Grow PA

Driving economic growth in the Keystone State

With population declining and employment opportunities lagging, it’s time to take action to grow our Keystone State. Grow PA is a statewide initiative to convene people and organizations throughout Pennsylvania to establish a modern economic growth agenda.

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ABOUT GROW PA

Grow PA is a statewide initiative to convene people and organizations throughout Pennsylvania
to establish a modern economic growth agenda.

GROW PA BACKGROUND

Over the past two years, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia has been meeting with
numerous chambers of commerce and other business and civic organizations from around the state
to discuss how we can work together to build an economic growth agenda for the Commonwealth.

From those discussions, we created Grow PA.

Grow PA is an open-source initiative designed to engage Pennsylvanians from the business and civic
communities. In a state with an unemployment rate that lags behind the national average, an aging
population, and an anemic economy, the time to collectively plan a path forward is now.

Grow PA began in the fall of 2017 as a virtual discussion with people from various sectors of our
business and civic community. We created an online forum and weekly newsletter to share stories
of growth and innovation from around the state. The newsletter has thousands of subscribers and
contributors and is growing daily.

Priority Areas

Post-Secondary Education

To transform post-secondary education, we must prepare our students and citizenry for 21st century jobs and create new pathways for lifelong learning.

Infrastructure

Updating and upgrading our transportation, ports and airports, water treatment systems, pipelines, and telecommunications is vital to growing our economy.

Health Care Innovation

Identifying challenges and opportunities in health care is key to being able to attract, support, and accelerate innovations that improve health care delivery.

Big Ideas for Economic Growth

From the hundreds of ideas statewide, Grow PA will present its economic growth agenda to the Pennsylvania General Assembly and Administration in fiscal year 2019, activating our grassroots and grasstops coalition to pass meaningful, important legislation in Harrisburg to truly Grow PA.

Check out our compiled list of Big Ideas from leaders across the Commonwealth below.

