Pennsylvania has all the Resources for Business
Economic development, education and workforce agencies are working together like never before to meet the needs of employers. All of these efforts have created an environment of certainty and predictability in Pennsylvania – one where businesses feel confident and can thrive and grow.
The quality of life in Pennsylvania is exceptional. Affordable land and housing costs, diverse and vibrant communities from big cities to small towns, excellent schools, access to world-class arts and top-notch healthcare make Pennsylvania a great place to live and raise a family. Cultural and historic attractions, annual festivals and plenty of professional sports mean there’s always something happening. Pennsylvania enjoys the beauty of all four seasons best experienced through outdoor recreation in the state’s breathtaking forests and parks.
Bring an International Company to Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is the 20th Largest Economy in the World
With a gross domestic product of more than $600 billion, Pennsylvania is the twentieth largest economy in the world — larger than the nations of Saudi Arabia, Sweden and Iran. If you are moving or growing a business, Pennsylvania is the place to be. Site Selection ranked Pennsylvania third in the United States for corporate growth with 453 new or expanded corporate facilities in 2011 — an increase of more than 100 projects from 2010. Our business booms far beyond our borders. In 2011, Pennsylvania had 23 foreign-based companies make the move with a total investment of more than $371 million.
Human and Natural Resources
Pennsylvania’s diverse economy has a variety of strengths across five main industry sectors, including life sciences, advanced manufacturing and materials, technology, agribusiness and a booming energy sector. Our world-class education and research institutions, along with established industry clusters in these sectors and strategic support from the state government and local and regional partners, have helped Pennsylvania maintain stability and growth during challenging financial times.
Despite relentless, worldwide challenges to U.S. manufacturing, Pennsylvania continues to diversify and develop its manufacturing base to ensure its strength as an economic driver. Today, with 658,000 workers and a top five ranking in manufacturing venture capital investment, new projects and job creation, Pennsylvania’s advanced manufacturing sector is the largest part of the Gross State Product. Pennsylvania also continues to be a leader in the life sciences, due in large part to the state’s unique blend of world-class educational institutions, a highly-skilled workforce and distinct entrepreneurial spirit.
- Home to 125 bio-pharma companies and more than 2,000 life sciences-related enterprises.
- Eight of the largest U.S. pharmaceutical companies within a 50-mile radius of Philadelphia.
- Consistently ranked in the top five among states for biotechnology investment, projects, jobs and the overall strength of the industry.
Pennsylvania’s growing high-tech sector is supported by the innovation coming out of the state’s world-renowned universities, and through the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA). The BFTDA was created in 2001 to ensure companies and entrepreneurs have all the tools they need to build globally-competitive technology companies right here in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania’s BFTDA is recognized nationally as the model for innovation-based economic development. The authority provides vital seed capital, technology commercialization and entrepreneurial support services to the technology sector of Pennsylvania’s economy.
2nd Largest Energy Field in the World
Shale gas exists beneath approximately 60 percent of Pennsylvania. In fact, the Marcellus Shale is one of eight shale gas formations in Pennsylvania. The first Marcellus Shale well was drilled just seven years ago, and in June 2011, Pennsylvania became a net exporter of natural gas. In addition to the up-, mid-, and down-stream business opportunities, abundant access to this inexpensive energy source has translated into lower prices for consumers, not only of natural gas but electricity as well. Pennsylvania is not just producing natural gas, it is developing new ways to leverage natural gas and its bi-products to produce petrochemicals used in manufacturing, including locally produced resins for the plastics industry.
Access to Markets
Open for Business
Overall, our state offers a competitive business environment, world-class institutions of higher learning and research, geographic proximity to key markets and decision-makers and a wealth of potential business partners. When considered together, these assets can offer strategic and competitive advantages to your business. And they are all in one convenient U.S. location – the keystone to your success.
Pennsylvania is located within 500 miles (800 kilometers) of 40 percent of the United States’ population and purchasing power, including six of the ten largest markets in the United States and 60 percent of Canada’s population.
