AKRON, Ohio, Sept. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Site Selection magazine has named FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) one of the top utilities in the country for promoting economic development. Overall, the company helped attract more than $3.7 billion in capital investment to its Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey service areas that resulted in more than 6,500 new jobs. This marks the eighth time in the past 10 years FirstEnergy has won the Site Selection award.
The designation recognizes utility companies that complement reliable power delivery to their customers with a hands-on approach to encouraging business development in their operational areas. Using 2010 data, the award is based on a mix of objective and subjective criteria, including what the utility does to help create jobs and facilitate investment in its area, website tools and data that can be used to help business development, and survey input from corporate end users and site consultants.
"FirstEnergy has a long history of being active in business development and we are proud that Site Selection magazine has once again recognized the role we play in attracting capital investment and new jobs to the states where we have operations," said Joel D. Bailey, vice president, Local Affairs & Business Development, FirstEnergy. "Over the years our efforts have focused on the areas of Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey we serve. As a result of our recent merger, we will include Maryland and West Virginia in our business development efforts for 2011 and beyond."
In addition to being involved in projects and partnerships that created new jobs and generated sizeable capital investments, FirstEnergy's 2010 economic development efforts included:
- FirstProspector – an interactive internet mapping program that allows users to search for available land sites and commercial buildings in FirstEnergy's service area. The program, which includes presentation-quality demographic and business analysis reports, is designed to help speed up and simplify the search process for new locations.
- Export Now Program – an on-going partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce Foreign Commercial Service helps provide export trade opportunities for FirstEnergy's small and medium-sized manufacturing customers. Now in its 16th year, more than 270 FirstEnergy customers have participated in international trade missions and events in Canada, Mexico, South America and Europe with aggregate new sales for these firms in excess of $60 million. In 2010, 12 FirstEnergy customers participated in the U.S. Department of Commerce's "Trade Winds Brazil" trade mission.
- Ohio Manufacturers' Association Support – FirstEnergy is providing $7.5 million over three years to support economic development and job retention projects under an agreement reached with The Ohio Manufacturers' Association (OMA). Under the agreement, FirstEnergy will provide $2.5 million over three years to each of three Ohio port authorities to support projects designated by the OMA. The port authorities – Cleveland-Cuyahoga County, Toledo-Lucas County and Summit County – will use the funds for low-interest loans to manufacturing companies for qualifying projects.
- IMPACTfactor+ – a computer simulation program for economic development that helps FirstEnergy's communities model the increase in economic activity as a result of new investment in an area's economy. Customized IMPACTfactor+ reports are generated for economic development partners to help measure the impact on jobs, output, personal income and tax revenue using industry-specific multipliers.
FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies comprise the nation's largest investor-owned electric system. Its diverse generating fleet features non-emitting nuclear, scrubbed baseload coal, natural gas, and pumped-storage hydro and other renewables, and has a total generating capacity of approximately 23,000 megawatts.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.