Governor Wolf Showcases First Term Advancements in Economic Development, Infrastructure
January 10, 2019
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf has followed through on his promise to cut red tape, improve infrastructure, and strengthen Pennsylvania’s business climate. Today, he pledged to continue strengthening Pennsylvania’s economy through smart investments that will positively impact future generations of Pennsylvanians.
“As a Pennsylvania businessman, I understand what companies need to thrive and have worked to tackle a variety of challenges faced by businesses in the commonwealth,” said Gov. Wolf. “We’ve made progress in Pennsylvania, but we still have more work to do and I will continue to work on growing our economy for all workers by making it easier for small businesses to start, pushing forward critical infrastructure projects, investing in schools, and expanding career and technical education opportunities so everyone has the skills needed to find good-paying jobs and live a comfortable, rewarding life in the state we all call home.”
Gov. Wolf’s key initiatives included enlisting multiple state agencies to collaborate on projects that brought together infrastructure projects and business development programs. The projects have resulted in stronger communities, a more adept workforce, and an improved business climate:
“One of the governor’s fundamental goals when he first entered office was to help create an environment in which our economy, our businesses, and our residents could thrive,” DCED Secretary Dennis Davin said. “Through the Wolf Administration’s economic and community development efforts, paired with PennDOT’s commitment to infrastructure improvement, we’re working toward that goal and making Pennsylvania a better place to live, work, and play.”
Creating Jobs and Encouraging Entrepreneurship
- Eliminated burdensome taxes on businesses like the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax.
- Will create an additional 15,000 jobs with the creation of a Shell Cracker Plant in Western Pennsylvania and investment in the Port of Philadelphia.
- Cut through red tape by establishing the new PA Business One-Stop Shop, which has assisted more than 86,000 entrepreneurs and business owners who have visited the website to learn how to start and grow a new business.
- Created the Dairy Investment Program, which made $5 million in grant funding available to help Pennsylvania dairy farmers overcome challenges and capitalize on new opportunities.
- Recapitalized the Business in Our Sites program to make $75 million available to create an inventory of shovel-ready sites to attract new business and jobs to Pennsylvania
- Retooled the state’s Solar Energy Program to include grant funding to help make Pennsylvania a leader in clean energy.
- Directed the Governor’s Action Team to assist 270 business expansion or relocation projects across the commonwealth that are expected to create more than 30,000 jobs and generate nearly $11 billion in investment.
- Fostered the creation of more than 3,200 jobs from businesses located within a Keystone Innovation Zone, which provides funding to help early-stage technology companies and encourage entrepreneurship in and around Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities.
- Created a new program to facilitate the construction of infrastructure necessary to bring low-cost energy to residents and manufacturers through a $24 million Pipeline Investment Program.
- Created the new Manufacturing PA initiative to support Pennsylvania manufacturing through career training and retraining programs, student engagement, and market adaptation assistance.
- Assisted nearly 3,000 companies in training more than 145,000 incumbent workers across the commonwealth to help employees develop new skills to thrive in their jobs.
- Created a new apprenticeship program funded in part through funds clawed back from businesses that have received state support in exchange for job creation but failed to meet the state requirements of the contract.
“At every turn since Governor Wolf took office in 2015, he has worked with me to direct PennDOT to break new ground in how we do our business,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “Our initiatives are creating heightened collaboration with local governments and planning partners to better serve transportation needs across the modes. We are improving our basic county-based functions to address backlogs of needs, especially in rural areas. All of our work translates into better economic opportunities across Pennsylvania.”
Innovation and Infrastructure
- Created the Broadband Investment Incentive Program and the Office of Broadband Initiatives, which will provide more than 9,000 unserved rural Pennsylvanians with access to broadband by June 2022.
- Put out 1,162 bridge projects and 2,583 projects for roadway and other improvement projects worth approximately $9.92 billion since January 2015.
- Announced the multi-year Road Maintenance and Preservation (Road MaP) initiative to increase maintenance investments and invest in capital projects and interstate projects.
- Launched an innovative multimodal transportation plan to enhance travel and safety along the Interstate 76.
- Improved the condition of state-owned bridges. The number in poor condition has decreased from more than 6,000 in 2008 to 2,855 today.
- Replaced 558 poor condition bridges in four years through the Private Public Partnership Rapid Bridge Replacement program.
- Prioritized $181 million to accelerate repaving work on interstates and attack potholes across Pennsylvania through Resurface PA.
- Created new websites where people can see active and planned projects, conditions of state and local bridges, and updates on how PennDOT is improving Pennsylvanians’ quality of life.
- Improved traveler information by making plow-location tracking and information on state roads were last plowed available at www.511PA.com, and developed 511PAConnect, a tool to provide updates to motorists in the event of long-term road closures.