&G’s businesses, in categories ranging from Personal Health Care to Paper Products.    Her time with P&G included a seven year stint in Caracas, Venezuela, giving Jill first- hand knowledge of social/economic issues important to emerging regions.

Jill was well known within P&G for her specialty in developing and managing Disruptive Innovation portfolios.   One of the projects emerging from this work was P&G’s “Waste to Worth” program.  This program supported P&G’s long term environmental sustainability vision of having zero consumer waste entering landfills.  It specifically focused on addressing the growing issue of solid waste management in emerging markets through economic development and innovation.   Through this project, Jill has emerged as a leader in the field, specializing in objective evaluation of emerging technology and managing integration of technologies in this space.

When not in trash dumps, Jill resides in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, Bill Boughton.   They have two children, Jennifer and Benjamin, who have also pursued careers in science and the environment.

The Anatomy of a Recession

How close could we be to the next recession —and what should we watch for in the months ahead?

John Kutz ’83
Allegheny College Trustee
Sales Director, Legg Mason

The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business & Economics will open the spring semester Lunchtime Learning lecture series by welcoming John Kutz ‘83, Sales Director for Legg Mason, who will present Anatomy of a Recession, an exploration of the important questions that can impact everyone’s financial health:

  • How close could we be to the next recession?
  • Will growth hold steady, weaken or pick up by the end of the year?
  • What factors are most important to watch to help keep people on track?

Students of all majors are encouraged to attend on Thursday to widen their appeal as potential job candidates, according to Kutz, “Your ability to understand and be able to discuss intelligently current market conditions can provide you with a competitive edge in your job or internship search.  Employers are seeking job candidates that have a grasp on capital markets and can discuss reasons for possible economic downturns and/or expansionary periods.”

Kutz will discuss capital markets and review where the US economy is relative to a possible recession.  He will introduce a Recession Risk Dashboard and discuss the 12 key variables that tend to foreshadow economic downturn.

John Kutz is a Sales Director for Legg Mason serving the Ohio Valley region. John has been in the investment industry since 1998, and he joined Legg Mason in 2011. Prior to joining Legg Mason, John spent nearly 18 years with Victory Capital Management as Managing Director, Retirement Plan Services.

John received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Allegheny College and an MBA from Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor SM (CMFC®) and a recipient of the SPARK Accredited Retirement Plan Consultant (ARPC) designation. John also was recognized by his clients as a Top DC Wholesaler through the National Association of Plan Advisors’ Top 100 DC Wholesalers list (also known as the “Wingmen”) in 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019.

John and his wife, Kathy, have three children, Allison, Maggie and Tim, and they live in Kirtland Hills, OH. In his spare time, John enjoys working out, golfing and biking. John currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Allegheny College.

The Lunchtime Learning Lecture Series provides students with opportunities to gain valuable information on topics and industries related to internships and careers. Speakers often choose one of two broad areas to discuss with students. The first is career oriented, and fits under our CBE CAREERS lunches. The second is issue oriented, and fits under our CBE IDEAS lunches. Both topics enable students to navigate and explore job options, understand the steps necessary to pursue opportunities and how to self-advocate for opportunities in the workplace.

The Effect of Unconventional Monetary Policy on Credit Flows

Business & Economics Faculty SeminarsEconomics Professor Tim Bianco opened the fall semester faculty seminar series on Thursday September 26, presenting his paper, “The Effect of Unconventional Monetary Policy on Credit Flows” prepared jointly with Ana Maria Herrera, Professor of Economics, University of Kentucky. Professor Bianco presented this paper at the Ohio State University Department of Economics 29th Annual Meeting of the Midwest Econometrics Group (MEG 2019).

Their paper evaluates the quantitative effects of unconventional monetary policy in the late 2000s and early 2010s when the federal funds rate hit the zero lower bound (ZLB). They compute credit flows using Compustat data and employ a factor augmented vector autoregression to analyze unconventional monetary policy’s impact on the allocation of credit among firms. They show that the impact of unconventional monetary policy on credit reallocation was substantial, especially for long-term credit. They then inquire what groups of firms accounted for this increased credit reallocation finding that, during the ZLB, unconventional monetary policy reshuffled credit towards firms typically viewed as financially constrained: small, young, high-default and highly leveraged firms. They also show that, during the ZLB, unconventional monetary policy brought about higher credit creation for firms of relatively high investment efficiency, suggesting this policy was key to fueling future economic growth. Download the full text of paper here in .pdf format

Timothy Bianco, Ph.D.

