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Regional Cooperation Pays Dividends in Investment And Jobs for Southwestern Pennsylvania.

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ --

Calling it "tangible evidence of the benefits of regional cooperation and a major boost for our job creation efforts," public and private leaders from across southwestern Pennsylvania today praised Governor Tom Ridge and Lt. Governor Mark Schweiker for committing nearly $34 million in state capital budget funding over the past sixty days to more than a dozen economic and community development projects in all ten counties in the region. The projects funded had been identified as regional priorities and presented to Governor Ridge by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Alliance.

"Southwestern Pennsylvanians are working together on a regional basis to set priorities for new investment needed to attract and retain jobs," said William S. Dietrich II, Chairman of Dietrich Industries and Co-Chair of the Growth Alliance. "Governor Ridge and Lt. Governor Schweiker have responded by providing the necessary funding for priority job creation and community preservation projects in all ten counties in our region."

"The projects receiving support from the Ridge Administration will create thousands of new jobs, and every county in our region will benefit," added James Kennedy, Chairman of the Butler County Commissioners and Co-Chair of the Growth Alliance. "With strong bipartisan support from our legislative delegation, we have been able to put aside parochial interests and work together to make the investments needed to bring new jobs and renewed vitality to southwestern Pennsylvania."

At a news conference today, Lt. Governor Schweiker announced that the Ridge Administration is committing $15,150,000 in state redevelopment assistance capital budget funding for industrial site and building projects in eight counties across the region:

-- $2,000,000 for development of the Rockpointe Business Park in

Allegheny County

-- $3,000,000 for the redevelopment of the former PPG Industries site in

Ford City, Armstrong County

-- $1,500,000 to expand the Hopewell Business and Industrial Park in

Beaver County

-- $3,000,000 to develop a regional agri-business development project at

the Victory Road Business Park in Butler County

-- $700,000 for construction of an industrial shell building at the

Meadow Ridge Industrial Park in Greene County

-- $550,000 for creation of a business-ready site and building on Indian

Springs Road in Indiana County

-- $2,400,000 for development of the Star Lake Industrial Park on Route

22 in Washington County

-- $2,000,000 for expansion of the Jeannette Industrial Park in

Westmoreland County

Earlier in December, Lt. Governor Schweiker announced $9.5 million in redevelopment assistance funding for three community development projects identified as priorities by the Growth Alliance -- the revitalization of Downtown New Castle in Lawrence County, the construction of a new YMCA in Beaver County, and renovations to the Greensburg Garden and Civic Center and the Palace Theater in Greensburg -- and in November, the Lt. Governor announced $1.75 million for a new sports complex in Washington County. In October, Governor Ridge announced $7.5 million in redevelopment assistance funding for the Nine Mile Run development project in Pittsburgh.

In 1998, Governor Ridge and Lt. Governor Schweiker provided over $60 million in state funding for capital projects in all ten counties in the region in response to an earlier list of priority economic development projects assembled by the Growth Alliance. These projects have already led to the creation of hundreds of new jobs throughout the region, with thousands more jobs expected by the end of the decade.

"The capital budget funding that Governor Ridge and Lt. Governor Schweiker provided in 1998 for projects in all ten counties in southwestern Pennsylvania has produced a dramatic increase in the number of ready-to-go sites and buildings our region can offer to business prospects," said Dietrich. "But even more such sites and buildings are needed, and today the Governor and Lt. Governor are providing the additional resources our region needs to develop them. This clearly demonstrates the benefit of working together on a regional basis."

Harold D. Miller, Director of the Growth Alliance, expressed appreciation to the members of the southwestern Pennsylvania legislative delegation for obtaining the legislative authorizations for the projects. "Southwestern Pennsylvania's state Senators and Representatives have been strong partners in our region's efforts to make important job creation investments, and they have worked with us on a bipartisan basis to set regional priorities and obtain needed state funding," Miller said. He also praised the efforts of numerous agencies and organizations that have worked to develop the projects that have received state funding since 1998. "These projects would not be possible without the hard work and professional expertise of our county and regional economic development agencies, which have worked to develop plans for these projects and to build local consensus behind them," said Miller, crediting the following groups:

