BLOG: Creating Jobs That Pay and Rebuilding Pennsylvania’s Economy

By: Sophie Stone, Deputy Press Secretary

January 18, 2016

Since day one, Governor Wolf has made “Jobs that Pay” a priority in Pennsylvania. This year, on Governor Wolf’s “Jobs that Pay” tour, the governor and members of his cabinet heard from business owners, industry leaders, and hardworking Pennsylvanians statewide about what the Wolf administration can do to help them thrive.

Watch Governor Wolf talk about Jobs That Pay in 2015.

The hard work of and partnerships between the Wolf administration and Pennsylvania’s businesses have already been seen in our job rates. For example, did you know that the record high for the total number of jobs in Pennsylvania was 5,859,400 in October 2015?

In addition, in November, Pennsylvania surpassed our pre-recession high in the labor force employment count, which puts our state in an expansion period.

The Wolf administration has worked to create policies that help set the table for robust private sector growth and support our manufacturing and new growth industries.

Some of these policies include:

Creating and sustaining good-paying jobs through public-private partnerships.

Through the work of the Governor’s Action Team (GAT), an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor, the administration is working with businesses that are considering locating to or expanding in Pennsylvania. In 2015, GAT completed 58 such relocation and expansion projects, which in turn created over 4,500 new jobs and helped retain over 11,000 positions.

The phase-out of the Capital Stock and Foreign Franchise Tax.

Earlier this month, Governor Wolf announced the successful January 1 phase-out of Pennsylvania’s Capital Stock and Foreign Franchise tax, calling it “an unfair tax on business” that he was committed to eliminating. This outdated tax structure had failed to incentivize job growth in Pennsylvania, and while its phase-out was proposed as early as fifteen years ago, previous administration had delayed its elimination. The taxes were imposed on corporations with capital stock, joint-stock associations, limited liability companies, business trusts, and other companies doing business within Pennsylvania. Domestic corporations were subject to the capital stock tax, while foreign corporations are subject to the foreign franchise tax on capital stock apportioned to Pennsylvania. The elimination of the these taxes fosters a business climate that encourages job creation and creates a tax structure that is fair to business and taxpayers.

A commitment to improving diverse and small business participation in state contracting opportunities.

In September, Governor Wolf signed an executive order solidifying his administration’s commitment to improving the participation of small and diverse businesses – minority-, women-, LGBT-, veteran- and disabled-owned business ­– in state government contracting and the commonwealth’s overall economy. Executive Order 2015-11 (“Diversity, Inclusion, and Small Business Opportunities in State Contracting and Pennsylvania’s Economy”) directs a consistent and coordinated effort to ensure diversity and inclusion in all contracting opportunities for small and diverse businesses throughout agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction and promotes the creation of programs to better prepare those businesses to compete and succeed in Pennsylvania’s economy.

Maintaining and creating vital industry partnerships with Pennsylvania businesses.

This year, the Wolf administration and the Department of Labor and Industry received 36 Industry Partnership applications for $9,400,476 in FY15-16 funding. The total number of Industry Partnership participants this year was 2,524 and Industry Partnership trainings was 2,840.

Prioritizing the vitalization of the Port of Philadelphia.

On November 4, 2015, Governor Wolf announced his strategic plan for sustained management, maintenance, and development of the Port of Philadelphia. The governor emphasized his key priorities of investing in infrastructure, creating jobs, and keeping Pennsylvania economically competitive. In addition to establishing a timeline for the development of the Southport Terminal, Governor Wolf announced further steps his administration is taking to ensure long-term stability and growth at the Port of Philadelphia.

Governor Wolf's strategic plan for the Port of Philadelphia
Allocating millions in gaming fund investments to economic development programs in counties across the commonwealth.

The Wolf administration joined the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) in approving the allocation of millions in gaming funds to Allegheny, Luzerne, and Monroe counties, among others, this year. These funds support community improvement, economic development, and public interest projects to help build a stronger workforce and spur job creation in these regions.

Focusing on creating summer jobs for Pennsylvania’s youth.

In 2015, the Wolf administration and the Department of Labor and Industry directed $3.5 million for summer jobs demonstration programs in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. In Philadelphia, $2.4 million was directed for a pilot program through “WorkReady Philadelphia,” targeting youth ages 12-24 in relatively low-income, high-poverty neighborhoods, resulting in more than 1,400 new summer positions. In Pittsburgh, $1.1 million was directed to fund approximately 200 summer jobs for low-income and at-risk high school students in a variety of STEM-related pilot internship programs, including Digital Manufacturing, Website Production, and Big Data Analytics.

Governor Wolf also joined Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin, Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino, and tens of businesses statewide in making many exciting job announcements across the commonwealth this year.

Check out a few of the headlines announcing new jobs in Pennsylvania:
  • Lehigh Valley Express-Times: Grocery wholesaler expansion to create 500 jobs in Lehigh Valley. [12/01/15]
  • Chesco Daily Local News: CTDI plans large testing and warehouse operation in Valley. [09/29/15]
  • Allentown Morning Call: Medical device company moves to Valley, pledges 25 new, well-paying jobs. [08/04/15]
  • Pittsburgh Business Times: Real estate firm heading to new digs, to add 115 jobs. [05/07/15]
The Wolf administration made many new jobs announcements in 2015. Check out some of these announcements below:
  • Five hundred new jobs due to a new expansion project at C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. in Northampton County. [12/01/15]
  • In Philadelphia, 110 new, high-paying jobs at biopharmaceutical company Adaptimmune Therapeutics. [10/09/15]
  • At Oak Hill Veneer in Bradford County, an expansion of the spliced hardwood veneer operations that created 73 new, full-time jobs.  [09/30/15]
  • Sixty-four new, full-time jobs at Cook Myosite, Inc., a clinical stage biotech firm specializing in human cell regeneration, located in Allegheny County. [09/24/15]
  • The creation of a new research and development facility at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, creating 190 new, high-paying jobs with Axalta Coating Systems, LLC. [09/09/15]
  • An expansion of the R&D site at Alcoa, a lightweight metals manufacturer in Westmoreland County, to create at least 90 new, full-time positions. [09/03/15]
  • Forty-one new, full-time jobs due to an expansion of operations at Lancaster County’s Bollman Hat Company, the oldest hat maker in the United States. [08/26/15]
  • The creation of 30 new, full-time jobs at Neptune Solutions Company, a water treatment technology company serving the oil and gas industries, due to the establishment of their new headquarters in Washington County. [08/07/15]
  • A new corporate headquarters and manufacturing operation site in Northampton County for orthopedic device company Tyber Medical, LLC, creating 25 new, full-time jobs. [08/04/15]
  • In Fayette County, eighty new jobs at the new corporate headquarters of JLE Industries, LLC, a transportation and logistics company serving the energy and infrastructure development industries. [07/17/15]
  • Two hundred new jobs at All Fresh Farms, LLC, an indoor hydroponic production and packaging operation, which established a new facility in Pike County. [05/21/15]
  • An expansion of the SunOpta, Inc. manufacturing facility in Lehigh County, a move that created at least 53 new jobs. [05/20/15]
  • In Pittsburgh, 115 new jobs due to the relocation and expansion of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), an integrated commercial real estate and investment management firm. [05/07/15]
  • Fifty new jobs at a new Chester County facility for Universal Pasteurization Company, LLC, (“Universal Pasteurization” and “UPC”), a provider of high pressure processing (HPP) and cold storage services to domestic food manufacturers. [04/07/15]

See all of our Year in Review blog posts.

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