Timothy Bianco is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Allegheny College.  He earned a Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Kentucky, specializing in macroeconomics. Bianco attended Bowling Green University, earning a Master of Arts in Economics (2008) and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Economics and Finance (2006). His research focuses on macroeconomics, banking and corporate finance, and international trade and finance. He served as an Economic and Research Analyst at the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank for four years, prior to joining the University of Kentucky (2013 – 2018).  He has been published in the Journal of Banking and Finance, the Handbook on Systemic Risk, the Journal of Financial Management and Analysis, and the Federal Reserve’s Economic Commentary.

Ana María Herrera, Ph.D.

Ana María Herrera is a Professor of Economics at the University of Kentucky. She earned both her B.A. and M.A. in Economics at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia and her Ph.D. in Economics at the University of California in San Diego. Herrera was a Repsol-YPF Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School in 2005-06 and conducts research in macroeconomics, energy economics and applied econometrics. Her work has been published in the Journal of Monetary Economics, the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Applied Econometrics and the Energy Journal.

The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics organizes faculty seminars to provide Allegheny College and visiting faculty the opportunities to give presentations based on their research agendas. Students, faculty and staff attend to learn more about cutting-edge research.

Allegheny Students Compete at College’s Inaugural Financial Literacy Challenge

The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics at Allegheny College hosted its inaugural Financial Literacy Challenge on Saturday, Dec. 7, with 16 teams of Allegheny students presenting personal financial budgets and investing plans. The winning teams, which together will receive $5,000 in prizes and trophies, were:

First Place (three-way tie)
• Pass/Go, Collect 200 Dollars (Sharlyne Cabral, Nicolas Marrero, Rachael Hensel and Hailey Shull)
• Just Throw it in the Bag (Daniella Clarke)
• JLZ-Fund (Jerfenson Cerda Mejia, Liam Wilby and Zachary Zoll)

Second Place (tie)
• Risky Business (Samantha Medaglia, Jacob Simmons, Bree Garcia and Ariana Villavicencio)
• The Smart Savers (Kayla McCandless, Rebecca Montgomery and Kamryn Randall)

Third Place (tie)
• Forward Thinking (Adam Cook and Devin Ho)
• Sustainable Development Goals (Maura McCampbell)

The 2019 Financial Literacy Challenge judges, from left: Donald Belt, Janine Sickafuse, Toni Frisina, Devone McLeod, Susan Wycoff and Sean Ward.

The students shared their plans with a panel of six judges, each with extensive experience in the financial industry. The judges evaluated the plans according to the Certified Financial Analyst (CFA®) criteria for excellence in financial planning and provided feedback to students on how they could refine and improve their plans. The judges for this year’s competition were:

  • Donald M. Belt, a 1993 Allegheny graduate and president at Hefren-Tillotson, Inc.
  • Toni Frisina, senior vice president and regional manager at Northwest Advisors (Northwest Bank)
  • Devone McLeod, a 2013 Allegheny graduate and certified financial planner at Reby Advisors
  • Janine Sickafuse, retired Allegheny accounting/economics professor
  • Sean Ward, a 1989 Allegheny graduate and partner at Blue Point Capital Partners, a global private equity firm
  • Susan Wycoff, a 1974 Allegheny graduate and retired vice president and relationship strategist at PNC Wealth Management

The prizes for the Financial Literacy Challenge were provided through a gift from an anonymous longtime supporter of the Center for Business and Economics.

For more information about the Financial Literacy Challenge, visit the Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics website.

Pictured Above
First-place winners of the inaugural Financial Literacy Challenge, from left: Nicolas Marrero, Sharlyne Cabral, Hailey Shull, Daniella Clarke, Liam Wilby and Jerfenson Cerda Mejia. Not pictured: Rachael Hensel and Zachary Zoll.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Allegheny College to Host Inaugural Financial Literacy Challenge

Financial Literacy ChallengeForty-six Allegheny College students will participate in the college’s inaugural Financial Literacy Challenge on Saturday, Dec. 7, presenting a personal financial budget and investing plan appropriate for a recent college graduate. The event, which will award $5,000 in trophies and prizes, is sponsored by the Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics at Allegheny.

