Governor Shapiro Announces $2.5 Million PA SITES Investment in Westmoreland County to Attract Business and Jobs … – PA Department of Community & Economic Development

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Compared to neighboring states, Pennsylvania lacks readily available sites for major business expansion – but the PA SITES pilot program is changing that, helping 7 sites secure necessary permits, build out critical infrastructure, and prepare for major business expansion and job creation.
After the PA SITES pilot program garnered interest from over 100 applicants for projects exceeding $235 million, Governor Shapiro proposed $500 million in his 2024-25 budget address to secure major business expansion for the Commonwealth to attract more companies and create more jobs.
Hempfield Township, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro and Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Rick Siger announced $2.5 million in grant funding through the PA SITES (Pennsylvania Strategic Investments to Enhance Sites) pilot program for the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation (WCIDC) to make public infrastructure improvements at the site of a former industrial plant that will be developed into a new, 217-acre industrial park in Hempfield Township.
The Westmoreland County IDC applied on behalf of developer Adam Eidemiller, Inc., which has put forward nearly $27 million of their own funding for the site development project. Commonwealth funding will grade, remediate, and install public infrastructure – like utility hookups and highway improvements – to support the future development of 800,0000 to 1,000,000 square feet of industrial, warehouse, and distribution space.
These funds are part of the larger $10.6 million in new funding announced by the Governor yesterday in Allentown to help sites across the Commonwealth become “shovel ready” in order to attract more businesses and create more good-paying jobs across the Commonwealth.
“As we built our Commonwealth’s first economic development strategy in nearly two decades, we heard loud and clear that Pennsylvania needs to develop more sites we can use to sell our Commonwealth to big companies,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “Our neighboring states are moving full steam ahead to get more sites ready – and it’s time Pennsylvania catches up. Today, I’m here to announce this site in Westmoreland County will receive one of the first PA SITES grants to turn this old concrete plant into a 217-acre business park that will help us sell this region to businesses across the country. We’re turning this pile of dirt into hundreds of jobs for the good people of Pennsylvania, and my budget proposes $500 million to continue site development projects just like this one to grow our economy, rebuild our communities, and help Pennsylvania compete – and win.”
After Governor Shapiro and Secretary Siger heard from leading site selectors that the Commonwealth does not have enough sites readily available – making it harder to attract businesses to Pennsylvania or expand existing operations here – the Shapiro Administration and DCED incorporated this feedback into the Commonwealth’s first economic development strategy in nearly 20 years and launched the PA SITES pilot program.
DCED received 102 applications for the PA SITES pilot program requesting more than $236 million in funding – outweighing the existing funding from the 2023-24 budget and demonstrating the need for more state investments to make sites more competitive for prospective businesses through better transportation access, utility extensions, or grading of pad-ready sites.
These enhancements will help previously utilized or underdeveloped sites become shovel-ready for businesses to relocate, expand, and create jobs in Pennsylvania – and the Governor’s 2024-25 budget proposal includes $500 million in PA SITES funding to build on this progress.
“I’m so excited to be here in Westmoreland County today for this announcement. PA SITES is ready to scale. We know there’s demand, we know there’s a need to be competitive, and we know that investing in site development works,” said Secretary Rick Siger. “That’s why it’s critical that we secure additional funding for the program – and the Governor’s call for a $500 million infusion into PA SITES is the kind of transformational, bold investment that all of the Commonwealth’s regions deserve.”
Pennsylvania lacks readily available funds and sites to support companies’ major business expansions compared to states like Ohio, New York, and Virginia, who have allocated annual funding to site development incentives. To change this, Governor Shapiro secured $13 million in PA First funding in the 2023-24 budget for the PA SITES pilot program to provide grant funding to municipalities, economic development organizations, and industrial development agencies like the Westmoreland County IDC.
“When we invest in site development, we invest in our economy and the future, and we ensure that Westmoreland County and Pennsylvania are viable choices in the ultra-competitive business expansion and attraction environment,” said Jason Rigone, Executive Director of the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation. “Companies look for sites that offer ‘speed to market’; by addressing topographic and environmental challenges, the PA SITES program unlocks Western Pennsylvania sites that otherwise wouldn’t meet today’s site-selection requirements.”
“The $2.5 million grant from the Commonwealth will be a God Send, as it will help with the many infrastructure hurdles that must be contended with in the design concept of heavy and light industrial rental buildings,” said Lou Battistella, President of Adam Eidemiller, Inc. “On behalf of shareholders and directors of Adam Eidemiller, Inc, I want to express my thanks to Governor Josh Shapiro and his Administration.”
In addition to the funding awarded to the Westmoreland County IDC, other PA SITES pilot program funding is being awarded to the following recipients:
“We’re thrilled about this investment in Westmoreland County, meeting the rising needs for distribution facilities and manufacturing space,” said Westmoreland County Commissioner Sean Kertes. “This project’s extensive infrastructure enhancements, supported by the state, will not only create a dynamic multi-use development but also drive substantial tax revenue for our community.”
“For tourism and quality of life, our topography, our mountains, our vistas, and more, are prime reasons that people visit and live in Westmoreland County. We have a rich history of contributing to the industrial development of PA, the US and the world,” said Westmoreland County Commissioner Douglas Chew. “But those attributes that make Westmoreland a great place to live, play, and work also make it difficult to build industrial infrastructure as easily as our flat neighboring states. Westmoreland County is proud to help kick off the PA Sites program and witness investment of over $25 million for business growth and expansion.
“The lack of ready-to-go sites has long been a barrier to attracting new businesses to the Commonwealth,” said Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas. “Public funding in business-ready sites are smart investments that generate large returns by generating exponential private investment and supporting the economies and tax base of local governments, like Westmoreland.”
In addition to the $500 million for PA SITES, the Governor’s 2024-25 budget proposal proposes: $25 million for the Main Street Matters program to support small businesses and commercial corridors, $20 million to support large-scale innovation and leverage Pennsylvania’s best-in-class research and development assets, and $3.5 million to create and launch the Pennsylvania Regional Economic Competitiveness Challenge, which will incentivize regional growth, build vibrant and resilient regions, and support communities by investing in the development of comprehensive strategies to propel entire regions forward.
“These proactive investments in pad-ready sites indicate what’s possible when the state steps forward to win projects,” said Matt Smith, Chief Growth Officer of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. “A robust PA SITES program will increase our inventory of ready sites, expedite landing deals, and usher in a new wave of investment in industries where we have a competitive advantage. We ask lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to work together with the Shapiro administration to move the PA SITES program forward so that we can compete effectively against other states for investment.”
For more information on how the Governor’s proposed budget will create economic opportunity for all Pennsylvanians, visit Governor Josh Shapiro’s Budget website.
For more information about PA Sites program or the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, X, and LinkedIn.
MEDIA CONTACT:
Governor’s Press Office, ra-gvgovpress@pa.gov
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