Since gaining control of the state House in 2011, the Republican majority has focused on rebuilding the state's jobs climate and according to several Delaware County lawmakers, those efforts have produced dividends. House Appropriations Committee Chairman William Adolph (R-Delaware) made that point Wednesday at a press conference at East Coast Contractors in Holmes, a pipe and metal fabricating company that has made a strong comeback after the resurgence of local refineries.
"We are passing balanced budgets without tax increases," Rep. Adolph said. "We have cut taxes and made the reforms necessary to show employers Pennsylvania is open for business and has put out the welcome mat for new job opportunities for our citizens."
Rep. Adolph noted that Delaware County has added 6,900 more jobs since 2011.
"The work of the House is bringing about real change to the business environment and yielding results in the form of new jobs at places like East Coast Constructors, Urban Outfitters in Lancaster, Caterpillar in West Chester, Unequal Technologies in Glen Mills, Armstrong World Industries in Lancaster and more," he added.
Business experts are noticing the changes as well. Site Selection Magazine ranked the state third in the nation and first in the northeast for new or expanded corporate facilities. Pennsylvania is ranked ninth in the nation for economic growth potential by Business Facilities Magazine; and Area Development Magazine awarded Pennsylvania its 2013 "Silver Shovel Award."
"East Coast Constructors was able to experience a rebirth because the larger local refineries were able to stage a comeback. There was direct intervention to bring these plants back to life, but it's also sound state fiscal policies which help to make Pennsylvania and Delaware County an attractive place to do business," Rep. Adolph said.
"The House has approved several pieces of legislation to level the playing field for our businesses. We must continue to create an environment that is supportive of our small businesses and spearhead new initiatives designed to attract manufacturers to the Commonwealth," Rep. Adolph said, cautioning that there is still much work to be done. "Any unemployed Pennsylvanians are too many unemployed Pennsylvanians. Now is the time to focus on the strengths of Pennsylvania's economy for the current and future generations."
Rep. Adolph also credited Rep. Joseph Hackett (R-Delaware), whose district includes East Coast Constructors.
Last year the House passed and the governor signed legislation co-authored by Rep. Hackett to bring more good-paying, high-tech jobs to Pennsylvania, especially in the Delaware Valley. The InnovatePA program will increase investment in hi-tech startups through proven success models including the Ben Franklin Technology Partners.
During the press conference, the lawmakers introduced an employee who was rehired by East Coast Constructors. Ed Slotwinski was recently rehired by the company after being previously laid off when area refineries fell on hard times."Ed's story puts a face on the improved employment situation in Pennsylvania and Delaware County," Rep. Hackett said. "It reminds us all of the importance of ensuring our state remains a friendly place for job producers."