The students, representing 20 teams, will share their plans with a panel of six judges, each with extensive experience in the financial industry. The judges will evaluate the plans according to the Certified Financial Analyst (CFA®) criteria for excellence in financial planning and will offer feedback to students on how they can refine and improve their plans. The competition’s awards ceremony is open to the public and will take place at 2 p.m. in Henderson Auditorium in Quigley Hall on the Allegheny campus.

Chris Allison, entrepreneur in residence in the Economics Department, said the Financial Literacy Challenge supports a strategic goal of the Center for Business and Economics: to provide extracurricular activities to help students prepare for life beyond Allegheny. The competition also addresses a growing need to educate students about making sound financial decisions, Allison said.

“There has been a lot of media coverage recently about the importance of financial management for recent college graduates,” said Allison, who is coordinating the competition with Sarah Holt from the Economics Department. “It’s an urgent national need, and from the outset, we had a high level of student interest in the Financial Literacy Challenge.”

The Financial Literacy Challenge has attracted Allegheny students with majors in a variety of fields, including economics, English, environmental science, history, international studies, psychology and studio art. Approximately half of the participants are enrolled this semester in a financial literacy course taught by Allison, and the other participants entered the competition as an extracurricular activity.

Allison said the student teams each spent upwards of 20 hours developing their plans for the competition. In their plans, teams outline their financial goals and the steps to achieve them, including:

  • A monthly budget
  • A brief discussion of the impact of the current state of the economy
  • An investment strategy that shows an understanding of the return characteristics of different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds
  • An asset allocation, which is the mix of stocks and bonds that fits the student’s age as well as investment objectives

Allison said he emphasizes the importance of recent graduates investing at least 10 percent of their take-home pay from the beginning of their careers.

“It’s really immaterial what they invest in, just as long as they start,” he said. “We place a pretty big emphasis on index funds, which provide the widest level of diversification. You can’t beat the market so just buy the market.”

Allison added that the Financial Literacy Challenge also benefits students by providing them with exposure to successful Allegheny alumni who are serving as its judges. The competition also presents students with an opportunity to prepare for the CFA Institute Research Challenge in Pittsburgh in February 2020, Allison said.

The prizes for the Financial Literacy Challenge were provided through a gift from an anonymous longtime supporter of the Center for Business and Economics.

For more information about the Financial Literacy Challenge, visit the Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics website.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Agricultural Technology, Bio-fortification & Child Nutrition in Uganda


“The immediate causes of malnutrition among children in Uganda and elsewhere continue to be the high disease burden as well as inadequate dietary intake. “ Dr. Rosemary Isoto

The Center for Business & Economics welcomes Dr. Rosemary Isoto on Monday, December 9 to present her paper entitled, “Agricultural Technology, Bio-fortification and Child Nutrition in Uganda.”

Despite big strides in economic growth, a general decline in poverty levels and an improvement in life expectancy at birth, Uganda continues to lag in terms of reducing child mortality and malnutrition. The immediate causes of malnutrition among children in Uganda and elsewhere continue to be the high disease burden as well as inadequate dietary intake. However, many other factors contribute to nutritional outcomes, among them, the performance of the agricultural sector.

Recent compelling study reviews reveal a number of key pathways that connect improvements in agriculture to improved nutritional outcomes. They include higher agricultural incomes, lower food prices, more nutritious on-farm production and consumption, and synergies between agriculture and nutrition and health arising from women’s empowerment. This study investigates the linkages between modern agricultural technology and child nutrition with a specific focus on production of bio-fortified food crops.

Dr. Rosemary Isoto is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics (DANRE) at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.

Before joining DANRE, she was a Post-doctoral fellow at Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston. She received her PhD from The Ohio State University in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.

Dr. Isoto’s main research focuses on interlinkages between agriculture and nutritional intake among rural households, financing and marketing matters, issues of financing among youth, provision of extension services in a decentralized setting, gender and productivity, landfills and environmental issues among others.

