FedEx Ground Distribution Center in Allen Township, Pennsylvania to Create 680 Jobs

A Lehigh Valley economic development project in the form of a FedEx Ground hub that has been in the works for years has finally been announced publicly.

FedEx Ground

FedEx Ground (Rob Young/Flickr)

FedEx Ground has purchased 253 acres in Allen Township, PA and will construct an 800,000-square-foot distribution center and related structures as part of a new Mid-Atlantic hub.

The project was first announced back in 2013, and has been going through a series of challenges and approval requirements, including an Environmental Assessment required by the FAA to release federally-obligated land for non-aeronautical development. The latest and final approval gained was the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority Board of Governors clearing the sale of the land to the company.

FedEx Ground will now invest more than $227.5 million in the project, and expects to create 282 new full-time jobs over the next three years, along with 398 permanent part-time jobs. The project will also help retain 1,652 existing employees statewide. Not to mention over 300 construction jobs while the facility is being built.

This is just the first phase of the project, which could be further expanded in a second phase to 1,100,000 square feet, consolidation of the three existing Lehigh Valley facilities, and creation of 3,000 new jobs for the community at full operation.

FedEx Ground, which already has nearly 80,000 employees in the United States and Canada, is a wholly owned subsidiary of FedEx Corporation, which has more than 340,000 employees worldwide.

Governor Tom Wolf said in a statement that “The significant investment FedEx is making in Pennsylvania by establishing a new mid-Atlantic distribution facility that is expected to create 680 new jobs is just one example of the type of success that is happening all throughout the commonwealth.”

The company is receiving a significant package of Pennsylvania economic development incentives supporting their investment and job creation plans. The funding proposal from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development includes a $1,130,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant, along with $846,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits tied to the creation of the new jobs, and $126,900 in WEDnetPA funding for employee training.

The Governor’s Action Team of economic development professionals worked on this project in collaboration with the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation. The LVEDC has a mission to market the economic assets of the Lehigh Valley and to serve as a regional shared services and resource center to help start, attract and grow businesses.

Pennsylvania Economic Development Dept. Awards $3.3M For 15 Community Revitalization Projects

Fifteen community revitalization projects across Pennsylvania have been approved to receive more than $3.3 million in funding through the Keystone Communities program.

PA DCED Keystone Communities

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The Keystone Communities program, administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), is designed to encourage the creation of public-private partnerships that support local initiatives.

Governor Tom Wolf’s latest fiscal year budget supports an increase of $8.65 million for this program to encourage further revitalization throughout Pennsylvania. Partnership initiatives supported by the Keystone Communities program are expected to create more attractive places to live and encourage Pennsylvania economic development.

For example, the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh is getting two funding awards – one of $80,000 for planning in the business district; and another one of $77,200 to administer development activities in business districts.

The City of Philadelphia is likewise getting two funding awards – one $241,000 to support accessible housing modifications within the county as part of Philadelphia’s Adaptive Modification Program; and the other of $150,000 to revitalize at least 20 commercial facades within several Philadelphia neighborhood commercial corridors.

The City of Hazleton is getting $500,000 to support Phase I of its City Arts Center renovations and facade improvements. It is anticipated that ten buildings will be renovated with the facade component of the funding.

The Butler County Redevelopment Authority is likewise getting $500,000 for renovation of the historic Kaufman House, which will be revitalized into a boutique hotel and restaurant. Butler County Community College intends to use this new restaurant for internship/externship opportunities for its hospitality management program.

The Greater Easton Development Partnership in Northampton County is also getting $300,000 to complete multi-phase construction of its year-round indoor public market at the former Weller Center site. The market will house 25 independent food and retail businesses.

The Ardmore Business District Authority in Montgomery County is getting $18,363 to conduct a market study and strategic plan to assist with the development of new business recruitment efforts. The Latrobe Community Revitalization Program in Westmoreland County is likewise $50,000 to complete approximately 10 facade rehabilitation projects in the downtown district.

Governor Wolf said in a statement announcing these latest Keystone Communities funding awards that supporting initiatives that encourage revitalization and business development in communities is critically important to the economic prosperity of Pennsylvania. “Sometimes all it takes is one project to be the catalyst for change within an entire community and we believe the public-private commitments announced today will spark statewide transformation,” said Gov. Wolf.

Hudson’s Bay Company Selects Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania For $50M Distribution Center Project

Hudson’s Bay Company, the Canadian parent of iconic names such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, and Saks OFF 5TH, has announced plans to establish an all-channel fulfillment distribution center in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

Hudsons Bay Company

Hudsons Bay Company (photo – Qyd/wikimedia)

Supported by the Pennsylvania Governor’s Action Team (GAT) and the Schuylkill Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO), the company is making an investment of at least $50 million in the project, and has committed to creating 207 new, full-time jobs and retaining 391 positions over the next three years.

