WILKES-BARRE — It’s called a win for the entire northeastern Pennsylvania region.
That’s what John L. Augustine III, president and CEO of Penn’s Northeast, said when discussing a report recently released by the Governor’s Action Team (GAT).
GAT’s annual report for fiscal year 2020-21 shows Northeastern Pennsylvania leads the Commonwealth in job creation overall, as well as in the manufacturing and service sectors. regional and national headquarters.
“Northeastern Pennsylvania leads the state and nation in e-commerce manufacturing and distribution,” Augustine said. “We expect this trend to continue into 2022 and beyond. Businesses realize that our strategic location, excellent workforce and low operating costs are the keys to their success.
Augustine was delighted to hear the findings of the GAT report. He has been advocating for a regional approach to economic development for years and this effort is bearing tremendous fruit.
“It speaks to our regional approach to economic development,” said Augustine. “This could not have happened with one community competing with another. This is co-op at its finest, showcasing the best Northeastern Pennsylvania has to offer.
The mission of the GAT
GAT’s mission is to support business attraction to Pennsylvania and the expansion of businesses currently operating in the state. GAT has supported the completion of 58 projects, leading to nearly 10,000 new jobs pledged and over 33,000 retained jobs pledged, totaling over $3.8 billion in Commonwealth investments.
Augustine said the report provides additional details on GAT’s results this year, including major job creation projects like Ball Corporation in Jenkins Township and CANPACK Group in Olyphant, Lackawanna County, establishing aluminum canning operations in northeastern Pennsylvania; and many other examples of companies choosing Pennsylvania as the best location for long-term sustainable growth.
Northeast Penn represents eight counties – Wayne, Pike, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Schuylkill, Carbon and Columbia.
“This report shows that we created more new jobs than any other region in the state,” Augustine said. “And the majority of those jobs were in manufacturing and other sectors.”
High paying manufacturing jobs
Augustine said that for manufacturing jobs, the average salary is $48,000 per year, discussing the 2,300 new jobs created in the region in the 2020-21 fiscal year.
“It’s a positive story that’s great for the whole region,” Augustine said. “It features all of northeast Pennsylvania. The GAT report reaffirms what we know – that our area is one of the most sought after locations in the United States. It also shows that it is not only about e-commerce distribution, but also manufacturing and national and regional headquarters.
Augustine said Penn’s Northeast was created to promote the concept of a regional approach to economic development and planning.
“We wanted to bring together our collective strengths,” he said. “That’s what other regions are doing, that’s what other states are doing. And this time, our partnerships paid off.
“They see opportunities”
Augustine said large corporations in the United States and around the world no longer see municipal boundaries when reviewing NEPA.
“They see opportunities,” Augustine said. “And our collective whole is our greatest good.”
Augustine said positives include location to NEPA, utilities, health care, labor, educational facilities, recreation venues, transportation close to major markets and more.
Last week, Sen. John Yudichak, I-Swoyersville, said $1.19 billion in private investment has created 2,362 jobs and maintained 2,622 existing jobs, while spurring an effect of economic drive that supported 11,048 jobs in the region.
“It’s been a long time since Northeastern Pennsylvania led the state in job creation, and it’s important that our region’s economic and community leaders take pride in this great achievement, welcome new businesses investing in our region and double down on our efforts to support the historic economic growth we are experiencing in the region,” said Yudichak.
Contact Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.