She has wide knowledge on different models of credit provision in Uganda based on her own research and teaching of agricultural and agribusiness finance. She has also published extensively in journals such as Finance Review, Food Security, and Development Studies among others.

Allegheny College Faculty SeminarsFaculty Seminars are organized to provide a platform for Allegheny and visiting faculty to give presentations based on their research agenda.  Students, faculty and staff attend to learn more about cutting edge research in the field of business and economics.

Talking About Money and Taking Control: This Conversation isn’t Important – it’s Imperative

On Thursday, November 21, Gene Natali ’01 will speak on the important consequences of financial choices, particularly those made by students and young professionals.

How can we make wise financial decisions?

Join the Center for Business and Economics for lunch as Mr. Natali provides guidance on how to make better financial decisions and discover the rewards of financial freedom.

Mr. Natali is the CEO and Founder of Troutwood, a financial technology company focusing on financial empowerment. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Allegheny College and an MBA with a concentration in finance from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, board member of CFA Society Pittsburgh and part-time lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh.

In 2012 Mr. Natali co-authored an award-winning investment guide titled “The Missing Semester.” This guide provides practical financial advice to high school and college students and has been used in classrooms across the country. The book received the 2013 EIFLE (Excellence in Financial Literacy Education) Book of the Year award by the Institute for Financial Literacy. Mr. Natali regularly speaks in High School and College classrooms, has presented and key-noted various investment and education conferences, and has helped design and has led teacher and trustee training.

The Lunchtime Learning Speaker Series provides students with opportunities to gain valuable information on topics and industries related to internships and careers in business and economics. 

Allegheny Marketing Professor Uses Football as a Teaching Metaphor

Gaia Rancati, an assistant professor of marketing and neuromarketing who hails from Italy, attended her first-ever American-style football game at Allegheny College in September 2019 and was intrigued by the amount of strategy and hierarchical organization she saw playing out on the field.

“I was surprised by the number of players and assistant coaches, and I thought to myself, the head coach must have to be a good manager just like in a successful business,” she said. “I could also see that there was a lot of strategic planning going into the game.”

Allegheny Professor Gaia Rancati relates the strategies of football to the business world for students in her Economics 240 class.
Allegheny Professor Gaia Rancati relates the strategies of football to the business world for students in her Economics 240 class. Photo Credits: Top Photo: Liam Michel; Photo above and below: Sydney Emerson

A week later, Rancati called Allegheny Head Football Coach Rich Nagy to see if he was interested in sharing his expertise with her Introduction to Managerial Economics class.

Nagy, in his first year as head coach of the Gators, was more than happy to oblige and agreed to speak to Rancati’s Economics 240 students about his decision-making processes as they pertain to recruitment, on-field strategy and personnel management.

“Football really functions as a business model. A head football coach’s job is to run the organization,” said Nagy. “And when you think of it, recruiting players is all about sales and marketing. When we talked about it, it was amazing how much crossover there is” between competitive athletics and overseeing a business, he said.

“In football, we are in the people business,” said Nagy. “There is a chain of command, just like in any successful company. There are different managerial styles, and there’s a sales model for recruitment. The product side comes out on the field.”

Said Rancati: “In class, we discuss how companies recruit people, about their competitive strategies, and about how they motivate employees. It’s basically the same model. In business, we call it employer branding.”

That especially applies to Allegheny’s recruitment strategy since the College has a quality brand for student-athletes, Nagy said. “I talked to the class about recruiting athletes. We’re looking for talented people who will fit in at Allegheny, people we think we can develop as students and as athletes,” he said.

In the business world, recruitment is known as the “war of talents,” where companies try to lure the best and brightest critical thinkers and industrious workers to join them, Rancati said.

And like major companies, football coaches try to bring to the team players with sound character, added Nagy. “I’ve learned you can recruit your own problems,” he said. For instance, he carefully watches family interactions when he’s on recruiting visits, Nagy said. “If they’re showing disrespect for their mother or father, they’re probably going to be doing the same thing to me,” he said.

Allegheny Head Football Coach Rich Nagy explains some football nuances to visiting economics students.
Allegheny Head Football Coach Rich Nagy explains some football nuances to visiting economics students.

Added Rancati: “In football and in business, recruiters are trying to match the values of the person to the values of the school or the company.”

