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GOV. CASEY ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL FUNDS FOR SHARON STEEL

 GOV. CASEY ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL FUNDS FOR SHARON STEEL
 FARRELL, Pa., May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Gov. Robert P. Casey today announced an additional $4 million state commitment to preserving jobs at the Sharon Steel Corp. plant here.
 The governor presented the first installment -- a $500,000 loan -- to help the company get a continuous caster.
 The presentation occurred as the governor visited the plant as part of activities recognizing the City of Sharon as Pennsylvania's Capital for a Day.
 "This $500,000 check is the first installment of a $4 million package from our Economic Development Partnership Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund," Casey said. "It's going to help make Sharon Steel modern and competitive -- and keep it that way."
 Casey said the $40 million continuous caster, which eliminates several manufacturing steps in turning molten steel into slabs, would make the plant's operation more efficient, cost-effective and competitive. A huge piece of equipment, a continuous caster will require a new two-story building to house it, a water treatment plant and other infrastructure improvements.
 The two-year project is also being funded by Sharon Steel and the consortium of Mercer County, Sharon, Farrell, Hermitage and Sharpsville, which are combining portions of their federal block grant funds to guarantee a federal Housing and Urban Development loan.
 "It's the first time in Pennsylvania that several municipalities have combined their Community Development Block Grant funds to guarantee a federal loan," Casey said. "That's the spirit of unity and mutual support that guarantees the economic recovery of the entire area, and I'm proud to be part of it."
 In 1987 after Sharon Steel filed for Chapter 11 protection, Casey acted to save the plant's 2,200 jobs by earmarking $3 million in state funds to help reline one of the company's blast furnaces. He made that announcement in Farrell while presiding over the first meeting between union officials and members of the company's creditors' committee.
 In 1990, as the company emerged from bankruptcy, the need for a continuous caster was included in its capital investment plans.
 Sharon Steel is now one of the few profitable companies that makes and rolls its own steel. The plant currently employs 2,700.
 The $500,000 loan, the first phase of $4 million in state loans for the continuous caster, was issued through the state Department of Commerce's Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund. The loans are designed to stimulate growth and help retain existing businesses by providing low- interest financing for machinery and equipment to businesses unable to fully finance such projects.
 The loans may be used to acquire and install, upgrade or evaluate the need for machinery and equipment.
 The governor also announced a $10,000 state grant from the Northwest Industrial Resources Center for a total quality management program at Sharon Steel.
 "Since 1987, we've put $2.3 billion to work helping businesses all across the state through the Economic Development Partnership," Casey said. "We've helped businesses and industries bring their facilities up to world class standards."
 The governor said such state investment has created 95,000 jobs and saved another 96,000. He said the state has invested $25 million in economic development in Mercer County, creating 2,900 jobs and saving 3,200 jobs.
 /delval/
 -0- 5/28/92
 /CONTACT: Charles M. Tocci of the Commonwealth News Bureau, 717-783-1116/ CO: Pennsylvania Governor's Office; Sharon Steel Corp. ST: Pennsylvania IN: MNG SU:


LJ -- PH028 -- 4749 05/28/92 12:24 EDT
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Date:May 28, 1992
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