On “Jobs that Pay” Tour in Allentown, Governor Wolf Hosts Roundtable Discussion on Budget Investment in Pennsylvania’s Economy
March 08, 2017
Allentown, PA – Today, Governor Wolf toured Vastex International in Allentown and hosted a roundtable discussion with Vastex employees and local leaders focused on budget initiatives that will support a new way for Pennsylvania’s economy and job creation. Vastex is a family-owned textile screen printing business that plans to expand their operations to the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park with the help of a state loan.
“As a former business owner, I know that the commonwealth can help set the table for robust private sector growth to create and retain good jobs while strengthening the middle class,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “I’ve traveled the commonwealth to talk to businesses like Vastex about how we can help them thrive. I applaud Vastex for committing to growing their business right here in Pennsylvania.”
In July of 2016, Vastex was approved for a Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority $1,205,000, 15-year loan at 2.25 percent, for the first seven years, to acquire 8.25 acres in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII to construct a 45,000-square-foot building. The total project cost is projected to be $3,750,000, and will create eight new jobs and retain 23 existing positions.
“Manufacturing Vastex screen printing machinery in Pennsylvania was a strategic decision for us 20 years ago because, unlike other states we considered, Pennsylvania was by far the most business-friendly, and today that’s even truer than ever,” said Vastex President Mark Vasilantone. “The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority is helping to continue our expansion by providing funding for our new manufacturing plant, which will employ more great PA residents from the start and more as we grow. We cannot thank Governor Wolf and the legislature enough for supporting the PIDA program, and for personally joining us here at Vastex to celebrate this milestone in our 57 year history.”
Governor Wolf’s budget continues to invest in 21st century manufacturing, workforce development and training programs while also implementing new safeguards to ensure taxpayer dollars for economic development projects are spent appropriately and intended outcomes are met.
Governor Wolf plans on investing in job creation by:
- Partnering with the commonwealth’s research universities and Industrial Resource Centers to accelerate manufacturing technology advancement and adoption, foster manufacturing innovation and commercialization, and build a 21st century workforce.
- Creating a new apprenticeship grant program to ensure workers can receive training aligned to business workforce needs, funded with revenue recovered from companies that fail to live up to previous commitments made when they received state assistance.
- Investing $5 million in a manufacturing training-to-career grant program to partner with technical programs and community colleges to develop new training programs that align with their workforce needs.