This area also represents 40 percent of all U.S. manufacturers and 41 percent of the nation’s domestic trade and service industries.
Reaching these customers and markets is easy and convenient because of Pennsylvania’s comprehensive transportation network, including:
- an outstanding network of interstate highways
- modern freight railroads
- six international airports
- three major ports with access to the Atlantic Ocean, the Great Lakes, and the Gulf of Mexico
Four of the nation's Top 50 Schools
A quality workforce is a critical component of business competitiveness. Those companies with a presence in our state acknowledge our workforce as one of the best. The key to a quality workforce is a quality education. The commonwealth is home to:
- four of the nation’s top 50 universities
- eight of the top 50 liberal arts colleges
- three of the top business schools
- two of the top 50 law schools
The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business is one of the nation’s top business schools, while Carnegie Mellon University is one of the country’s highest ranked graduate computer engineering schools. Pennsylvania State University’s Materials Science Program is ranked among the best in the world.
Pennsylvania also offers an extensive range of customized job training programs and partnerships. Many of these are specifically designed for businesses choosing to locate within the state.
International Business Development
20+ Overseas Offices
Led by the Pennsylvania Office of International Business Development (OIBD), with its global network of over 20 overseas offices covering more than 60 markets worldwide, Pennsylvania is committed to breaking down barriers for businesses seeking to locate in the state.
The state has become a leader in cross-border projects and a growing exporter of Pennsylvania goods and services. Not only is Pennsylvania home to nearly 6,000 foreign-owned business locations employing more than 250,000 people, we are also one of the nation’s fastest growing exporters. Working with the OIBD and its partners, international companies can easily learn what it takes to set up and operate a business in Pennsylvania, including information on taxes, immigration, site selection, real estate and legal issues. The OIBD can also assist with gathering market intelligence and making initial introductions for companies to potential partners and others engaged in their industry across the state.
Economic Development Delivery System
When domestic or international businesses are looking to expand or relocate, Pennsylvania has an innovative economic development delivery system with professionals and programs designed to provide personalized assistance.
At the state level, the Governor’s Action Team (GAT) and OIBD serve as single points of contact for domestic and international business. Both organizations help identify available sites or buildings to meet facility requirements and provide critical information and data necessary to evaluate potential locations, including:
- workforce characteristics
- demographic information
- permit and regulation assistance
- infrastructure and utility data
- state and local tax information
- quality of life statistics and information
DCED business advocates serve as liaisons between businesses and other state agencies, local economic development professionals, utilities, private developers and realtors, saving valuable time and resources and helping resolve potential issues at the early stages of investment.
All projects may be eligible for:
- land and building acquisition
- building construction and renovation
- machinery and equipment acquisition
- workforce training
- infrastructure improvements
- environmental remediation
- technology investment
When you need up-to-date information, a rapid response and focused action for you and your company, these professionals devote their full attention to finding the right fit between your company and a prime Pennsylvania location. The following groups of professionals are prepared to help you succeed in your expansion relocation efforts:
GAT – Governor’s Action Team
A group of skilled economic development professionals that serve as a single point of contact for companies within the United States considering an expansion in or relocation to Pennsylvania. GAT is an accessible, informed resource for companies. GAT is an inside guide to the financial and technical assistance available for doing business in the commonwealth.
PREP Partners – Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance
Ten statewide regional economic development partnerships. When you know where in the state you want to locate or expand, the geographically-targeted expertise of these partners provide in-depth support from the local level to the state level.
OIBD – Office of International Business Development
Pennsylvania has offices around the world that help businesses outside of the United States by acting as their liaison. They find the right location, partners and resources so they can locate or expand in Pennsylvania.
I&I – Office of Innovation and Investment
A multifaceted office which consolidates the efforts of several DCED offices and is responsible for implementing more than 70 business assistance programs that can be used for a variety of infrastructure improvements and industrial development projects. It recently launched the Small Business Champion Network, a one-stop shop for PA entrepreneurs and business owners.