Shapiro to unveil 10-year economic development strategy for Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania Capital-Star

Gov. Josh Shapiro will unveil a new economic development plan for Pennsylvania today that he says will help the state better compete with neighbors like New York and Ohio. The ten-year Pennsylvania Economic Development Strategy will focus on five sectors: agriculture, energy, life sciences, manufacturing, and robotics and technology, and include several new initiatives. 

“For too long, Pennsylvania’s neighboring states have invested and focused on economic development while our Commonwealth has lacked a targeted game plan and serious investment,” Shapiro said in a statement. “With this plan, for the first time in nearly two decades, Pennsylvania has a serious economic development strategy that brings together our private and public sectors, our highly skilled workers, and our world-class universities.”

Shapiro said the plan will focus on five key goals: investing in economic growth to compete, continuing to make government work at the speed of business, opening doors of opportunity to all Pennsylvanians, innovating to win, and building vibrant and resilient regions. He’ll announce the plan in Bethlehem, at OraSure Technologies, a global life sciences manufacturing company.

The 2024-25 budget proposal Shapiro will present in Harrisburg next week will call for investments tied to this ten-year strategy, and will include a “strong call for action for partners across all sectors to join in with their support.” 

Shapiro’s office provided a glimpse of some parts of the plan ahead of the announcement in a news release; it will include a  “major investment” in site development that Shapiro says will bring more commercial and industrial sites online.

The news release notes that after the launch of the PA SITES program last September, which aimed to provide $10 million in grants to conduct site assessments and prepare them for remediation, the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) received 102 applications seeking more than $236 million in funding. “The demand for investment is clearly there,” according to the release. 

Shapiro will seek $2 million for a “Career Connect” program to match employers and workers, help create internships, and “keep young people in Pennsylvania.”  He’ll also propose an additional $10 million for the Agriculture Innovation Program, along with “significant” new innovation funding to support startups and entrepreneurs. 

The budget proposal will also include $3.5 million to launch the new Pennsylvania Regional Challenge, described as being inspired by the federal Build Back Better Regional ChallengeThat grant competition created by the American Rescue Plan sought “interconnected investments” in a given region that had the potential to boost the local economy, expand economic opportunity and create jobs. 

The Pennsylvania version will include a Regional Hubs Challenge, to provide different geographic regions with state resources to plan and implement local strategies for economic development.

The governor will also ask for $25 million for the new Main Street Matters program, which will build upon and expand the Keystone Communities Program, a DCED program that provides grants for local revitalization programs. 

This story will be updated.



Originally published at www.penncapital-star.com,by Kim Lyons

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