  1. Issue an Infrastructure Bond to raise funds for a range of improvements statewide including water, wastewater, roads and bridges, transit, utilities, fiber networks, and pipelines.
  2. Make Pennsylvania the center of research, innovation, and construction around autonomous vehicles.
  3. Invest and build a clean energy infrastructure network to include super-fast vehicle charging stations and NGV fueling stations statewide.
  4. Increase agricultural technology.
  5. Invest in recreational assets of downtown areas.
  6. Build microgrid power stations to increase energy reliability and resiliency.
  7. Leverage Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) to implement massive water and sewer upgrades to public and private water systems.
  8. Examine opportunities to privatize state-owned infrastructure.
  9. Physically connect rural areas to urban cores through a combination of public and private transit, such as rapid transit or shared transportation services such as Lyft and Uber.
  10. Increase access for underserved neighborhoods throughout increased bus and rail lines.
  11. Develop apprenticeship programs, where student employees can “earn and learn,” becoming credentialed for a professional career while earning a paycheck.
  12. Endorse development and deployment of highly automated vehicles (HAVs).
  13. Continue investment in the Port of Philadelphia to support increased exports of Pennsylvania goods.
  14. Create co-ops for energy grids that communities can build from.
  15. Further dredge the Delaware River to allow for big shipments of products from around the globe.
  16. Build a second level to the Schuylkill Expressway and other congested roadways in Pennsylvania. Toll the upper deck for a speedy commute and let the lower deck be “free” and subject to congestion.
  17. Fund transportation improvements through Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) to increase revenue and provide a stable funding stream.
  18. Develop publicly owned internet networks that give some rural regions an advantage over big cities.
  19. Utilize behavioral economics to increase enrollment in a water utility discount program for seniors and to make enrollment forms in other programs easier to access and fill out.
  20. Develop a modern energy policy that includes all aspects of the energy portfolio to include natural gas, nuclear and renewables.
  21. Develop fueling infrastructure at ports to prepare for the conversion of 2,500 high-sulfur diesel cargo ships to natural gas.
  22. Build microgrids for power generation that include renewable energy.
  23. Develop additional state incentives for Combined Heat and Power as part of Pennsylvania’s overall energy growth policy.
  24. Create a Pennsylvania Energy Investment Office or Energy Executive position. Make this Office the Commonwealth’s “concierge” for helping streamline the process of doing energy business in the state – serving as an ombudsman to coordinate regulatory, permitting and other needs.
  25. Create and execute a statewide energy business attraction and investment strategy, with more visible and active roles being taken by all elected leaders
  26. Develop an energy-focused business attraction and investment resource kit for local and regional economic development agencies.
  27. Expand the Resource Manufacturing Tax Credit Program beyond ethane to include other NGLs.
  28. Establish a state tax credit for energy-related investment in the Marcellus region.
  29. Develop a P3 approach to investment in site development.
  30. Offer an Earned Income Tax (EIT) rebate or incentive program for businesses in the petrochemical supply chain.
  31. Create an incentive program to expand Local Delivery Companies (LDC).
  32. Develop a partnership that involves incentives for organizations and institutions that operate large physical plants (government, universities, and health care institutions) to build gas-fueled microgrids for power generation.
  33. Give consumers credits or grants for switching to cleaner-burning natural gas for residential, commercial and industrial heat/power needs
  34. Create tax credits for “behind the meter” fuel conversion to natural gas.
  35. Expand “the last mile” infrastructure development to reach residential users.
  36. Create District Energy Zones where long-term Power Purchase Agreements would incent use of natural gas-fueled micro-grids for manufacturing facilities.
  37. Establish a production-based tax credit for manufacturers
  38. Support site developer incentives for infrastructure expansion to deliver gas to sites where manufacturers want to occupy.
  39. Connect policymakers, business, and academia to make the state a new epicenter for plastics innovation, sustainability and recycling, and carbon fiber R&D.
  40. Establish a production-based tax credit for advanced materials manufacturers, such as additive manufacturing (3-D printing).
  41. Prioritize the state’s efforts to fund, develop and build petrochemical storage facilities; join other states in the region to more rapidly advance existing regional initiatives.
  42. Streamline the permitting process for pipeline installation and expansion
  43. Encourage forest product manufacturers to locate in the state since Pennsylvania has the raw material.
  44. Invest in skilled building trades and workforce training, including the tech sector.
  45. Provide funding for Pennsylvania travel and play promotions.
  46. Incentivize private investment in high-speed fiber networks, supporting industry efforts to transition to 5G.
  47. Streamline transit by developing a 100% transferable pass with all transit networks statewide.
  48. Map trends in the global supply chain, and establish a strategy that correlates to the state’s five economic zones.
  49. Develop incentives and support for non-brick-and-motor start-ups.
  50. Establish Regional Economy Opportunity Zones across the state.
  51. Commit to building autonomous vehicle lanes throughout the state.
  52. Increase state support of logistics for port and rail.
  53. Leverage existing aviation infrastructure to establish commercial drone networks, hangers that are best in class.
  54. Take advantage of our forest products and market biofuel development.
  55. Establish a method for local tax clustering to fund local transportation projects.
  56. Invest in parks, forests, and land to restore deteriorating infrastructure, adapt to changing needs, enhance quality of life, promote placemaking, and reduce pressure on systems such as stormwater and water treatment.
  57. Develop better environmental mitigation strategies.
  58. Invest in natural gas pipelines that service the “first mile”.
  59. Prepare Pennsylvania to become a global leader in sustainable industries.
  60. Develop local funding options for local infrastructure needs.
  61. Issue an Infrastructure Bond to raise funds for a range of improvements statewide to include water, wastewater, roads and bridges, transit, utilities, fiber networks, and pipelines.
    As an example: In 1999, the highly successful Growing Greener I was established when Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge and the General Assembly committed nearly $650 million over five years to fund conservation and environmental protection projects – from the creation of greenways, trails and community parks to wildlife habitat preservation.
  1. Make Pennsylvania the center of research, innovation, and construction around autonomous vehicles.
  2. Invest and build a clean energy infrastructure network to include super-fast vehicle charging stations and NGV fueling stations statewide.
  3. Increase agricultural technology. A Penn State plant sciences major developed a product that boosts the survival rate of transplanted seedlings and makes them more drought-resistant while reducing the environmental consequences of wasted fertilizer.
