We know companies aren’t confined by borders, and neither are we. With an optimal location in the heart of nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population and 60 percent of Canada’s population, in proximity to four of the 10 largest U.S. markets, and situated midway between the financial and regulatory hubs on the East Coast, Pennsylvania offers high connectivity and quality of life to both domestic and international businesses. The state’s strategic Northeast location offers prime access for global companies to top U.S. markets, especially the U.S. East Coast and the Midwest.
Boasting interstate highways, modern freight railroads and six international airports, Pennsylvania makes logistics and transportation easy, with nearly half-a-trillion dollars’ worth of goods and services that move through its transportation system every year. The state’s three major ports — Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Erie — offer access to the Atlantic Ocean, The Great Lakes and The Gulf of Mexico. This comprehensive intermodal transport network keeps business moving across the country — and around the world.
Continuing a Legacy of Workforce Innovation
Governor Tom Wolf has spearheaded two new core initiatives to build a workforce that’s prepared to take on the evolving skillsets of 21st century industry: Manufacturing PA and PA Smart. Both initiatives take a multipronged approach to improving Pennsylvania’s workforce by forging career pathways, leveraging industry and university partnerships, and creating custom workforce development training for students and employees.
Working with strategic partners, including Industrial Resource Centers (IRCs), Pennsylvania’s colleges, universities, technical schools, and nonprofit organizations, the Manufacturing PA initiative fosters collaboration and partnerships to accelerate technology advancement, encourage innovation and commercialization, and build a 21st century workforce. It provides funding for manufacturing training programs, leverages the state’s research capacity to support students in engagements with industry, and expands the outreach of Pennsylvania’s existing Industrial Resource Centers to target small and medium-sized businesses.
PAsmart will be a phased approach to further strengthen workforce efforts at multiple agencies while aligning their work with K-12 and higher education to help all Pennsylvanians prepare for successful careers by supporting STEM and computer science education, increasing the number of registered apprenticeships across the state, forging technical and STEM career pathways, and developing industry-university partnerships to help prepare student for the high-demand jobs local employers need.
Partnership and Collaboration with Higher Education
University partnerships also help bring early stage technology and innovations to the marketplace. Pennsylvania is home to nearly 250 public and private higher education institutions, and four of the top 50 educational institutions in the country: Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pennsylvania, Lehigh University, and Villanova University.
In southwestern Pennsylvania, several global corporates — including Uber, Google and Ford — are making significant investments in the technology and robotics scene in Pittsburgh while working with world-class institutions like Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh.
Investment in Business Attraction and Retention
Pennsylvania hit the ground running in 2017, with ample economic development activity across the state. Last year, Pennsylvania saw a net gain of more than 78,000 jobs, a growth rate which outstripped all our neighboring states.
With Shell’s ethane cracker under construction, a report on the opportunities for petrochemicals and plastics industry growth, and an Amazon HQ2 bid to cap off the year that resulted in two PA cities being shortlisted, the Keystone State continued to be a hub of development and tech focus at the end of 2017 — strongly supported by the hard work of Governor Wolf and the Governor’s Action Team.
In 2017 alone, the Governor’s Action Team successfully completed projects for 77 companies who accepted $65,306,550 in financial assistance offers from the state and were locating or expanding business operations in the commonwealth. Collectively, these projects added 8,488 jobs and $963,931,678 of private investment to Pennsylvania’s economy and created positive impacts in a variety of industries and disciplines.
Eurofins Laboratories, a life sciences company which provides analytical testing services to the biopharma, food, environmental, and medical device industries, chose to continue growing in the state in 2017 — its second expansion here in only four years — with the construction of a five-story, 168,000-square-foot facility that will create 350 new full-time jobs while retaining its 1,500 existing positions.
VF Corporation, the global company behind Vans, North Face — and, most recently, Timberland — chose to return to its roots in Pennsylvania with an expansion into Lebanon County, taking advantage of Pennsylvania’s skilled workforce and convenient location to more quickly service its consumers in the Northeastern United States. The new 500,000-square-foot facility will serve as a distribution center for products in its Vans, The North Face, and Timberland brands. They also plan to invest up to $52 million into the project, pledging to create more than 175 new jobs over the next three years.
Global enterprise software company SAP decided to expand its current Pennsylvania footprint with a new facility on the Steel City’s North Shore to accommodate future growth, improve operating efficiency, and attract talent, and has committed to creating 392 new, full-time jobs statewide over the next three years.
Pennsylvania is also attracting new businesses and investment from overseas. Thanks to the Office of International Business Development, 20 international companies chose Pennsylvania in FY 2016-17, committing to invest $42.7 million to support nearly 2,000 jobs.
The state will continue to attract businesses from around the globe. From business resources and diverse communities to cultural assets and inspirational individuals, the companies, communities and people that call Pennsylvania home continue to make it a premier place to work smart and live happy and will attract business to the state in the years to come.
Visit http://www.expansionsolutionsmagazine.com/pennsylvania_ed for local economic development office directory listings.