Allegheny Conference on Community Development

Allegheny County Department of Economic Development

Allegheny Trail Alliance

Armstrong County Department of Planning and Development

Beaver County Corporation for Economic Development

Beaver Initiative for Growth

Butler County Planning Commission

Community Development Corporation of Butler County

Cornerstone Development Group of Southwestern Pennsylvania

Fayette County Planning Commission

Fayette Forward

Fay-Penn Economic Development Council

Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce

Greene County Industrial Development Authority

Greene County Planning Commission

Indiana County Chamber of Commerce

Indiana County Office of Planning and Development

Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation

Lawrence County Planning Commission

Pennsylvania Economy League/Western Division

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

Pittsburgh Planning Commission

Pittsburgh Regional Alliance

Pittsburgh Technology Council

Port of Pittsburgh Commission

Redevelopment Authority of Washington County

Regional Industrial Development Corporation

Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission

Strategic Investment Fund

Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh

Washington County Chamber of Commerce

Washington County Council on Economic Development

Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation

Working Together Consortium

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Alliance is the ten-county public- private partnership that advocates in Harrisburg and Washington for legislative and regulatory changes that will help promote economic development in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Comments From Across the Region Regarding Lt. Governor Schweiker's Announcement of Capital Budget Funding for Southwestern Pennsylvania Projects

"The capital budget funding that Governor Ridge and Lt. Governor Schweiker provided in 1998 for projects in all ten counties in southwestern Pennsylvania has enabled a dramatic increase in the number of ready-to-go sites and buildings our region can offer to business prospects. But even more such sites and buildings are needed, and the Governor and Lt. Governor are providing the additional resources our region needs to develop them. This clearly demonstrates the benefit of working together on a regional basis."

William S. Dietrich II

Chairman, Dietrich Industries

and

Steering Committee Co-Chair

Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Alliance

"Thanks to the significant funding provided by Governor Ridge and Lt. Governor Schweiker, our region will be able to offer a wide range of ready-to- go sites and buildings to businesses considering locating or expanding in southwestern Pennsylvania. It doesn't matter which county a business locates in - what matters is that the business locates here, rather than in some other region of the country. Many Allegheny County residents will benefit from the jobs created in neighboring counties, and many residents of neighboring counties will benefit from the jobs created here in Allegheny County, making these projects a win for the entire region."

Jim Roddey

Chief Executive, Allegheny County

and

Allegheny County Public Co-Chair

Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Alliance

"Southwestern Pennsylvania has pioneered a regional approach to economic development, and Governor Ridge and Lt. Governor Schweiker have rewarded us with significant funding for projects in each of our ten counties. The citizens of Armstrong County will not only benefit from new job opportunities at both the Northpointe at Slate Lick development and the redevelopment of the former PPG site in Ford City, but also from jobs at the Rockpointe Business Airpark, the Victory Road Business Park, and other projects being supported by the state."

James Scahill

Chairman, Armstrong County Commissioners

and

Armstrong County Public Co-Chair

Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Alliance

"The Pittsburgh International Airport is already a major job generator for Beaver County, and it can have an even greater impact if we provide the kinds of sites and buildings needed by businesses which want to locate near the airport. The expansion of the Hopewell Business and Industrial Park will enable southwestern Pennsylvania to attract more of these businesses and create new jobs for residents of Beaver County and surrounding areas."

Charles Camp

Commissioner, Beaver County

and

Beaver County Public Co-Chair

Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Alliance

"The Hopewell Business and Industrial Park has been a tremendous success for Beaver County and southwestern Pennsylvania, and state funding will enable additional businesses to locate and expand in the Park. Because of the park's proximity to Pittsburgh International Airport, this project will help our region capture the economic benefits of our world-class airport."

Richard Shaw

Chairman, Michael Baker Corporation

and

Beaver County Private Co-Chair

Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Alliance

"The Victory Road Business Park has already demonstrated how a former industrial site can attract and retain jobs in Butler County and southwestern Pennsylvania. The additional capital budget funding provided by the state will enable the Victory Road Business Park to also offer much-needed support to southwestern Pennsylvania's agricultural industry, which provides many good quality jobs in our region."

James Kennedy

Chairman, Butler County Commissioners

and

Steering Committee Co-Chair

Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Alliance

"Greene County needs to attract the industries of the future in order to offset the continuing decline of the coal industry as a source of jobs and tax revenues. Fortunately, public and private leaders from throughout southwestern Pennsylvania have recognized that Greene County represents an important asset for the region's economic development efforts. We are grateful to Governor Ridge and Lt. Governor Schweiker for helping us to provide the kinds of land and buildings needed to attract new businesses and new jobs to Greene County."

Farley Toothman

Commissioner, Greene County

and

Greene County Public Co-Chair

Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Alliance

"Indiana County has many of the most critical assets needed for success in the new economy - an outstanding university with many talented young people, a great quality of life, and proximity to all of the economic and cultural resources in Pittsburgh and the rest of the region. But to turn those assets into jobs, we need land and buildings where businesses can locate and grow. Thanks to funding from the state, we will be able to use the Indian Springs Road property to accelerate job creation in Indiana County and help grow the economy in southwestern Pennsylvania."