  4. Incorporate renewable energy to sustain businesses. Campbell Soup Company, in partnership with BNB Renewable Energy Holdings, SunPower Corporation, and ORIX USA Corporation, installed solar panels. The renewable project will generate 20 percent of the company’s annual electricity, which is more than 5 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year.
  5. Invest in recreational assets of downtown areas. The Schuylkill River Trail received a $12 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant that will help to put the finishing touches on the 130-mile trail, which provides a safe and sustainable way for residents to commute.
  6. Build microgrid power stations to increase energy reliability and resiliency.
    Using Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) to implement massive water and sewer upgrades to public and private water systems.
  1. Build high-speed fiber networks to increase Internet access, bringing affordable connections to rural and underserved areas.
  2. Examine opportunities to privatize state-owned infrastructure.
  3. Physically connect rural areas to urban cores through a combination of public and private transit, such as rapid transit or shared transportation services such as Lyft and Uber. This will connect rural areas to urban centers by becoming a part of the supply chain to population centers.
  4. A Compost Exchange: Anchorage, Alaska, allows residents to bring in food scraps to the city landfill and get finished compost in return. “Innovation doesn’t have to be technology,” says Brendan Babb, the city’s chief innovation officer.
  5. Connect underserved neighborhoods via bus and rail lines. In Pittsburgh, the EcoInnovation District is creating a safe, inviting environment in underserved neighborhoods for residents, commuters and visitors to preserve existing assets including Uptown’s residential core, and to foster investment in the area.
  6. The GreenBuild initiative, a partnership of the State College Community Land Trust (SCCLT) and Penn State’s Energy Efficient Housing Research Group (EEHR) is developing a prototype of an affordable, energy-efficient home.
  7. Manufacturers need to develop apprenticeship programs, where student-employees can “earn and learn,” becoming credentialed for a professional career while earning a paycheck.
  8. Support development and deployment of highly automated vehicles (HAVs). In addition, PA roadways need to be retrofitted and adapted for HAV technology.
  9. Incentivize private investment of high-speed fiber networks, supporting industry efforts to transition to 5G.
  10. Businesses working with the airline industry to enhance global connectivity through added direct flights to major metropolitan areas, particularly to Asia.
  11. Continued investment in the Port of Philadelphia to support increased exports of Pennsylvania goods.
  12. Increase funding for public transit. Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser proposed a budget that would fund the city’s recurring Metro payments of $178.5 million from a variety of sources, including a quarter-cent sales tax hike, higher restaurant and hotel taxes, and higher taxes on Uber and Lyft rides.
  13. Create co-ops for energy grids that communities can build from. Solar United Neighbors has developed a model used across nine states to bolster solar energy within communities. In western Pennsylvania, it’s already launched three co-ops, including the one targeting Cambria County residents. Each co-op looks for a commitment from at least 20 people who go in together for bids from installers.
  14. Support a hyper-loop from New York to Washington, D.C. with stops in Philadelphia to accelerate rail travel and commute times.
  15. Further dredge the Delaware River to allow for big shipments of products from around the globe.
  16. Build a second level to the Schuylkill Expressway and other congested roadways in Pennsylvania. Toll the upper deck for a speedy commute and let the lower deck be “free” and subject to congestion.
  17. Stop raising the gas tax, and charge vehicles for miles traveled. The dawn of electric cars will further reduce transportation dollars from gasoline revenue. Convert to VMT (vehicle miles traveled) to increase revenue and provide a stable funding stream.
  18. Aerial Applications, a Philadelphia startup, has commercialized software that converts drone images into maps as well as 2D and 3D digital models. It’s an elegant way to process, analyze and share data. Next on the docket: artificial intelligence.
  1. Publicly owned internet networks – they are giving some rural regions an advantage over big cities.
  2. A GovLab: a multi-agency team housed in the mayor’s office, partners with academics at local universities to improve service delivery. Specifically, GovLab has used behavioral economics to increase enrollment in a water utility discount program for seniors and to make enrollment forms in other programs easier to access and fill out.
  3. Invest in state parks and attractions. These are the types of things that attract and retain the population.
  4. Develop a modern energy policy that includes all aspects of the energy portfolio to include natural gas, nuclear and renewables.
  5. Develop fueling infrastructure at ports to prepare for converting 2,500 high-sulfur diesel cargo ships to natural gas.
  6. Build our microgrids for power generation that include renewable energy.
  7. Additional state incentives for Combined Heat and Power as part of Pennsylvania’s overall energy growth policy.
  8. Create a Pennsylvania Energy Investment Office or Energy Executive/Czar position
  9. Make this office/position the Commonwealth’s “concierge” for helping streamline the process of doing energy business in PA – serving as an ombudsman to coordinate regulatory, permit and other needs
  10. Create and execute a statewide energy business and investment attraction strategy, with more visible and active roles being taken by all elected leaders
  11. Develop an energy-focused business attraction/investment resource kit for local and regional economic development agencies
  12. Expand the tax credit under the Resource Manufacturing Tax Credit Program beyond ethane to include other NGLs
  13. Establish a federal and/or state tax credit for energy-related investment in the Marcellus region
  14. State investment in site development—possibly a P3 approach?
  15. Earned Income Tax (EIT) rebate or incentive program for businesses in the Petrochemical supply chain
  16. Heat and Power Generation
  17. Create incentive program to expand Local Delivery Companies (LDC)
  18. Create partnerships and incentives with organizations and institutions that operate large physical plants (government, universities, health care institutions) to build gas-fueled micro grids for power generation
  19. Give consumers credits/grants for switching to cleaner burning natural gas for residential, commercial and industrial heat/power needs
  20. Create tax credits for “behind the meter” fuel conversion to natural gas
  21. Expand “last mile” infrastructure development to reach residential users
  22. Advanced Manufacturing
  23. Create District Energy Zones where long-term Power Purchase Agreements would incent use of natural gas-fueled micro-grids for manufacturing facilities
  24. Establish a production-based tax credit for manufacturers
  25. Support site developer incentives for infrastructure expansion to get the gas to sites manufacturers want to occupy
  26. Connect PA state, business and academia to make the state a new epicenter for plastics innovation, sustainability and recycling, and carbon fiber R&D
  27. Establish a production-based tax credit for advanced materials manufacturers, such as additive manufacturing (3-D printing)
  28. Export/Infrastructure
  29. Ramp up PA efforts to fund, develop and build petrochemical storage facilities; join other states in the region to more rapidly advance existing regional initiatives
