The state’s prime location reaches more than 60 percent of the U.S. and Canadian populations in a long day’s drive and provides convenient access to six of the 10 largest markets in the nation.
Pennsylvania’s labor force of 6.3 million benefited from more than $450 million in job training in 2014, and is further advanced by the state’s 270 colleges and universities, which include four of the top 50 universities and some of the nation’s most distinctive partnerships and collaborations in economic development.
And, now Governor Tom Wolf has committed to creating a pro-growth business climate in the commonwealth and is proposing aggressive initiatives to do just that.
”We are the state that gave birth to a nation,” says Governor Wolf. “Let’s be the generation that demonstrates more than ever Pennsylvania’s keystone role in making America great.”
Building Pennsylvania’s Manufacturing Sector
Pennsylvania’s renaissance will be driven by what the Commonwealth was built on: a thriving manufacturing sector. Manufacturing has been at the heart of many communities and the growth of Pennsylvania’s middle class, and Governor Wolf has committed to continuing to build on the Pennsylvania manufacturing tradition.
Currently, the manufacturing industry boasts 14,486 establishments and employs 570,778 Pennsylvanians, creating a $77 billion economic impact for the state. The skilled workforce, paired with its prime location, helps Pennsylvania yield the eighth largest manufacturing output in the country. Pennsylvania manufacturers are within 500 miles of nearly 50 percent of all U.S. manufacturers, and the state’s infrastructure supports continued growth in the industry.
A Pennsylvania manufacturing company seeing success is East Penn Manufacturing Co., Inc. The company will expand its operations to support new growth in the manufacturing industry, adding 400 new jobs to the more than 6,000 it already employs in the state.
East Penn will expand its operations by constructing a new 458,000 sq. ft. battery manufacturing plant to produce batteries that will accommodate the company’s growth in strategic areas and markets. The company will invest more than $50 million in construction of the new facility. The expansion will result in the purchase of new equipment and employee training, while creating 400 new jobs at the facility within the next three years.
“Cooperation from the Commonwealth demonstrates a strong commitment by the state government toward making Pennsylvania an economic leader. The expansion of this facility will help us continue to create jobs in Pennsylvania. This support also has a positive impact on the community, our suppliers, and the many customers we serve,” Dan Langdon, President of East Penn said.
Governor Wolf will continue to build on Pennsylvania’s manufacturing strength to create new, good-paying jobs with the creation of a “Made in Pennsylvania” job creation program.
“It is integral that we return manufacturing jobs to the state, and that’s exactly what I plan to do,” Governor Wolf says.
Through this program, manufacturing companies that increase annual taxable payroll by at least one million dollars and generate middle-class jobs will be rewarded with tax credits up to five percent of new taxable income the following year.
Pennsylvania remains among the most innovative locations in the world, boasting significant R&D investment and leading research universities. Advanced technology, such as robotics and 3-D printing, allows manufacturers to make more customized products and to reduce lead time in bringing products to the market.
Many colleges and universities are leading the way with additive manufacturing — providing training curriculums, simulation labs and industry-to-university collaborations. The University of Pennsylvania’s PennDesign Fabrication Lab, University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson Center for Product Innovation, Lehigh University’s Enterprise Systems Center, and Penn State University’s Applied Research Lab demonstrate a few of the resources available to manufacturers in the state.
Governor Wolf plans to provide $5 million to leverage the talents of these research universities to advance manufacturing technology and commercialization in collaboration with the state’s Industrial Resource Centers.
Pennsylvania is also successfully reshoring, encouraging companies to shift supply chain models and experience the benefits of manufacturing in the Commonwealth. By offering the right competitive advantages, the state’s high-quality workforce and low energy costs are attracting international companies. The state also boasts the largest network of overseas offices, and the Pennsylvania’s Office of International Business Development (OIBD) breaks down barriers for manufacturers looking to locate in Pennsylvania.
Governor Wolf plans to boost foreign direct investment through World Trade PA. With an increase of $1 million, World Trade PA will help companies take advantage of export markets and encourage investment in Pennsylvania companies
Creating a Pro-Growth Business Climate
Governor Wolf is a businessperson and understands what companies need to grow. Strengthening Pennsylvania’s business climate will begin with the reduction of the Corporate Net Income Tax. With the second-highest CNI rate in the country (9.99 percent), Wolf plans to cut the rate in half within three years, boosting Pennsylvania’s ranking to fourth lowest at 4.99 percent.
“That will take us from one of the highest in the country to one of the lowest,” says Governor Wolf. “And that will incentivize companies to come here and create good jobs in Pennsylvania, while also ensuring that corporations pay their fair share.”
“In my past experiences working with site selectors, often times Pennsylvania did not even make the short list of possibilities when the businesses were looking to expand because of the 9.99 percent Corporate Net Income Tax rate,” said Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Acting Secretary Dennis Davin. “There was undoubtedly sticker shock at the price of doing business in Pennsylvania.”
Governor Wolf also plans to eliminate the Capital Stock and Franchise tax, completing the phase-out that began 17 years ago. As a tax on net worth, the franchise tax penalizes business growth, giving a higher tax burden to companies that invest in capital expansion.
Governor Wolf recognizes the need for an increase to the community revitalization efforts and has increased support to foster growth and stability in Pennsylvania’s communities and neighborhoods.
Vital streetscape and façade improvement initiatives directly impact the health of a community by infusing new life and vibrancy to the heart of it.Improvements in our Main Street and Elm Street neighborhoods drive business development and encourage residents to move into our communities where revival is happening.
Governor Wolf is addressing the need to strengthen the state’s workforce through education and training opportunities.
“When I ran a business, finding talented people with a strong education was my highest priority. It’s what made us competitive in the marketplace,” saysGovernor Wolf. “A great public education system will help Pennsylvania attract new businesses, retain talent, and grow the middle class.”
Governor Wolf is proposing an increase of $25 million to foster job creation and support for WEDnetPA, a critical employee training program available to Pennsylvania’s workers. The program provides essential skills and advanced technology training for qualified new and existing employees. And WEDnetPA works with a network of more than two dozen partners across the state to ensure every company has a local point of contact.
For one such company, Electro Soft, Inc., WEDnetPA helped the company obtain a high-level hand soldering certification. A Philadelphia-area premier electronics contract manufacturer, Electro Soft, Inc., is minority- and veteran-owned, employing 30 people. While its customer base consists of public and private businesses around the world, the company works with the U.S. Department of Defense. WEDnetPA helped Electro Soft become “J-STD-001” certified, ensuring the company could continue to bid for government contracts. The hand-soldering certification led to the company winning several sub-contracts, gaining a competitive advantage.
“WEDnetPA funds allowed us to maintain our certifications in [printed circuit] board and cable/wiring harness assembly, the heart of our core business,” says James Wallace, Electro Soft’s president. “Because of the funding we received, we have been able to expand our lead-free processes, allowing us to be competitive in the European Union market.”
By strengthening Pennsylvania’s manufacturing industry, constructing a pro-growth business climate and creating jobs that pay, Governor Wolf plans to fuel Pennsylvania’s resurgence into a new era of business growth, one that is built to advance the state’s workforce and employers.
“There is no reason why we can’t have the most dynamic economy. The idea of Pennsylvania is the idea that all things are possible,” says Governor Wolf. “And if we work together, there is nothing that we can’t accomplish.”
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