Year in Review: DCED Helps Pennsylvania Communities Create, Retain 200,000 Jobs
Author: David Misner
Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Community and Economic Development’s efforts in 2016 represented a steadfast commitment to Governor Wolf’s ‘Jobs that Pay’ priority with key statewide initiatives aimed at rebuilding and supporting the middle class by encouraging stable employment opportunities. DCED Secretary Dennis Davin noted that in 2016, the department secured private sector commitments for the creation and retention of more than 200,000 full-time jobs.
“DCED’s mission is to foster opportunities for businesses to grow and for communities to succeed and thrive, and in 2016 we experienced tremendous success in upholding that commitment to Pennsylvania residents,” Sec. Davin said. “This year, we secured major new business developments with large job creation numbers to strengthen Pennsylvania’s middle class, supported high-demand programs with additional funding, and bolstered the commonwealth’s reputation on a local, national, and international scale through a strong, continued trade presence and new marketing initiatives.”
In 2016, the Governor’s Action Team announced successful completion of 58 projects that will provide new jobs and new investment throughout Pennsylvania. Additionally Pennsylvania welcomed heavy hitters like Amazon, who will expand its presence throughout Pennsylvania and will invest $150 million and create 5,000 new, full-time jobs, and innovators like BrandYourself, who decided that the City of Lancaster is the best place to grow its company.
During 2016, the Wolf Administration was successful in securing critical funding to support business development efforts by reallocating funds from underutilized programs to recapitalize Business in Our Sites (BOS) and to establish the Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE).
Job creation will be spurred by the recapitalization of the BOS program secured with the 2016-17 budget, which is expected to create more than 6,500 jobs and encourage $487.2 million in private investment in the commonwealth. In October, the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) approved nearly $23 million in low-interest loans to support five new BOS projects that are projected to create at least 1,156 new, full-time jobs.
Shell Cracker Plant
One of the most notable of the year comes with the highly-anticipated final investment decision by Shell to build a major petro-chemical complex in Beaver County. This project, spurred by the previous administration and closed by the Wolf administration, will create 6,000 full-time construction jobs at peak and 600 full-time permanent positions when complete.
Shell is setting the stage for future growth that will stimulate the economy with $6 billion in impact and not only in the Western Pennsylvania region, but the commonwealth through downstream economic opportunities and job creation.
Engaging Businesses in Community Revitalization
DCED’s Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) provides tax credits to encourage businesses to invest in projects which improve distressed areas, promotes a shared belief that thriving neighborhoods are a cornerstone of Pennsylvania’s success.
In 2015-16, DCED supported 100 projects throughout the commonwealth. Of the nearly 18 million in tax credits awarded, more than $60 million additional funds were leveraged by corporate contributions. Strong participation in NAP was witnessed in 2016, with a robust applicant pool of more than 200 for the 2016-17 funding cycle.
Spurring Innovation and Advancing New Technologies
This year, DCED continued to grow venture capital investments to support early stage and emerging technology firms, while accelerating technology transfer to commercialize new products and services.
Since 2005, the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA) has been responsible for creating more than 25,000 new jobs in Pennsylvania while retaining more than 32,400 additional positions. Through its Innovate in PA and annual Challenge Grant programs, DCED successfully deployed $43.5 million to support Pennsylvania’s emerging technology companies and innovators as they advance their technologies and create hundreds of new high-paying technology jobs.
Expanding Pennsylvania’s Borders
The department also experienced success on the international front through the assistance of 307 Pennsylvania companies in securing more than $577.39 million in export sales. The efforts to support the export of Pennsylvania-grown and made goods was showcased during its 2016 “Bringing the World to PA” tour, which hosted authorized trade representatives from 14 countries and made 10 stops across the commonwealth. Additionally, 6 international companies chose to establish facilities in Pennsylvania, committing to support 718 jobs and invest $1.4 million into these projects.For more information about DCED and its year-round efforts to foster opportunities for businesses to grow and for communities to succeed and thrive, visit dced.pa.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: Lyndsay Kensinger, 717-783-1132
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