Governor Rendell Announces Job-Creating Economic Development Projects in Northwestern PA

Dec 13, 2010, 13:33 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 13, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced $45 million in new state investments in Warren and Erie counties that will leverage more than $68 million in private funding, create more than 400 temporary construction jobs, and open new jobs for more than 325 Pennsylvania residents.

The Governor announced the commonwealth's investment of $32 million through the Public Improvements Program to help renovate and expand the Louis J. Tullio Arena in Erie. The project will leverage $10 million in private investments and is anticipated to create 145 permanent jobs as well as 125 temporary construction jobs.

"It's so important to make smart investments to spur economic development. When the state invests in a project, private companies or other organizations match or exceed those funds with their own investments," Governor Rendell said. "These investments are revitalizing communities, creating jobs and opening the door to new opportunities and future growth."

The Governor also announced:

  • A $7 million investment through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, or RACP, into the GAF Bayfront project that will remediate the land where the former GAF Materials Corporation plant was once located. The project will open up new tourism and development opportunities and is anticipated to create 100 permanent jobs and 50 construction jobs.  It will leverage $43 million in outside funding.
  • A $3.5 million RACP investment to Mercyhurst College that will help develop the Center for Academic Engagement. The new "green" building will house the school's intelligence studies and hospitality majors and will incorporate laboratory space and state-of-the-art equipment.  The project will create 22 permanent jobs, more than 150 construction jobs and will leverage $5.5 million in outside funding.

The Governor also announced a $2.5 million RACP investment in the Innovate Warren project. Innovate Warren encompasses a seven-block area and builds on more than five years of work the city has done to revitalize and re-invent the downtown business district and accelerate the opportunity for current and new businesses to prosper.

"I'm proud that the commonwealth was able to play a small role in this by offering the financial support that planted the seed to make many of the projects we see here come to life," Governor Rendell said. "But local leaders in Warren deserve the credit because they had the ambition and persistence to believe in this project."

The $2.5 million investment will bring credit and non-credit courses to northwestern Pennsylvania through the development of the Center for Advanced Education, which will teach people about community revitalization and energy.

The project will leverage $10.3 million in outside funding and is expected to create 80 temporary construction jobs and at least 60 permanent jobs.

"Programs like RACP and investments like these have helped to keep Pennsylvania's construction industry going despite the economic downturn. These investments -- and others like it -- that we've made across the state for the past 8 years have helped to keep Pennsylvania's unemployment rate below the national average for 91 of the 94 past months," Governor Rendell said.

Governor Rendell said Pennsylvania has strategically used its ability to borrow money for vital community projects like these. Wall Street debt-rating agencies, like Moody's Investors Services, consistently categorize the commonwealth's debt burden as low.

For more information about economic development initiatives in Pennsylvania, visit or call 1-866-466-3972.

Media contact: Gary Tuma, 717-783-1116

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor