This Week in the Shapiro Administration: Making Government Work Faster for Pennsylvanians & Securing Meaningful Investments in Economic Development
October 27, 2023
Harrisburg, PA – This week, Governor Josh Shapiro highlighted the work his Administration has done over the past nine months to make government work more effectively and efficiently for Pennsylvanians by implementing improvements to the Commonwealth’s permitting and licensing processes, investing in new economic developments, and continuing to invest in the clean energy industry.
This week, Governor Shapiro joined Amazon to open a new 1.2 million square foot fulfillment center in York and joined Westinghouse to announce that the company will further develop the eVinci™ microreactor in Allegheny County by investing at least $18 million and creating more than 40 new high-paying jobs. Amazon and Westinghouse’s investments are the latest significant private sector investments in Pennsylvania under the Shapiro Administration.
Under Governor Shapiro’s leadership, the Commonwealth will continue to invest in clean energy projects, spur growth and innovation, and make government work faster and more efficiently for Pennsylvanians.
Read about the Shapiro Administration’s work across Pennsylvania this week below:
Highlighting Improvements Made to the Commonwealth’s Permitting, Licensing, and Certification Processes
- On Thursday, Governor Shapiro, Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt, and Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid Mumin visited Sola Salon Studios in Harrisburg to highlight significant improvements to the Commonwealth’s permitting, licensing, and certification processes.
- Since signing an Executive Order directing all state agencies to compile a catalog of the licenses, certificates, and permits they administer – including the length of time it takes them to process applications and the application fee charged by each agency – every agency under the Governor’s jurisdiction catalogued all 2,400 total permits, licenses and certifications issued by the Commonwealth for the first time ever.
- Governor Shapiro and his team have made real progress by eliminating the backlog of unresolved pandemic-era unemployment claims, eliminating the Medicaid provider backlog, reducing the time it takes to process new in-state teacher certifications, reducing the average time to process new business applications, reducing the time it takes to certify small businesses, and more.
- The Shapiro Administration is currently finalizing work to set up a money-back guarantee system and set deadlines for each permit, and the Commonwealth Office of Digital Experience (CODE PA) is in the process of reviewing the existing digital services that Pennsylvanians use to apply for licenses, certificates, and permits and is working to modernize those application platforms and services to better serve Pennsylvanians.
Making Pennsylvania a Leader in Clean Energy: Westinghouse to Develop Innovative eVinci™ Microreactor in Allegheny County
- On Tuesday, Governor Shapiro and Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Rick Siger joined Westinghouse to announce that the company will further develop the eVinci™ microreactor in Allegheny County and invest at least $18 million and create more than 40 new high-paying jobs.
- Westinghouse will develop the transportable nuclear battery technology, which will provide clean energy for a variety of applications including remote mining and off-grid communities, defense facilities, and data centers.
- Westinghouse’s investment is the latest private sector investment under the Shapiro Administration – and since January, Governor Shapiro has announced over $1 billion in new private sector investment in Pennsylvania as a direct result of his Administration’s work.
Planting a Flag: Amazon and Governor Shapiro Celebrate Opening of New Fulfillment Center in York
- On Tuesday, Governor Shapiro celebrated the opening of a brand new 1.2 million square foot fulfillment center in York.
- Since 2010, Amazon has invested more than $21.6 billion in Pennsylvania, including infrastructure and compensation to employees. Amazon has created 25,000 full and part-time jobs in Pennsylvania in over 40 facilities across the Commonwealth.
Recognizing Outstanding Achievements and Dedication to Public Service: Delivering the Governor’s Awards for Excellence to Exemplary Commonwealth Employees
- On Monday, Governor Shapiro and Secretary of Administration Neil Weaver honored 54 Pennsylvania Commonwealth employees from 8 state agencies for their dedication to public service.
- Commonwealth employees were recognized for their outstanding work to support Pennsylvania’s poultry industry during the 2022 Avian Influenza outbreak, to provide all Pennsylvania counties with a modern 911 system, for rebuilding the Fern Hollow Bridge in less than a year after its collapse, and more.
Read what Pennsylvania leaders are saying about the Shapiro Administration’s work to make government work faster and make Pennsylvania a clean energy leader:
- Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt: “In response to the Governor’s executive order, we at the Department of State have significantly improved processing times for new business registrations and professional license applications. Everyone from clerks to managers pulled together and worked long hours, including evenings and weekends, to eliminate the backlog of applications. We also cross-trained staff and filled all the multiple vacant positions to increase the number of people processing applications. These improved processing times mean entrepreneurs don’t have to delay implementing their visions for new businesses, and skilled professionals can get to work more quickly in the Commonwealth. And, ultimately, all Pennsylvanians benefit from a more vibrant economy and better access to the services they need.”
- Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid Mumin: “At the Pennsylvania Department of Education, we have been working diligently to streamline the process of becoming an educator in the Commonwealth. We are proud to say that as of today, new educators can expect to receive their certification in about 2-3 weeks, a 10-week improvement since this time last year. We have also made the Certification website more intuitive and user-friendly to improve the end user experience.”
- Eric Diehl, Nurse at UPMC Harrisburg: “The Shapiro Administration’s efforts to improve licensing and permitting at the state level will be extremely helpful in helping veterans and their family members as they return home. The Occupational Crosswalk Program run by the Department of State and DMVA will help people connect the dots between military experience and qualifications for licensed professions, including nursing. It will make the licensure process much faster and easier than before. Ensuring veterans and their family members can account for the experience and training they already have will really help ease the transition period back home.”
- Dr. Jane Wilburne, Chair of Teacher Education at PSU Harrisburg: “The application process through the Department of Education would take, on average, anywhere from 10-12 weeks which made it difficult for school districts to hire the candidates in time for the beginning of the school year. We are finding now, the updated and improved teacher certification process only takes about 3-4 weeks, making it quicker for aspiring teachers to receive their Instructional I certificates and enter the profession. The quick turnaround for the certification process is benefitting all new teachers and helping school districts fill their vacant teaching positions faster.”
- Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Rick Siger: “Westinghouse built the world’s first commercial pressurized water reactor in Southwestern Pennsylvania more than 60 years ago, so it’s only fitting that they will continue to develop advanced nuclear technology here. This unique and innovative project will create high-paying engineering and tech jobs in Pennsylvania while also breathing new life into an old, underutilized industrial building. This is a tremendous win and an example of the enormous opportunity for energy innovation in the Commonwealth.”
- Westinghouse President and CEO Patrick Fragman: “Westinghouse is grateful for the support we have received from Gov. Shapiro, Sec. Siger, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Borough of Etna, to help bring this advanced nuclear technology to the world. We have deep roots in Pennsylvania and we are excited to continue building the future of clean energy right here.”
See more of what Pennsylvanians are seeing and reading about the Shapiro Administration’s work across the Commonwealth this week: