Governor Edward G. Rendell has announced that Pennsylvania's investment of $1.6 million in Lehigh and Bedford counties will create and retain 67 manufacturing jobs.
"We are investing in the future of Lehigh and Bedford counties with this support," Governor Rendell said. "Today's announcement reflects my commitment to one of Pennsylvania's oldest and important sectors: the manufacturing industry. "We are working hard to boost economic development - from community to community - in every region of Pennsylvania. Through partnerships with local economic development entities, we are able to make proactive, strategic investments that will create jobs, revitalize our communities, and allow our economy to grow," said Rendell.
The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) provides low-interest loans through local industrial development corporations for land and building acquisition and construction or renovation. The program targets manufacturers, industrial developers, research and development firms, agricultural processors and employers establishing national or regional headquarters.
"PIDA is one of many ways companies can partner with the commonwealth to create new jobs and attract new businesses," Governor Rendell said.
As a vital part of incentives offered through the Governor's Action Team, the funding provided today will help to retain 49 jobs and create an additional 18 jobs for the Lehigh Valley. In Bedford County, PIDA funding will help pay for the renovation of a building to encourage new opportunities for multiple tenants.
"State investments made through the commonwealth's programs like PIDA are having positive results on the economy. There are more jobs now than at any time in our history. In fact, we have 48,500 more jobs today than we had a year ago and nearly 122,000 more than when I took office," Governor Rendell said.
The following loans were approved by PIDA:
Bedford County Development Association will receive a $1 million PIDA loan for acquisition and renovation costs associated with the conversion of the former Hedstrom building into a multi-occupancy facility. The building as been vacant since October 2004 when Hedstrom Corporation filed for bankruptcy. Once renovations are completed, Morton Metalcraft Co., a metal abricator, is expected to lease 180,000 square feet of the site. This represents the first PIDA-funded, multi-occupancy loan for the Bedford County Development Association.
Rhetech Inc. will receive a $620,915 loan to support and expand their manufacturing facility in Coopersburg. The company manufactures equipment used in the manufacturing and refurbishing of semiconductor chips. Rhetech's products are marketed worldwide to semiconductor chip makers. The company currently operates in a 22,000-square-foot building, but has 11.5 acres still available for development. PIDA funds are part of a $724,915 package from the Governor's Action Team that will allow Rhetech to construct a 10,200-square- foot addition to their facility. Lehigh's Economic Advancement Project Inc. is the sponsoring local development agency.