Guest Commentator: Tony Abraham, Special Projects Reporter, Technical.ly Media, @TechnicallyPHL
Having reported across the state for the past 8 months for the Grow PA newsletter, what takeaways have you gathered from Pennsylvanians looking to drive growth in the state’s economy?
We kicked Grow PA off last year knowing that the state’s greatest economic potential lies in healthcare, higher education and infrastructure, and its greatest challenges are an aging workforce, industry flight and talent loss.
We also knew that, regardless of those strengths and weaknesses, the immediate barriers to economic growth in Pennsylvania vary from county to county — and, in many cases, neighborhood to neighborhood.
For example, business and civic leaders in Johnstown, Pa., an industrial city in Cambria County that stayed afloat for three decades by procuring federal defense contracts with help from Congressman John Murtha, are pursuing different means of economic success than their counterparts in Westmoreland, a rapidly-aging county that is hemorrhaging young talent and struggling to retain big employers.
But there are plenty of similarities between both of those initiatives, and others simultaneously underway in counties and townships across the state. That said, we’ve whittled our eight months of economic development reporting down to three big ideas. In other words, three common problems we’re seeing