  30. Streamline permit process for pipeline installation and expansion
  1. Collaborate with post-secondary education institutions to create an investment fund for entrepreneurs with a focus on healthcare innovation.
  2. Encourage licensing and certification requirements for healthcare professionals to include artificial intelligence-based medical education systems and simulation-based practicums to develop highly skilled healthcare providers.
  3. Establish job apprenticeships or employer-sponsored programs that include mentoring and on-the-job learning that results in an industry-recognized credential for semi-skilled workers in healthcare.
  4. Encourage innovation that increases patient interaction and involvement.
  5. Support long-term intervention and care for those afflicted with addiction.
  6. Utilize predictive modeling to improve coordination, identify patients who need help most urgently, and help avoid unnecessary hospitalizations through a combination of preventive care and encouraging home care when appropriate.
  7. Look at global market trends to diversify health care research.
  8. Leverage artificial intelligence and big data to revolutionize the care model.
  9. Increase the number of incubators and co-working spaces in rural communities.
  10. Combine medical research with financial partnerships that yield breakthrough products to improve care.
  11. Healthcare institutions should collaborate across academic disciples. Example: Thomas Jefferson University is reshaping medical education with an infusion of design thinking. Students in medicine, design, and engineering build skills for finding solutions in the healthcare landscape of the future.
  12. Improve the health of residents from disadvantaged communities by identifying and training health care workers selected from within the community.
  13. Expand the Facilitated Health Networks (FHN) framework.
  14. Enable access to all of an individual’s healthcare data. Example: Care Link’s robust information technology-enabled network of care coordination support services uses IT systems to access all available sources of a person’s health data so that health care professionals can work together to assist a patient.
  15. Promote medical marijuana dispensaries to create jobs in both agriculture and health care.
  16. Expand access to telemedicine and increase insurance support for telemedicine services.
  17. Teach students about becoming community health workers.
  18. Innovate around “whole‑person” approaches to healthcare that address issues like opioid addiction.
  19. Incentivize healthcare employees and new graduates to stay in Pennsylvania.
  20. Utilize educational institutions to be leaders in addressing the needs of older Pennsylvanians.
  21. Transform the state into a leader in medical marijuana research and development.
  22. Ensure internet access in all rural areas to connect home healthcare through telemedicine, offer better healthcare delivery, and provide educational opportunities for jobs in healthcare.
  23. Expand workforce and training of mental healthcare professionals.
  24. Build better partnerships with employees and students to encourage STEM.
  25. Encourage partnerships and placement of Venture Capital firms near life science businesses to promote innovation and attract young people.
  26. Develop a fund to attract and retain life science companies in Pennsylvania and create a P3 to establish Keystone Healthcare Innovation Zones.
  27. Improve the patient experience, developing a one-stop-shop for people to enter into the healthcare continuum to navigate the system in a more transparent, affordable and straightforward way.
  28. Create a marketing strategy around wellness to attract millennials to Pennsylvanians.
  29. Coordinate clinical trials among specific pockets of healthcare entities to mitigate barriers to access.
  1. Hold a statewide referendum for an ‘Innovation Bond’ to invest in Pennsylvania’s Eds and Meds facilities and infrastructure.
  2. Create university programs that will enhance college-to-workforce transition by ensuring college students are prepared for the workforce with work experience and job training before graduation.
  3. Connect high schools and colleges to local companies to ensure their programs align with what companies are looking for, especially concerning trade skills.
  4. Offer grants for STEM and technical training programs in order to build a relationship between STEM and the workforce.
  5. Create a pipeline of students for engineering and process technology jobs at community colleges.
  6. Expand Pennsylvania College of Technology (PCT) efforts that have helped students achieve nearly 100 percent employment through the development of the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center (PIRC) focused on innovation, research and development, and job training.
  7. Provide more startup funds and encourage students to get involved in the startup ecosystem at Community Colleges.
  8. Implement digital credentialing solutions for the evolving workforce.
  9. Create tax credit programs that incentivize startup activity. In 2016, the University City Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) tax credit program yielded $2.4 million in tax credits for 36 Philly companies.
  10. Develop a millennial recruitment strategy for 3rd class cities to market affordability and quality of life for new graduates.
  11. Provide high school students exposure to post-secondary alternatives and provide incentives to pursue those alternatives.
  12. Increase college affordability programs by advocating for the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).
  13. Reform the prevailing wage in Pennsylvania.
  14. Develop a statewide dual enrollment plan to ensure equal access to post-secondary education for all students.
  15. Support career readiness and understand employers’ needs by providing real-time job market analysis to educate students and post-secondary institutions.
  16. Advance a statewide framework that incentivizes merging of private liberal arts institutions.
  17. Promote broad strategies to support immigrant populations.
  18. Identify high demand industries within the state and develop a student-loan forgiveness program for students pursuing high demand jobs within those targeted industries.
  19. Develop satellite campuses for community colleges on University campuses.
  20. Incentivize employers to develop student training programs by sharing best practices, incentivizing paid internships and crediting businesses for helping students.
  21. Support career readiness by making the fourth year of college an off-campus co-op experience.
  1. Help current and future workers navigate the digital divide by developing training programs that will have to transition out of manufacturing or other fields that have downsized, or on industries that are becoming obsolete.
  2. Promote Pennsylvania as a tourist destination and place to do business.
  3. Develop incentives to fuel cryptocurrency projects.
  4. Utilize blockchain to improve the way business gets done in Pennsylvania.
  5. Develop peer-to-peer giving, lending, and investing models, which reduce dependence on traditional institutions.
  6. Tap into the produce-by-participating trend.
  7. Develop a millennial recruitment strategy for 3rd class cities to market affordability, quality of life issues.
  8. Develop a marketing plan around Pennsylvania’s burgeoning craft beer and liquor industry as a way to attract people to visit the state, but also to help grow 3rd class cities.
  9. Develop a “mayors fund,” which is a nonprofit that encourages partnerships between government, philanthropy, nonprofits and businesses.
  10. Support smaller craftspeople. Pennsylvania has a wealth of small-scale producers and solo operators creating handmade products.

