Gov. Rendell Signs Jobs Bill

Governor Rendell Signs Jobs Bill to Spur $1.2 Billion Investment in PA’s Economy, Create 18,000 Jobs

Bill Part of 2010-11 Budget Package that Preserves Funds for Proven Programs that have Created Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs.

PITTSBURGH – At a time when the state and the nation are showing positive economic signs, Governor Edward G. Rendell today signed a jobs bill that will put people to work on important construction projects that will account for at least $1.2 billion in new investments in Pennsylvania’s communities.

The bill authorizes projects for funding through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, or RACP, which the Governor said will put an estimated 18,000 people to work, doing construction; installing electrical, heating and cooling systems; and making steel, concrete and other building materials.

On July 6, he signed a state budget that preserves funding for effective programs and positions Pennsylvania for growth as the economy continues to recover.

“This was a difficult budget, but it preserves the investments we need to make—and make now—if we want to emerge from this recession well-positioned to expand our economy and create jobs,” said Governor Rendell. “Today is the time to make these investments, because they will accelerate our economic recovery.

“We’ve added jobs in Pennsylvania for the past three straight months; corporate profits are up; the nation’s gross domestic product is up; and inventories are down, which means manufacturers will be ramping up production to re-stock shelves. Businesses are ready to invest again and we want to be sure they’re investing in Pennsylvania.”

The Governor signed the RACP bill at the Connelley Technical School where local leaders are working to establish a home for the Pittsburgh Green Innovators, a group of local stakeholders committed to building a sustainable economy. Once renovations and other improvements are complete, the building will provide space to research, develop and showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

The $16.5 million project will also provide a teaching environment for college students and workers who want to enter the green economy, and also will house a small business incubator. The facility is expected to launch approximately four to five companies per year, create 200 jobs, and train about 2,000 people per year.

“The Connelley School/Pittsburgh Green Innovators project has been a priority of mine for years, and I am happy to be here as the Governor signs legislation that will add $8 million to this exciting endeavor to complete the initial funding needs,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle (D-14th District). “I believe that green energy technology will be one of the main drivers of economic growth in the coming decades – much as computers and the Internet have been in recent years. Our region is becoming a national leader in green energy technology, and I have been working with other local leaders to solidify and build on that lead so that southwestern Pennsylvania can benefit from this trend. The Connelley School/Pittsburgh Green Innovators will establish a front door for green education, public information and demonstration projects for the region.”

The Governor added that the RACP bill authorizes a $600 million investment by the state in eligible projects like the Connelley Technical School. And, because of the program’s dollar-for-dollar match requirement, the new funding will lead to a total investment in the state of more than $1.2 billion.

He said the investment promises to jump-start important economic development projects in every region of the state, just as it has done since 2003. In the past seven and a half years, RACP has helped support nearly 1,000 projects that have accounted for a nearly $4 billion investment in the state’s communities.

The Governor said the fiscal year 2010-11 budget preserves critically important investments that will attract new companies to Pennsylvania, help existing businesses expand and reach new markets, and train workers to meet the demands of today’s rapidly changing economy.

He said the budget preserves funding for proven economic development programs that have been effective at attracting private investments that create jobs. Specifically, he pointed to the Opportunity Grant Program, the Infrastructure and Facilities Improvement Program, and the Customized Job Training Program as essential economic development tools. Those programs have been used in up to 900 projects that created or retained approximately 300,000 jobs and leveraged more than $10 billion in private investment.

The Governor also pointed to World Trade PA, which has helped 2,300 of the state’s exporters boost sales by more than $1 billion over the past three years despite the global recession. Deals facilitated by World Trade PA have supported more than 14,000 jobs in the state since 2005.

For more information on the 2010-11 budget, visit www.pa.gov. To see what programs are available to help businesses expand and create jobs, visit www.newpa.com or call 1-866-GO-NEWPA. For more information on the RACP program, visit www.budget.state.pa.us and click on the “Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program” link.



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