ERIE – Robert Zaruta has joined the Northwest Industrial Resource Center (NWIRC) as president and chief executive officer, after serving for 16 years with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC). He is responsible for executive management functions including leadership; community relations and advocacy; risk management and compliance; and strategic, program, human resources, and financial planning.
With 10 staff members located in offices in Erie, Meadville, and DuBois, Pennsylvania, the NWIRC’s mission is to enhance the competitiveness and growth of small- and medium-sized manufacturers in the 13 counties of northwest Pennsylvania by working with clients to improve their productivity and technological performance.
Throughout his tenure with NEPIRC, Zaruta was a key member of the management team helping in the development and implementation of the Center’s strategic plans, business models, sales processes, internal client engagement management processes, marketing strategies and special initiatives. Additionally, he developed, implemented and managed a national program providing sales training and licensed sales methodology to Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) locations and their clients across the country. He also participated in numerous Industrial Resource Center (IRC) and MEP special initiatives, provided working sessions at National MEP Conferences and seminars, and has been an advocate for NEPIRC, the IRC network of Centers, and MEP in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C. Most recently, as the director of Business Development, he managed NEPIRC’s staff of strategic business advisers along with developing and managing key accounts, directly delivering a suite of growth services and managing third-party service engagements.
In addition to his IRC/MEP experience, Zaruta has held leadership and management positions within Fortune 500, regional and small enterprises. As an entrepreneur, he founded and led a startup telecommunications company to dynamic growth. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from King’s College, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Some of his relevant industry training and certifications include Lean Specialist, Innovation Engineering Management System, Solution Selling, and Project Management from Penn State.