Also notable is the fact that the Pottsville distribution center will utilize highly innovative robotic technology to enhance the Company’s all-channel retailing capabilities. HBC subsequently plans to introduce this technology to its Scarborough, Ontario facility this fall, making it the only company in Canada to utilize the cutting-edge systems.

The 450,000-square-foot Pottsville facility will house corporate offices, a photo studio and a warehouse. It will initially have approximately 600 positions, which includes the creation of the 207 new jobs in the City of Pottsville, as well as approximately 390 positions that will move from the Company’s existing Wilkes-Barre, PA distribution center.

The Wilkes-Barre facility will continue to employ approximately 750 people. All told, HBC will have approximately 1,350 positions between the two facilities in the state of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said in a statement that “HBC’s decision to operate an additional distribution center in Pennsylvania, which will create hundreds of additional jobs, is a testament to our State’s highly dedicated workforce and an important reflection of critical economic progress.”

Jerry Storch, HBC’s Chief Executive Officer, likewise responded that “We are grateful to Governor Wolf and the Governor’s Action Team, and excited to become part of the Pottsville community.”

In order to secure the project, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has offered the company a funding proposal that includes a $500,000 Pennsylvania First program grant, along with $93,150 in WEDnetPA funding for employee training, and another $414,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits tied to the creation of the new jobs.

Schuylkill Economic Development Corporation President Frank Zukas noted that this announcement is great news for the economic future of Schuylkill County, given the excellent reputation of the Hudson’s Bay Company as an innovative retailer and e-commerce leader with iconic brands such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor included in their family of companies.

Toronto, Canada-based Hudson’s Bay Company (TSX: HBC) was founded in 1670, and is now the oldest company in North America. HBC’s portfolio today includes ten banners, with more than 460 stores and 66,000 employees around the world.

Philadelphia to Retain Aramark Global Headquarters

Just in time to kick off Pennsylvania Economic Development Week on a high note, Aramark (NYSE: ARMK), the world’s largest U.S.-based provider of food and facilities services and uniforms, has announced that it will continue to remain headquartered in Philadelphia, PA.

Aramark Philly HQ site selection

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Aramark’s site selection process to finalize the location of its global headquarters has been in the works since last year in advance of the impending expiry of its current lease.

As part of this process, the company’s recently completed formal review assessed potential states and cities, including Philadelphia – the company’s home since 1961. A variety of key factors were evaluated that included the overall business environment, access to talent, costs, diversity, transportation and quality of life.

Announcing their decision to locate their new headquarters at an as yet to be determined site in Philadelphia, Aramark Corporation Chairman, President and CEO Eric J. Foss said in a statement that “I want to thank each market that participated in what was a very strong competition as we carefully explored all our options. Ultimately, Aramark’s longstanding home continues to be the ideal choice for us and we are excited to re-commit to the city, state and people that have been such an instrumental part of our growing company and will be in the future.”

The next phase of Aramark’s process will involve selecting a specific site in Philadelphia to house its world headquarters. The options being considered include renewing a lease at Aramark’s current space (1101 Market Street), or moving to a new location such as the Navy Yard. The company anticipates announcing its decision on the specific site by the end of the summer.

This was a critically important and must-win economic development project for Philadelphia, considering the vast footprint Aramark has in the city, region and the rest of Pennsylvania. Aramark is one of Pennsylvania’s largest employers with more than 14,000 employees across the state. Over 6,500 of those associates work in the Philadelphia area, with approximately 1,150 in management and management support roles at its global headquarters in the city leading its operating businesses and corporate functions.

Reactions to Aramark’s site selection decision in favor of Philadelphia:

Governor Tom Wolf – “I am pleased that Aramark will continue to call Philadelphia home. Aramark is one of Pennsylvania’s largest employers, with more than 14,000 employees across the state. The decision to remain here is good news for our workforce and Pennsylvania’s overall economy. We look forward to continuing to work with Aramark through their site selection process.”

Mayor Jim Kenney – “We’re ecstatic that Aramark has made the decision to keep its global headquarters in Philadelphia.  The company provides about 6,500 jobs in the city, and we’re glad to know that in considering the many elements of a potential relocation, including a healthy business environment, access to talent, costs, diversity, transportation, quality of life and others, the city of Philadelphia remains the best option.”