Bernie Smith

Chairman, Indiana County Commissioners

and

Indiana County Public Co-Chair

Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Alliance

"The Star Lake Industrial Park will be a major economic development engine both for Washington County and for the entire region, by providing much needed land for business development within a short drive of Pittsburgh International Airport. Thanks to state funding for this project provided by Governor Ridge and Lt. Governor Schweiker, we will be able to repeat the success of Southpointe, which has enabled the region to create and retain thousands of jobs over the past decade."

Diana Irey

Commissioner, Washington County

and

Washington County Public Co-Chair

Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Alliance

"Westmoreland County has seen first-hand the benefits of a proactive strategy of developing new sites and buildings for business. It is critical that we work together on a regional basis to continue developing new sites so that we don't lose a single job-creation opportunity that comes our way. The Jeannette Industrial Park has already proven its ability to attract new jobs to a former industrial site, and thanks to state funding, it will be able to attract even more jobs for Westmoreland County and the entire region."

P. Scott Conner

Commissioner, Westmoreland County

and

Westmoreland County Public Co-Chair

Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Alliance

Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Alliance

Priority Projects Receiving State Funding Since 1998

Project Funding Date County

Expansion of Arnold Palmer

Regional Airport $1,800,000 1/16/98 Westmoreland

Meadow Ridge Business Park $500,000 2/19/98 Greene

Rail Improvements for National

Gypsum $1,683,750 3/5/98 Beaver

Reconstruction of Greensburg

Cluster/CSX Rail Lines $472,500 3/16/98 Westmoreland

Pittsburgh Life Sciences

Center at LTV South Side Works $1,250,000 5/20/98 Allegheny

Pittsburgh to Washington, DC Trail $1,855,000 5/28/98 Multiple

Airside Business Park and Cargo

Center $4,500,000 6/11/98 Allegheny

Waterfront and Steel Valley

Redevelopment $6,300,000 6/11/98 Allegheny

Regional Enterprise Tower $3,000,000 6/11/98 Allegheny

Pipe Mill Building at Industrial

Center of McKeesport $2,500,000 6/11/98 Allegheny

Store House at City Center

of Duquesne $500,000 6/11/98 Allegheny

Northpointe at Slate Lick $4,000,000 6/11/98 Armstrong

Aliquippa Industrial Site $6,500,000 6/11/98 Beaver

Victory Road Business Park $2,500,000 6/11/98 Butler

Fayette Technology Park $2,000,000 6/11/98 Fayette

Meadow Ridge Business Park $500,000 6/11/98 Greene

Indiana Corporate Campus $395,000 6/11/98 Indiana

Riverview Commerce Park $1,000,000 6/11/98 Lawrence

Southpointe Expansion $1,350,000 6/11/98 Washington

Westmoreland County AirPark $2,500,000 6/11/98 Westmoreland

Westmoreland Distribution Center $1,500,000 6/11/98 Westmoreland

South Greensburg Commons $1,000,000 6/11/98 Westmoreland

Seton Hill College Women's

Business Center $3,000,000 7/9/98 Westmoreland

Fifth and Forbes Redevelopment $10,000,000 7/28/98 Allegheny

Byham Theater Renovations $3,500,000 7/28/98 Allegheny

Allegheny Riverfront Park $1,400,000 7/28/98 Allegheny

Arnold Palmer Regional Airport

Improvements $1,500,000 11/12/98 Westmoreland

Former Nabisco Plant Redevelopment $750,000 7/8/99 Allegheny

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Renovations $1,300,000 10/7/99 Allegheny

North Shore Riverfront Park $1,000,000 2/25/00 Allegheny

Fallingwater Renovations $3,500,000 3/23/00 Fayette

Nine Mile Run Development $7,500,000 10/19/00 Allegheny

Washington County Sports Complex $1,750,000 11/20/00 Washington

Beaver County YMCA $1,500,000 12/5/00 Beaver

Downtown New Castle Revitalization $5,000,000 12/5/00 Lawrence

Westmoreland Trust Projects $3,000,000 12/5/00 Westmoreland

Rockpointe Business Park $2,000,000 12/18/00 Allegheny

Ford City Borough Industrial

Reuse Project $3,000,000 12/18/00 Armstrong

Hopewell Business and Industrial

Park Expansion $1,500,000 12/18/00 Beaver

Agri-Business Site Development

Project $3,000,000 12/18/00 Butler

Meadow Ridge Industrial Park

Building $700,000 12/18/00 Greene

Indian Springs Road Project $550,000 12/18/00 Indiana

Star Lake Industrial Park $2,400,000 12/18/00 Washington

Jeannette Industrial Park

Expansion $2,000,000 12/18/00 Westmoreland

Total Funding Awarded 1998-Present $107,456,250
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