HARRISBURG, Pa., June 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker said today that the kickoff of the White House Rural Council's first Made in Rural America Regional Forum in Canonsburg, Washington County signifies Pennsylvania's role as a national leader in helping businesses reach new export markets which is leading to job growth.
"Pennsylvania is the prime location to kick off the Made in Rural America Regional Forum and highlight how our export and foreign direct investment initiatives are helping to drive new economic growth," said Walker. "Governor Corbett's direct leadership to support international business development is introducing a new, energized Pennsylvania to the world leading to new jobs and growing businesses."
As part of the White House Rural Council's Made in Rural America export and investment initiative, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) hosted a regional forum on expanding rural businesses' international market opportunities today in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. The first of five regional forums to be held across the country, the Canonsburg event will highlight the role exports can play in helping rural businesses access new opportunity, add jobs and ensure long-term growth.
Pennsylvania boasts the largest international business development network of any state in the nation with 22 trade offices covering 73 countries and 10 local Regional Export Network Partners (REN) throughout the state. This team of experts can help evaluate readiness, research new markets, locate buyers, identify funding you need to grow international sales and assist in long-term exports growth.
Last fiscal year, with an appropriation of $7.3 million, the commonwealth's international business programs facilitated more than $795 million in new export sales for Pennsylvania companies supporting 7,000 jobs and more than $85.2 million in Foreign Direct Investment supporting more than 1,000 jobs.
"Pennsylvania's pro-business climate and quality companies and products, makes us uniquely positioned to benefit from manufacturers returning home and the growing demand for international exports," Walker said. "Companies throughout the world are realizing that when you make it in Pennsylvania, your business will flourish."
In 2012, Gov. Corbett launched JOBS1st PA as a comprehensive roadmap to economic recovery that harnessed the state's resources and talents to prioritize private-sector job creation and retention. Today, Pennsylvania's unemployment rate stands at a five-year low and jobs have been growing on a consistent basis for nearly four years.
Building upon JOBS1st PA's successes, Corbett's 2014-15 budget places focus on Make It in PA investments to ensure the continued resurgence of Pennsylvania's manufacturing, life sciences and technology sectors. The budget proposes increased funding for World Trade PA to expand promotion of Pennsylvania exports in key international markets and to attract foreign investment.
Forum attendees will hear from experienced local exporters and from local, state, and federal organizations about resources and opportunities that can help rural businesses and community leaders take advantage of export opportunities and access new customers and markets abroad.
For more information about Gov. Corbett's commitment to job creation, visit www.pa.gov.
Media contact: Lyndsay Kensinger, DCED; 717-783-1132
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development