Sterling Business Park in Wayne County, Pennsylvania Attracts Oldest Fire-Fighting Equipment Manufacturer in the US

Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin announced that fire-fighting equipment manufacturer Sutphen East Corporation is relocating operations to Pennsylvania and expanding by establishing a facility in the Sterling Business & Technology Park in Wayne County, PA.

Sutphen fire truck

Sutphen fire truck (photo – Seluryar/flickr)

Supported by state grants and support from the Governor’s Action Team and the Wayne County Economic Development Corporation, the company will invest more than $1.6 million in the project.

In a statement announcing the project, Sec. Davin celebrated the creation of new jobs in Wayne County and a new employer in Pennsylvania. “This project was competitive project for the Governor’s Action Team, but an expansion did not occur outside of Pennsylvania, it happened right here in Wayne County,” said Sec. Davin.

Sutphen East has purchased an existing 25,000-square-foot building on 5.63 acres in the Sterling Business & Technology Park in Sterling Township, making the company an anchor tenant in the park.

Mary Beth Wood, executive director, WEDCO, said that “The 252-acre business park was an immense project for a rural county and small economic development organization.”

Wood noted that the DCED and state legislators had been supporters of the project from day one. “We celebrate new jobs in Wayne County today because of the commonwealth’s commitment, investment, shared knowledge, and expertise,” said Wood.

The new facility will double the company’s manufacturing capacity, and Sutphen has committed to the creation of 60 new full-time jobs at this facility over the next three years.

DCED secured the Sutphen East relocation and expansion project by offering the company a package of Pennsylvania economic development incentives that includes a $90,000 Pennsylvania First program grant, and $27,000 in WEDnetPA funding for employee training.

Darryl Rhyne, general manager, Sutphen East, noted that “Bringing 125+ years of Sutphen integrity, innovation and quality to Pennsylvania will create an extraordinary opportunity for Sutphen, the state of Pennsylvania, and Wayne County.”

Sutphen East Corporation, located until now at White Lake, NY, is a fire apparatus manufacturer that functions as a subsidiary of suburban Dublin, OH-based Sutphen Corp. The family-owned company was founded in 1890, and is now the oldest continuously owned and operated fire apparatus manufacturer in the United States.

Aside from this new location in Wayne County, PA, Sutphen operates separate facilities for manufacturing and servicing everything from platforms and ladders to pumpers, chassis, fire trucks and custom designed specialty apparatus.

French Company Norac Selects Forks, PA For First US Facility

Norac, a French agro-food group that manufacturers bread and bakery products, has announced the selection of Forks Township in Northampton County, PA as the location for its first U.S. manufacturing facility.

Forks, PA

Forks, PA (photo – Hunter Kahn/wikipedia)

Supported by a Pennsylvania economic development grant, low-interest loan and job creation tax credits, the company will build a 79,160-square-foot facility and make site improvements at the location across from the U.S. Army Reserve Center.

Norac expects to create 62 new jobs at this facility over the next three years. Norac already employs more than 3,700 employees at its various locations around the world.

Under its subsidiary brand Bakerly, Norac USA is introducing a natural alternative to traditional bakery snacks for supermarkets in the United States. Their French inspired recipes with no preservatives and no additives include chocolate and strawberry filled crepes, as well as other bakery items such as chocolate croissants and mini-brioches with chocolate chips.

Governor Tom Wolf said in a release that “I am thrilled to announce that Norac is establishing its first American manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania.”

The project was secured for Pennsylvania by the Governor’s Action Team (GAT), working in coordination with the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation and the PA Office of International Business Development.

The Governor added that the collaborative efforts of GAT, the Lehigh Valley EDC and the Office of International Business Development exemplify that Pennsylvania can have a government that works on all levels.

The Governor’s Action Team is comprised of an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania, in collaboration with local officials and EDCs.

The package of economic development incentive awarded to the company to secure the project includes a $186,000 Pennsylvania First program grant, and the company has also been encouraged to apply for a $2.4 million low-interest loan that includes $1 million from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority. Norac USA will additionally receive up to $124,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits, and $27,900 in WEDnetPA funding for employee training.

Local approval for the project will be considered by the Forks Township Board of Supervisors later this month.

Based in Rennes, France, the Norac Group was founded in 1989 by BrunoCaron, and consists of over a dozen subsidiaries and 21 facilities, and manufactures bread and bakery products in France. The company offers everything from biscuits to pre-packed pastries and sandwiches, sweets, pancakes, salads, specialty breads, and hot dog rolls, and generates revenue of around $700 million.

