For those seeking a vibrant community with opportunities for all, cultivates and keeps the best talent, and fosters resilience, look no further. Pennsylvania’s founding principles of freedom and tolerance have echoed throughout the history of our commonwealth and continues to guide our progress today. Our rich history has set the stage, but our innovation, imagination, and legendary can-do spirit continue to drive our success today.
Creating Jobs and Expanding Businesses
When you look at what attracts companies to Pennsylvania, it’s the result of a combination of factors. While the global pandemic has impacted many throughout the past year, Pennsylvania’s strengths – location, infrastructure, diverse industries, and workforce – have driven ongoing activity and investment.
During 2020, job creation and retention remained a priority for the state’s in economic development and business expansion programs. The Governor’s Action Team successfully completed 29 expansion and location projects. These companies pledged to create 4,873 jobs and retain 11,183 existing positions. Sixty-one percent of those jobs were in manufacturing. These projects also committed more than $2.3 billion in private investment.
The state’s Office of International Business attracted 13 international companies to locate operations in Pennsylvania. These FDI projects brought 604 new jobs, retained more than 900 existing positions, and resulted in $73.7 million in capital investment.
Access to U.S. and Global Markets
Our connectivity to population centers on the East Coast makes us a destination for companies looking to be close to their suppliers and customers. Within a day’s drive, businesses can reach 40 percent of the U.S. and 60 percent of Canada’s population. That includes four of the ten largest U.S. markets, and nearly 40 percent of all manufacturers in the country. Pennsylvania products reach beyond our borders too, with our companies’ exports going to 221 markets around the globe.
Whether you need to move products or people our comprehensive infrastructure will get you where you’re going. Nearly half-a-trillion dollars’ worth of goods travel through Pennsylvania’s transportation system every year. That includes by rail, water, road, and air thanks to our 120,000+ miles of highway, three major ports, six international airports, eight foreign trade zones, three class I railroads, and 120+ daily passenger trains to northeast corridor and across the state.
Though our GDP rivals the size of many countries, our business climate is welcoming and supportive. In Pennsylvania, you’ll find business is personal. When markets fluctuate, industries and companies see sudden swings, or there’s uncertainty in trade relations – our support systems are ready to help. Our economy’s size and diversity provide stability and access to critical supply chains and resources businesses need to thrive.
Pennsylvania proudly home to 22 Fortune 500 companies and has the most diverse economy in the United States. Life sciences, technology, advanced manufacturing, and food & beverage production are all among our biggest industries.
Pennsylvania has long been known for our research excellence. And we’re also a national leader in testing and medical labs, medical devices and equipment, and pharmaceuticals. We rank among the top five states for NIH funding, R&D expenditures, bioscience venture capital investments, and bioscience-related patents. And we’ve got specializations that place us in the top 10 states for agricultural biosciences, bioinformatics and health IT, biological sampling and analysis, and medical and surgical devices. Combined with our leading edge in artificial intelligence, robotics, and tech industry, we have a thriving cluster of businesses driving innovation and the work of the future.
Pennsylvania’s life sciences industry’s response to COVID-19 has been tremendous. With companies investing in all parts of the supply chain – from R&D for new testing, vaccines, and treatments for COVID-19, to the manufacturing of critical medical devices and PPE. Throughout the year we saw significant projects from companies like OraSure Technologies (expansion of manufacturing of their FDA-approved COVID testing kid), Gentex Corporation (expansion of PPE manufacturing facility), U.S. Specialty Formulations (maker of COVID-19 vaccines), and many more.
Additionally, programs like the COVID-19 Vaccines, Treatments, and Therapies (CV-VTT) grant program and the PA Manufacturing Innovation Program invested financially in universities, research institutions, and companies. This funding helped to support rapid development and deployment of new technologies, products, and processes with the potential to positively impact Pennsylvania’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Food & Beverage Production
A four-season climate, rich soil, abundant freshwater, and a passion for good food and drink ingrained in our communities is a tried-and-trued recipe for successful food and beverage processors. Our agriculture industry has a $135.7 billion economic impact and employs 570,000+ Pennsylvanians. We’re a leader in U.S. crop production (#1 in mushrooms, #2 in butter, #4 in apples, #5 in grapes), the #1 craft beer producing state (3.7+ million barrels annually), and #5 in milk production. Thanks to our location and robust infrastructure, our products are found on tables and in pantries around the country and the globe. In 2018, our manufactured food exports reached $1.6+ billion.
Pennsylvania is the birthplace of the organics movement and we are proud to continue the legacy of innovation in sustainable farming and processing practices. We take pride in the quality of our food and beverages.
2020 saw the food and beverage industry reexamine supply chains and manufacturing operations. As businesses looked to invest in locations close to primary consumer markets to prevent delays and shortages, Pennsylvania naturally rose to the top. Investments in food and beverage manufacturing, as well as food packaging and distribution and logistics were announced throughout the year. Companies like Nestle Purina Petcare, CANPACK, Ball Corporation, Keurig DrPepper, Joy Cone, and Stuffed Puffs, brought major expansion projects and new locations to the state.
Pennsylvanians are known for being makers. We transform the basics into something new. Our manufacturers are adept at making a diverse array of products, including plastics and chemicals, food, beverages, forestry and paper products, medical devices and vaccines, electronics, and so much more. Using the latest in robotics and additive manufacturing, we have high-quality production happening in every corner of the state.
Our manufacturing industry employs 570,000+ people and is the 6th largest manufacturing workforce in the country. And we’re busy training the next generation of manufacturing workers, focusing on advanced technical and STEM skills. Manufacturers find our world-class R&D institutions, technology commercialization programs, technical and industrial resources, and skilled workforce combine to create resilient and successful companies.
In 2020, Pennsylvania remained committed to building a world class workforce. Through the workforce training program (WEDnet), 543 businesses received assistance, and training was provided to more than 27,000 Pennsylvania workers. This resulted in an investment of more than $5 million in workforce training and development. Additionally, the Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Grant Program awarded 16 grants totaling nearly $1.4 million, and the Manufacturing Training to Career Program awarded seven grants totaling nearly $1.2 million.
In partnership with industry, we continue to develop new and innovative opportunities for businesses. Through the challenges ahead, as we transition more fully to recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared to support our communities, companies, and economy to ensure Pennsylvania remains a premier place to work smart and live happy for years to come.