Economic Sustainability

Write On : 2017-01-15 05:49:39
Type: Articles
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Economic Sustainability

Economic sustainability focuses on perhaps the most critical determinant of sustainability, the economic lifeblood of the County and its constituent communities. Since the mid- 1970’s most observers see the population decline directly related to the past economic dislocations, especially in the Steel and Coal industries. These industries were not just employers but customers, direct and indirect, as well. Relatively well-paid steelworkers and coal miners had fairly generous benefits and bought various retail goods and personal/professional services in their respective communities. The companies also bought goods and services from other local companies. As is the case elsewhere in southwestern and southcentral Pennsylvania, the demise of steel and coal dominance had and still has implications for the County economy, even though diversification and new types of businesses have and continue to spring up. Economic sustainability requires one to put down the proverbial “rear view mirror” and stop envying the “good old days” and look forward to a new economy that may require some painful choices and greater cooperation within the County.

 

Economic Sustainability Recommendations may be summarized within the following categories:  

  • Continue efforts to enhance the accessibility especially in underserved sections of the County - Rt. 56/Rt. 403 West, Rt. 56 East, Rt. 219 North and Rt. 53 North;  

  • Support for other aspects of a multi-modal transportation system including retention/expansion of commercial air/rail and transit service;  

  • Establishment and strengthening of an economic development partnership and designation of an Ombudsman/Point of Contact as coordination mechanisms for economic development;

  • One-stop developmental marketing effort with countywide focus and unified, consistent and complete message, sites, buildings, resources, incentives, etc. – website tab and County App

  • Pursue a balanced developmental approach keyed to new development in growth areas, redevelopment, Brownfield reclamation/reuse and agricultural preservation;

  • Emerging industry emphasis such as energy – ranging from “clean coal” to Marcellus Shale to wind energy, advanced-technology applications, agribusiness and tourism;

  • AMD remediation to enhance water and environmental tourism

  • Recognition of the economic role for regional recreation, tourism agencies and agriculture by inclusion in the proposed Economic Partnership.

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