Pennsylvania Grants, Tax Credits Secure Expansion in Lancaster

Online reputation management company, Inc. is expanding its operations in Pennsylvania with the establishment of a location in the City of Lancaster, PA.


BrandYourself (photo –

Supported by Pennsylvania economic development grants and job creation tax credits, the company will invest $900,000 to lease Oak Tree Development Group’s historic 9,800-square-foot office building in Lancaster, make leasehold improvements, and purchase office furniture, computers, and software.

The company expects to create at least 100 new full-time jobs at this facility over the next three years, adding more than $5 million in new payroll.

Patrick Ambron, CEO of, Inc., said in a release that “The online reputation management industry is rapidly growing and Lancaster is the perfect place to help expand BrandYourself’s talented workforce and accelerate the company’s growth as leaders in the industry.”

NYC-based is a DIY platform and leading service provider to help anyone create, monitor, improve, and protect their reputation online. The company has been recognized by the White House, and also appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank, where they walked away from a $2 million offer.

Governor Tom Wolf said in the release that “I am pleased to announce that BrandYourself will be establishing operations in Lancaster and create at least 100 new jobs in the process.” The Governor added that this announcement is a testament to the commonwealth becoming a place where businesses want to come, invest, and grow.

Pennsylvania secured the project through a collaborative effort that included the Governor’s Action Team (GAT), the Lancaster City Alliance (LCA), the city of Lancaster, Economic Development Company of Lancaster County (EDC), and Oaktree Development.

The company has been offered a package of incentives from the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), that includes a $200,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant and a $45,000 WEDnetPA grant to train its workforce, along with up to $300,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits tied to the creation of the new jobs.

Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray noted that with their partners at the Lancaster City Alliance, EDC, and DCED, the City has been focused on creating skilled jobs that pay a living wage. “BrandYourself’s commitment to create 100 full-time jobs over the next three years, with potential for further growth in future years, is a direct result of those efforts,” added Mayor Gray.

The Lancaster City Alliance is a non-profit that focuses on Lancaster economic development and quality of life strategies. LCA President and CEO Bob Shoemaker said in the release that “It has been tremendously exciting to see how the Lancaster business community aggressively rallied around the opportunity to promote Lancaster as the best choice for BrandYourself’s expanded operations.”

Philadelphia Report on MWDSBE Impact of Inclusion Works Economic Development Program

Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter has released two documents, one representing an in-depth analysis of for-profit contracts awarded by the City of Philadelphia to Minority, Women, and Disabled Owned Business Enterprises (M/W/DSBEs), and the second one detailing a review of the impact of Economic Opportunity Plans on public, private, and nonprofit construction projects.

Philadelphia M/W/DSBE totals

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In a statement announcing the release of the documents, Mayor Nutter noted that the Philadelphia Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) was established in 2008 and Inclusion Works – a strategic plan for economic inclusion – was launched in 2010.

The Mayor said that this Philadelphia economic development plan has resulted in more than $2 billion in contracts being awarded to M/W/DSBEs during his tenure. “In Fiscal Year 2015 alone, $302.8 million was awarded to these type of businesses, breaking a fiscal record for the City of Philadelphia,” said Mayor Nutter.

The increase in participation is attributable to aggressive outreach, growth in the economy, and expansion of the OEO Registry of certified firms. The registry now has 2,440 businesses, a huge increase over the 1,289 companies in 2008.

Angela Dowd-Burton, executive director for the Office of Economic Opportunity, added that a total of 519 disadvantaged businesses were awarded contracts in 2015.“The ‘Doing Business in the City Program’ – now in its 5th year – is attracting and helping to build the confidence of M/W/DSBEs interested in pursuing City contracts,” said Dowd-Burton.

The second document, the “Economic Opportunity Plan (EOP) Review for 2009 – 2015” explores the legislative drivers responsible for the dramatic expansion of the EOP portfolio from 15 plans in fiscal year 2009 to 764 plans in fiscal year 2015.

This review examines the impact of these plans on the awarding of contracts to M/W/DSBEs and the diversity of the workforce on construction projects. The total value of these projects is more than $9.6 billion. Active or completed projects are valued at $7.6 billion.

M/W/DSBEs have received 28 percent of the contract value and 27 percent of the payments made during the life of the active or completed projects as reported by third party monitors.

Angelo Perryman, chair of the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Construction Industry Diversity (MACCID) and CEO of Perryman Building and Construction Services, said in the release that “Economic Opportunity Plans that have been legislated by City Council and implemented by the Nutter Administration have increased contracting opportunities for the strongest contractors and subcontractors.”

