PA Has Become a Magnet for Attracting Business and Talent

Pennsylvania boasts a powerful set of advantages when it comes to business and talent attraction. Take it from John Boyd, principal at the Boyd Company Inc., an internationally recognized corporate site selection firm whose clients include PepsiCo, Visa International, Hewlett-Packard, JP Morgan Chase, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Dell.

In the 2017 BizCosts Report, outlined in a July 9, 2017, article, Boyd listed Pennsylvania as the cheapest state for manufacturers to do business in the Northeast — even beating his home state of New Jersey. Plastics manufacturers specifically could save 6.5 percent on total operating costs in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metro area, or more than $1 million a year, according to the study.

What makes the difference, and why PA?

Boyd points out what we already know: a dynamic combination of our three major ports, a robust plastics industry (and an incoming Shell cracker plant), transportation infrastructure and some of the lowest natural gas prices in the country — all paired with a low cost of living.

“Our competitive natural gas prices, thanks to our prime position atop the Marcellus and Utica Shale reserves, lead to overall lower operating costs for manufacturers.”

The energy aspect is huge. Our competitive natural gas prices, thanks to our prime position atop the Marcellus and Utica Shale reserves, lead to overall lower operating costs for manufacturers.

But all of this is just a fraction of the Pennsylvania story. The rest of the story would reveal our strong workforce, top-notch higher education, proximity to major markets, eight foreign trade zones, rising status as a technology and innovation hub, endless resources and widespread good quality of life as reasons we’re positioned to attract more business than neighboring states. Thanks to DCED’s hard-working Office of International Business Development, we’re not only attracting companies from the United States, but drawing foreign direct investment from around the world.

Forward-Thinking Governor

We’re fortunate that in Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf — himself a former manufacturer — appreciates the importance of the manufacturing industry. This understanding helps him and his Governor’s Action Team as they work with major companies on some significant projects. There are some exciting prospects on the horizon!

And meanwhile, we continue to celebrate each manufacturer that opens up shop or expands in Pennsylvania. A few recent examples include:

  • Announced Aug. 18, Clarion Sintered Metals (CSM) will expand two facilities in Elk County, creating 55 new jobs.
  • Announced Aug. 3, Socafe will relocate and expand their operation from New Jersey to Lackawanna County, creating 130 jobs.
  • Announced July 13, Logistics Plus Inc. will expand its supply chain management headquarters in Erie, creating 44 jobs.
  • Announced July 12, Mickey Truck Bodies Inc. will establish a new manufacturing site in Luzerne County, ultimately creating 50 jobs.
  • Announced July 6, Tyson Foods Distribution Center will expand its Schuylkill County facility to add 114 new, full-time jobs.

While there were many similar announcements in between, we can’t forget the June 9, 2016, game-changing announcement by Royal Dutch Shell that it chose Pennsylvania to build a multi-billion-dollar ethane cracker plant in Beaver County, which will create up to 6,000 construction jobs and 600 full-time positions upon completion.

Made in PA

Manufacturing is an $84-billion industry in Pennsylvania, employing more than half a million people at more than 14,000 establishments. Whether we’re crafting the latest plastic feedstock for consumer goods, processing our farmers’ homegrown products for market, making standard components for equipment or fabricating the latest pharmaceutical innovation, manufacturing continues to drive our economy, incorporate new visions and practices, and give our workers a sense of pride in the quality and importance of their work. It’s these fundamental elements that make being a part of our manufacturing industry more than just a job, or a business, or a family-supporting income – it’s a community, and one that continues to attract businesses and facilities across the state.

We look forward to continuing to demonstrate why Pennsylvania is an excellent place to Work Smart and Live Happy. Countless businesses already thrive here for a reason. Stay tuned for more celebrations of Pennsylvania manufacturing, the talented workforce that drives it, the communities they inhabit, and the potential they offer during Pennsylvania Manufacturing Week (Sept. 30-Oct. 6, 2017).

For more information on manufacturing in Pennsylvania, watch our Made in PA video. To relocate or expand your business in Pennsylvania, reach out to a member of our Governor’s Action Team to start the conversation. Follow DCED on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to learn more about PA’s advantages and how citizens #WorkSmartLiveHappy.


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