Business Facilities’ Best of the Best: How Does PA Rank?
By: Amy Zecha, Executive Director for Marketing at the Department of Community & Economic Development
August 03, 2016
The DCED Marketing Office is always looking for new opportunities to showcase Pennsylvania’s innovation, imagination, and legendary can-do spirit. We know it’s these unique qualities that set Pennsylvania apart from other states and ultimately drive the achievements of our economy and communities. That’s why I was delighted to see some new annual rankings recently published by Business Facilities. In those rankings, Pennsylvania placed in the top 10 in five distinct and important categories. Our excellent scores are evidence of the work we do every day to help businesses and communities thrive.
Infrastructure Upgrades – No. 5
We are proud to be ahead of the curve with infrastructure upgrades, which are not only essential to our communities and public safety, but are important for businesses to be successful and efficiently move products and services to market. We earned this ranking based on our investment and dedication to enhancing roads, bridges, dams, water and sewage treatment facilities, ports, airports, rail systems, fiber networks, energy pipelines, and electric transmission systems.
Manufacturing – No. 6
It’s no secret that Pennsylvania is a leader in manufacturing. It’s part of our legacy that continues to shape our future. If you take a look around your home, chances are you own many products made in Pennsylvania. Food, clothing, machines, plastics, and more are produced here. Our manufacturers and manufacturing workforce of more than 563,000 are the backbone of our economy and contribute to our quality of life.
STEM – No. 6
When it comes to STEM jobs — jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math — Pennsylvania ranks sixth in the nation. This recognition is significant because we see science and technology as driving forces behind our economy. Just take a look at what’s happening in places like Pittsburgh, where we’re leading innovation in robotics and self-driving car technology. Or Philadelphia, where new high-tech smart fabrics are being created for everything from monitoring vital signs to storing energy. The list goes on. As a state, we offer a wealth of resources, including our nearly 300 institutions of higher education, to train and grow our future STEM leaders.
Biotechnology – No. 7
With more than 1,000 research, testing, and medical labs and an excess of 2,300 life sciences establishments, Pennsylvania is a leader in the life sciences and biotechnology. This past June, we joined 15,000 biotechnology and pharma leaders at the BIO International Convention in San Francisco, where we promoted the Keystone State as a life sciences leader and featured companies like Inovio Pharmaceuticals, which recently announced it will be the first to test an experimental vaccine in humans to combat the Zika virus. This is just one example of the many innovations resulting from Pennsylvania’s innovation ecosystem.
Exports – No. 10
Exporting offers innovative companies an opportunity to grow by expanding the sale of their products or services in international markets. They also help drive our economy. In fact, Pennsylvania exported $39.4 billion in goods and services in 2015. Our top export industries include chemicals, transportation equipment, computer and electronic products, machinery, and primary metals. In 2013, over 15,600 Pennsylvania companies were exporters – of which 89 percent (or nearly 14,000) were small or medium-sized companies with fewer than 500 employees. Exports are a true Pennsylvania success story and another example of how we are leading other states nationally and globally.
I am proud to live and work in Pennsylvania, and it’s great to see that others are noticing our accomplishments, too. If you’re interested in seeing a full list of Pennsylvania’s accomplishments, visit our Awards and Rankings page, and follow us on Twitter (@PADCEDnews) for even more PA success stories.
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