See the full M/W/DSBE Participation Report ( and the EOP Review (

Alcoa Investing $60M For 3D Printing Expansion at R&D Center in Pennsylvania

Alcoa (NYSE:AA) announced that it is expanding its Alcoa Technical Center near Pittsburgh, PA to accelerate the development of advanced 3D-printing materials and processes.

Alcoa Multi Materials Facility Rendering

Alcoa Multi Materials Facility Rendering (press photo –

Supported by Pennsylvania economic development incentives and tax benefits from Westmoreland County, Upper Burrell Township and Burrell School District, the company is investing $60 million to advance development of proprietary aluminum, titanium and nickel powders engineered specifically for 3D printing.

Alcoa has a long history in metal alloy and powder development. The company is credited with having invented more than 90 percent of the aluminum alloys that are used in the aerospace sector today. Alcoa also has a 100-year history in aluminum metal powder development for rocket fuels, paint and other products.

The company already has additive manufacturing capabilities at existing facilities in California, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Texas. Also, the Alcoa Technical Center near Pittsburgh is already the world’s largest light metals research center.

Alcoa now expects to create more than 100 new full-time jobs at this facility as part of this latest expansion. These will be high-wage jobs for positions such as materials specialists, design experts, and process and inspection technologists. The project will also create approximately 45 more jobs during the construction phase.

In order to secure this project and support the company’s investment and job creation plans, the Pennsylvania DCED, Westmoreland County, Upper Burrell Township and Burrell School District have offered Alcoa a package of economic development incentives and tax abatements that will save the company up to $10 million.

Alcoa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Klaus Kleinfeld said in a release announcing the expansion that Alcoa is investing in the next generation of 3D printing for aerospace and beyond. “This investment strengthens our leadership position in meeting fast-growing demand for aerospace components made using additive technologies,” said Kleinfeld.

Construction on the new additive manufacturing facility at the Alcoa Technical Center is expected to be completed in the first quarter next year.

Alcoa, founded in Pittsburgh in 1888, is now the third largest producer of aluminum in the world and a global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering and manufacturing. Alcoa has a workforce of more than 60,000 people spread across more than 200 locations in 30 countries. The company last year generated $23.9 billion in sales.

Pennsylvania GAT Economic Development Team Helps Insource Kangol Hat Production to Adamstown

Bollman Hat Company, America’s oldest hat company and one of the few surviving members of the hat making cluster that once thrived in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster and Berks County region, has announced plans to inshore production of its iconic Kangol hats back to its headquarters in Adamstown, PA.

Bollman Hat Co. factory in Adamstown, PA

Bollman Hat Co. factory in Adamstown, PA (photo – RiverRatt3/flickr)

Supported by Pennsylvania economic development grant funding and job creation tax credits, the company plans to invest $387,000 to purchase equipment and bring production of Kangol hats from China back to its headquarters in Adamstown.

As part of the expansion, Bollman Hat Company will create at least 41 new full-time jobs for Adamstown and Lancaster County over the next three years, while also retaining 176 current positions at the facility.

Governor Tom Wolf said in a release that “Bollman’s decision to bring a product line from China to Lancaster County shows that the momentum is beginning to shift and manufacturing jobs are coming back to Pennsylvania.”

Bollman Hat Company President and CEO Don Rongione said in the release that moving production of the iconic Kangol cap to their factory and creating new manufacturing jobs is very exciting for their employee-owners.

Rongione added that the support from the Governor’s Action Team (GAT) was a key component to proceeding with moving this equipment to Pennsylvania and they appreciate this support and commitment. The Governor’s Action Team, which reports directly back to the Governor, is comprised of experienced economic development professionals who work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.

In order to secure the project and assist Bollman’s investment and job creation plans, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) offered the company a package of incentives that includes a $60,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant, along with job creation tax credits of up to $82,000. Bollman will also get $18,450 in workforce training funding from WEDnetPA.

The Workforce and Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania (WEDnetPA) is an alliance of educational providers across Pennsylvania, and provides access to a wide range of training funding for existing and new businesses relocating operations to Pennsylvania.

Bollman Hat Company was founded in Adamstown, PA in 1868, and became one of the most famous hat-makers in the Lancaster and Berks County region of Pennsylvania where hat making was once a major industry. The company now sells its products in 77 countries, and has sites spread across four continents.

Their hat brands include Bailey, Betmar, Country Gentleman, Eddy Bros, Helen Kaminski, PANTROPIC, and KANGOL. The latter is among the world’s most recognized headwear brands, and the hat of choice for a huge list of celebrities that includes the Beatles and Samuel L. Jackson.

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