HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania’s business and banking communities gathered today to learn about federal and state economic trends and challenges at the 6th Annual Economic Forecast Summit. Presented by the PA Chamber Education Foundation and the Pennsylvania Bankers Association, the event also provided insight on workforce development and cybersecurity challenges to more than 200 attendees.
“With state revenues on a general upward swing, the Commonwealth’s financial outlook is showing signs of growth and improvement,” said PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr. “While Pennsylvania’s short-term economic future is looking promising, it’s imperative that our elected officials on the state level do all they can from a policy perspective to build on this forward momentum and encourage private sector growth. This means looking at ways to improve the state’s competitive edge and business climate and stop targeting individual industries that are showing signs of growth. A thriving private sector will lead to greater job creation and increased revenues for the state.”
“At the federal level, we were pleased to see the enactment of tax reform, and I believe we now have a unique opportunity to realize much-needed regulatory reform that will not only help strengthen our banks, but will strengthen our communities,” Pennsylvania Bankers Association President and CEO Duncan Campbell said. “While there is hope on the horizon, we are cautiously optimistic as we look at the landscape currently affecting the Pennsylvania banking industry. We need to ensure that our banks are positioned to continue to provide the same level of service and economic development support that our communities have come to expect from us.”
Guest speakers provided an economic forecast at both the state and federal levels. Pennsylvania Budget Secretary Randy Albright discussed Governor Wolf’s 2018-19 state budget proposal and the outlook for the Commonwealth. Dr. James Chessen, executive vice president and chief economist for the American Bankers Association, reviewed the challenges currently facing businesses from a national perspective and discussed anticipated economic and banking activity over the next few years.
In addition to the economic forecasts, the summit also included two guest speakers focusing on the challenges of workforce development and cybersecurity. Dr .David DeLong, AgeLab research fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, discussed how to build the right corporate culture and protect knowledge retention to maximize workforce development. Renowned “White Hat Hacker”, Chris Valasek, security lead, Uber Advanced Technologies Center, gave sobering insights on security problems in various technologies and devices that can lead to compromises from the outside world, and shared urgent solutions for protecting the public from imminent cyber threats.
RKL of Lancaster, Pa. served as the event’s exclusive diamond sponsor for the sixth consecutive year.
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry Educational Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) organization created to fund timely and insightful research and educational programs that will positively impact Pennsylvania's economic future and enhance the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians.