6A — January 30 - February 12, 2015 — Economic Development — M id A tlantic

Real Estate Journal


E conomic D evelopment Penn’s Northeast Penn’s Northeast creates new vision for Northeastern Pennsylvania


f you were to describe 2014 in Northeastern Pennsyl- vania, it would be one word-

the region. Recently, Penn’s Northeast also identified the most important assets of the region and developed strategies to enhance and market them to businesses looking to relocate. For example, the organiza- tion saw great potential when recruiting high volume natural gas users. Due to the close prox- imity to the Marcellus Shale formation, the region is able to deliver low cost natural gas. “If you’re sensitive to the price of natural gas Northeastern Pennsylvania is the place to be,” Penn’s Northeast president Ron Maloney said. “Industrial gas users in New Jersey and New York will find the cost of

natural gas to be on average thirty-one to thirty-six percent lower in our area.” Penn’s Northeast also rec- ognized labor costs twenty percent lower than the national average, and it’s close proxim- ity to much of the population as benefits to the region. As a re- sult, the organization identified four main industries that had the greatest incentives to locate in Northeastern Pennsylvania- security & defense, food & bev- erage manufacturing, certain aspects within bioscience and natural gas consumers. In order to recruit these busi- nesses, they implemented a new lead generation program.

Previously, Penn’s Northeast recruited through the leads received by the state. This pro- gram allows the organization to also recruit companies it iden- tifies as potential leads. The recruitment process increased the organizations exposure and continually strengthens the re- gion. “Since November 2013, we had thirty-four reactive leads and twenty-one unique leads, a huge transition from the one hundred percent reactive leads from previous years,” Maloney said. With sights to the future, Penn’s Northeast is planning a major fundraising campaign. The campaign focuses on find-

ing new investors to enhance the already diverse representa- tives of the area. “We want to focus on adding new people to our scope,” Maloney said. “If we work towards a regional mar- keting plan, our entire region will prosper.” Many are already seeing promise in these changes. For example, previously Equilib- rium Equities invested in the organization, however the deci- sion makers stopped seeing the benefit of contributing and de- cided to end their partnership a few years back. After seeing the recent progress the group decided to reinvest in Penn’s Northeast. At the end of the day, Penn’s Northeast still has the same mission it always practiced. “We serve as a no pressure, neutral third party, single point of contact to help a business ex- plore how Northeastern Penn- sylvania can expand its base, better serve existing customers or reduce costs, said Maloney. He also pointed out the organi- zation also works to help busi- nesses search for properties, incentives, research and more when choosing the region. “Now we just have a clearer picture of how to do so.” Penn’s Northeast is a pub- lic/private partnership of agencies dedicated to assist- ing businesses interested in locating within Northeast- ern Pennsylvania. n The manufacturing rebound means an ongoing need for workers with the right techni- cal skills. With the growing number of youth in this area as well as a large immigrant Latino population, we saw this as an enormous opportunity for our region. The response has been programs like “Careers in 2 Years,” our partnership with a local community college and career and technology centers to provide training in mechatronics, welding and other skills. The graduates of this program are already help- ing to meet the needs of area manufacturers. With these and other initia- tives, Greater Reading is well positioned to serve the needs of U.S. and global manufactur- ers looking for opportunities to grow. Jon Scott, President and CEO, Greater Reading Eco- nomic Partnership. n continued from page 4A Jon Scott . . .

Rebuilding. Th a t ’ s b e - cause that’s e x a c t l y what Penn’s No r t h e a s t , the region’s economic de- v e l o pm e n t organization, accomplished.

Ronald Maloney

Since its inception, Penn’s Northeast worked to bring new businesses to Northeast- ern Pennsylvania by helping business decision makers learn the benefits of operating in

More Natural Gas More Savings More Potential

WWW.PENNSNORTHEAST.COM 570-883-0504 ext. 1

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