AKRON, Ohio, Sept. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) has been named by Site Selection magazine as one of the nation's leading utilities in promoting economic development for the third year in a row, helping to attract 14,500 new jobs and $5.5 billion in third-party corporate facility investment in its six-state service area in 2020.
The Site Selection award winners were chosen from a field of more than 3,300 electric utilities and cooperatives across the country. The recipient utilities were recognized for complementing reliable power delivery to their customers with a hands-on approach to encouraging business development in their operational areas.
"Even in the midst of the pandemic, our economic development team positively influenced 107 major projects in 2020, attracting more new jobs and more direct investment than 2019, which also was a banner year for our efforts," said Patrick Kelly, director of Economic Development for FirstEnergy. "We are proud to have received recognition from Site Selection 17 times in the last 19 years, which highlights the effective economic development relationships and programs that benefit all of the states we are proud to serve."
Kelly says one of the bigger projects was General Motors and LG Chem investing $2.8 billion in Ultium Cells, a new electric vehicle battery facility being built in the Youngstown-Warren area of Ohio, which has gained a reputation as "Voltage Valley" because of multiple electric vehicle-related industries under development there. FirstEnergy also is helping drive construction of a tremendous amount of distribution centers in the parts of eastern Pennsylvania it serves. This is a prime area in close proximity to East Coast population centers, while avoiding congestion issues on Interstate-95.
In 2020, FirstEnergy launched a new economic development website – www.fe-economic-development.com – and sponsored webinars on the economic impact of the pandemic, focusing on how businesses in its six-state service area can encourage and facilitate foreign direct investment as part of their overall economic development efforts.
FirstEnergy's economic development team regularly provides the following services for companies looking to locate or expand in its footprint:
Location analysis and community research
Permitting and regulations expertise
Information on available sites and buildings
Demographic, workforce and business establishments data
Introductions to local, regional and state officials
Information about local and state economic development incentives
"Many times, the best economic development assistance we can provide is being an active liaison with FirstEnergy's ten utilities, especially when it comes to ensuring the local grid can handle the added electrical usage any new projects produce," said Kelly.
Along with expertise in business development relationships and programs, FirstEnergy is investing in transmission system enhancements and grid modernization to provide world-class infrastructure capable of powering energy-intensive industries now and in the future.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.