Driving growth in the Keystone State
Over the last few decades, Pennsylvania has been on the decline. With a shrinking workforce, stagnant population and underperforming economy, the Keystone state is failing to keep pace with the rest of the nation.
These trends are shaping our state’s future. Without growth in population and jobs, this downward course will continue to impact Pennsylvania’s long-term vitality.
In response to this decline, chambers of commerce, trade associations, and business and civic leaders from across the state have been working together on an initiative to reverse our trajectory and advance the Commonwealth — called Grow PA.
Grow PA began in the fall of 2017 as a virtual discussion among stakeholders from various sectors of our business and civic community through a digital forum to share stories of innovation from around the state.
Over the past year, Grow PA has evolved into a movement focused around three pillars, working to modernize all facets of our infrastructure, accelerate health care innovation, and transform 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.
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
Over the last year, we’ve traveled across the Commonwealth gathering what we call ‘big ideas’ to help grow Pennsylvania. Our list of legislative priorities originates from these big ideas focused on advancing keys to growth—infrastructure, health care, and post-secondary education.
Promote private investment in 21st century broadband networks to support industries and economic development. For rural areas, target funding to unserved locations where the market has not supplied adequate broadband. Utilize competitive funding processes to deploy technology to underserved areas and consider ways to coordinate state and federal funding to have the most impact.
Expand public private partnerships to modernize infrastructure to support a range of statewide improvements including water, wastewater, roads and bridges, transit, utilities, and fiber networks.
Build a network of clean energy infrastructure that includes electric vehicle charging stations and CNG and LNG fueling stations statewide.
Improve energy resiliency with increased microgrids helping rural areas meet their energy demands.
Advance implementation of a Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) program and/or special fee to capture costs of hybrid and electric vehicles and establish a stable source of funding for transportation.
Expand natural gas infrastructure and technology to enable access to low-cost energy for residents and businesses across the state.
Invest in parks, forests, and land to restore deteriorating infrastructure and promote place-making.
Expand access to telemedicine services with particular focus on rural areas in conjunction with broadband development.
Modernize public sector services, while promoting innovation and growth of private sector employer-sponsored healthcare.
Promote job apprenticeships, or employer-sponsored programs that include mentored, on-the-job learning, resulting in an industry-recognized credential for semi-skilled workers in healthcare.
Establish a Pennsylvania Enterprise Fund (PEF) that awards grants to companies in healthcare and research to incentivize those creating jobs and driving innovation to locate in Pennsylvania.
Enact statewide Centers for Excellence that address the needs of the state’s aging population.
Incentivize new graduates who enter into the healthcare sector to remain in Pennsylvania.
Connect high school students to post-secondary alternatives such as technical schools—and provide incentives to pursue those alternatives.
Support career readiness and understand employers’ needs by providing real-time job market analysis to educate students and post-secondary institutions.
Develop a student-loan forgiveness program for students who remain in the state and pursue careers in high-growth industries.
Implement strategies to encourage and support immigrant and first-generation students to succeed in post-secondary education.
Enhance college affordability programs.
Issue an innovation bond to fund investments in Pennsylvania’s educational and medical research facilities.
Modernize the role of State System of Higher Education to support life-long learning.
Provide incentives for students pursuing disciplines in information technology.
Foster entrepreneurship through Universities.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.