It’s also true that in football and the business world, managers and coaches have to groom front-line players, Rancati said. “You have stars in football and you have stars in business, and every year, you lose some of them, so you are continually developing talent,” she said.

Trust also is crucial on the playing field and in corporate offices, Rancati said. “Trust is the keyword,” she said. “You can’t play well in a game if you don’t have trust in the coaches and other players. The same applies to co-workers in the business world.”

Team captain and economics student Zachary Wilson, a senior from Mars, Pennsylvania, talked about the insight he has gained from the class: “I never really made a connection with football and business strategy until Dr. Rancati showed me that they basically have the same ideology. Looking at the bigger picture of business and football, it is important to understand that every level of the business needs to do their part in order for the firm to be successful. This relates directly to football because each person out of the 11 on the field needs to do their individual job for the desired outcome.”

Rancati said 11 of her 25 students in Economics 240 are student-athletes, including four football players and two students who work as a trainer and an equipment manager for the football team. “I was able to see these students from a different perspective,” Rancati said. “It’s important that teachers see students in their athletic roles and for coaches to see students in their academic settings — the message being that we care about you as a person.”

“I tell my coaches that if you’re going to be involved, you have to be all in,” said Nagy. “I know I have to be involved in academics. It’s important for coaches to attend student presentations on campus. I tell the players, you are going to Allegheny College for a reason, and it’s not just football.”

Two weeks after the coach addressed the economics class, Rancati took the group to the Gators practice field to observe and participate in football drills, even running some plays as a unit on both sides of the ball. “Business and economics are more than book learning. You have to experience it in your daily interactions,” said Rancati, who has been named an honorary “faculty captain” for the 2019 season.

Rancati and Nagy said they plan to continue the collaboration for future classes.

“Using football as a teaching metaphor works. The game of football and the marketing and business arenas have a lot in common,” said Rancati. “It’s important to look outside of the box to gain that competitive advantage.”

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Plan Now for Life after Allegheny – Here’s Your Roadmap

Students of all majors are invited to attend a special Lunchtime Learning event where Professor Chris Allison ’83, Entrepreneur in Residence, will illuminate the many opportunities available for students with interests in business and economics.  “Your professional life will throw a lot of surprises at you, so planning is essential to respond to those setbacks quickly and effectively,” says Professor Allison. “So, failing to plan your educational journey is really planning to fail.”

Professor Allison will guide students in considering the many professional opportunities after graduation and offer suggestions on how to secure internships and achieve career preparedness by taking advantage of the multiple experiential learning activities offered through the Center for Business & Economics and the Allegheny Gateway.

Students in attendance will receive a copy of A Roadmap for Business & Economics, career guide along with along with an internship directory providing a brief overview of the internship opportunities most appreciated by Allegheny students with interests in business and economics.  Students will find information to set goals, learn how to get the most of their studies, prepare for jobs and internships as well as evaluate the many career and graduate school opportunities available to them as Allegheny College students.  Included in the Roadmap is a form for students to plan their courses and a career & co-curricular planning document – both forms will assist students with resume writing and setting goals for their journey after graduation.

We encourage students to attend this event prior to registering for spring classes.

The Roadmap for Business and Economics
Thursday November 14, 12:15 pm, Quigley Auditorium
Lunch will be provided

Professor Chris Allison, Entrepreneur in Residence and Co-Director for the Center for Business and Economics
Professor Chris Allison ’83 conducts a series of workshops for students throughout the academic year

Chris Allison ’83 Allegheny Trustee, Entrepreneur in Residence and Co-Director for the Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics

Professor Allison is the former Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Tollgrade Communications Inc. He is both the Entrepreneur in Residence and the Co-Director of the Center for Business & Economics.  A published author of two books and multiple articles in the Pittsburgh media, his teaching and research interests include Managerial Economics, Entrepreneurship, Financial Literacy, Investing Theory, Writing and Public Speaking. He is the host of the Financial Literacy Challenge and the annual Big Idea Competition where he shares his valuable executive experience to provide guidance and support to Allegheny’s next generation of business leaders.

