Pennsylvania Is Getting It Done | Trade and Industry Development

Pennsylvania Is Getting It Done

Mar 19, 2024 | By: State of Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, Governor Josh Shapiro and economic development partners across the Commonwealth have a new energy – and a new attitude toward getting things done. Since January 2023, the administration helped bring in more than $1.2 billion in private sector investment. It created the Office of Transformation and Opportunity, dedicated to cutting red tape and streamlining government operations, resulting in cutting the time it takes to acquire a business license from eight weeks to just three days and continually tackling permitting efficiency across the board. It also it helped create more than 100,000 new jobs in Pennsylvania as its unemployment rate went down.

Photo © Sean Pavone |
Photo © Sean Pavone |

The Shapiro Administration’s goals for Pennsylvania’s economy are bold. Even with the Commonwealth’s competitive advantages – like its proximity to major U.S. markets and relative low cost of doing business, more than 23 Fortune 500 companies and more than one million small businesses, and 190,000 skilled graduates from world-class colleges and universities every year – there is still work to be done to truly elevate Pennsylvania’s economy to the next level. That means creating a competitive agenda to aggressively pursue business attraction, grow the economy and strengthen communities.

A New Economic Development Strategy
To bolster competitiveness, the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has created Pennsylvania’s first comprehensive, 10-year economic development strategy in nearly two decades. After several months in development with collaboration with the private sector, the economic development community and leaders in the education, nonprofit and labor sectors, Governor Shapiro unveiled the new strategy in January 2024.

The strategy focuses on five core areas. First is a real commitment to investment in economic growth to compete. Second is making government work at the speed of business through the Office of Transformation and Opportunity and all government agencies. Third is opening doors of opportunity for all Pennsylvanians by increasing worker pathways to family-sustaining careers. Fourth is doubling down on the Commonwealth’s advantages in innovation.  Finally, finally, the plan stresses the importance of building vibrant and resilient regions where businesses and residents want to be.

When creating the new strategy, it was important to develop it as a blueprint for action rather than a plan that would sit on the shelf. Even while developing the strategy, the Shapiro Administration had already begun taking action on some of the issues identified within it. For instance, DCED piloted a program called PA SITES to help develop pad-ready sites. It developed a new business brand and website,, to make it easier for company executives and site consultants to learn more about Pennsylvania. This strategy informed Governor Shapiro’s budget proposals in his new budget for fiscal year 2024-2025, including calls for a transformational $500 million investment into the PA SITES program and significant investments in innovation, Main Street improvements and workforce development.

Equipped with a new strategy and the energy to get it done, Pennsylvania is primed for growth. Read the economic development strategy in its entirety at  T&ID


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