HAVE A BIG IDEA TO DRIVE ECONOMIC GROWTH IN PENNSYLVANIA?

News & Perspectives

Member Perspective: Chris Franklin

September 6th, 2018|0 Comments

Chris Franklin (President and Chief Executive Officer, Aqua America) describes how different industries in Pennsylvania can work together to encourage economic growth statewide.

GET GROW PA UPDATES AND STORIES FROM ACROSS THE COMMONWEALTH IN YOUR INBOX

Start your own Grow PA conversation

As Grow PA develops Big Ideas for a Strong Economic Future, it is important that we hear voices from across the Commonwealth. Participation statewide from other convening organizations is key to creating a well-rounded conversation. This is why we are introducing the opportunity to hold Grow PA-style meetings and events that will develop, solicit and generate these Big Ideas from partners all around Pennsylvania.

Use the toolkit below to guide you in:

  • Hosting your own in-person gathering
  • Generating online conversations
  • Communicating the Grow PA initiative to your constituents

1. Learn About Grow PA

Learn more on the background of Grow PA, what priority areas are a focus point, and how Grow PA Conversations can help to drive economic growth.

2. Host a Gathering

Get more information on how to host your own Grow PA gathering. Below are recommendations on content discussion and ways to promote your gathering.

3. Conduct Online Conversations

Gain a larger following by promoting your Grow PA Conversations through your online channels via emails, social media, blogs, etc.

4. How to Use the Grow PA Brand

Use the Grow PA brand in the right fashion by using the mission statement, tagline, and logos. Learn how to acknowledge the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia.

5. Report Your Activity

Share your findings back with the Chamber so we can incorporate your Big Ideas into Grow PA’s overall conversation. Let us know who you engaged in conversation and what accomplishments you made.

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Grow PA is a statewide initiative organized by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia that convenes people and organizations throughout Pennsylvania to establish a modern economic growth agenda. For more information on Grow PA or to get involved, contact a Grow PA team member at 215-790-3793 or growpa@chamberphl.com.