Research Reveals Crawford County Tooling & Machine Industry Optimism

Allegheny Economics Research Team from left: Dr. Onyeiwu, Gillian Greene '20 and Matthew Massucci '20
Allegheny Economics Research Team from left: Dr. Onyeiwu, Gillian Greene ’20 and Matthew Massucci ’20

A summer research project led by Dr. Stephen Onyeiwu, Professor of Economics, conducted with students Gillian Greene ’20 and Matthew Massucci ’20 entitled, “Trends in the Tooling and Machining Industry of Crawford County, PA”* investigated the state of the industry through a comprehensive survey of 28 Crawford County manufacturers involved in the Tooling & Machining (T&M) industry.  Due to the unique history of the tool & die industry in the Meadville area**, Dr. Onyeiwu originally embarked upon this longitudinal study soon after arriving at Allegheny College in 2002.

This summer’s survey, published in August 2019, revealed that technological change and automation enabled northwest Pennsylvania manufacturers in Crawford County to experience growth for the past five years.  Local manufacturers see the industry as being stable for the next 10 years, though they see increasing opportunities in the medical equipment and device industry.

“Based on our previous surveys, we were pleasantly surprised to find the industry in such robust health,” commented Dr. Onyeiwu.  He continued, “We were equally pleased to learn that recent tariffs have not been detrimental to local shops, and that foreign competition is no longer considered the same formidable threat that it has been in the past.”

Why are Crawford County Tool Shops Doing so Well?

The research suggests there are seven important reasons:

  • Rising Costs– The cost differences between area tool shops and foreign competitors like China have narrowed, mainly due to rising costs in the foreign countries.
  • Quick Turn Around – Most tool shops said that turnaround time is critical for competitiveness, and have specialized to meet customer demand.
  • Quality Advantage – Crawford County shops have continued to maintain their reputation for high quality standards.
  • Product and Market Diversification – Crawford County shops have diversified their customer base in terms of the number of customers, as well as the range of products manufactured.
  • Cluster Effects – Tool shops in Crawford County operate in a cluster, the largest of which is located in the Meadville area. The benefits of clusters come by way of an agglomeration of traditional economies including access to skills, materials, services, markets, capital and economic development agencies within a geographic area.
  • Training Centers for Toolmakers – Although Crawford County is still facing skill shortages, it has training centers for toolmakers, including the Precision Machining Institute (PMI) and the Crawford County Career and Technical Center.
  • Weakening of Foreign Competition – while the survey did not produce a consensus of opinion, quality and delivery stood out as the reasons, particularly in specialized markets. Foreign competitors have also seen increases in their production costs, partly as a result of rising wages.

The Future Workforce, Competition and Regulation Remain a Challenge

Moving forward, area manufacturers will continue to invest in new technology, consider new training models for younger workers and have a greater focus on soft skills.  While foreign competition is not as onerous as it once was, domestic competition is much stronger than in the past.  Tool shops believe that OSHA should play a more constructive role and help educate firms on how to keep employees safe.

Despite the challenges, 85% of the shops expressed optimism about the future of the industry – that’s good news for Crawford County.

*Click here to read the full text version of the study:  Trends in the Tooling and Machining Industry of Crawford County, Pennsylvania

**Why Meadville is called Tool City USA

According to the City of Meadville, “the Talon Corporation, headquartered in Meadville, played a major role in the market development and manufacture of the zipper… In the 1980’s, the Great Lakes region saw a major decline in heavy industry.  This blow to the local economy was softened by a subsequent surge in light industry, mainly tool and die machine shops, earning Meadville the nickname Tool City, USA. Today, the Meadville area remains a leader in tooling, machining and advance manufacturing and the city serves as the region’s center for banking, education and social services.”

History of Meadville,

Stephen Z. Onyeiwu, Ph.D.

Dr. Onyeiwu is the Andrew Wells Robertson Professor of Economics at Allegheny College teaching courses in Managerial Economics, Advanced Managerial Economics, Management of Innovation and Technological Change, Introduction to Microeconomics, and African Economic Development. His research interests include the Technological Strategies of Firms, Small Business Development, Industrial Organization, and Global Economic Issues.

Student Researchers

Gillian Greene ’20 is a double major in Economics and Political Science with a minor in Middle East and North Africa Studies. Matthew Massucci ’20 is an Economics major with a minor in Mathematics.

Faculty Mentored Research

This research project is supported through the URSCA program for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities.  Learn more at Allegheny College Research