Noelle Long, SEDA-COG Export Development program, makes a point during an announcement about a new manufacturing initiative.
Noelle Long, SEDA-COG Export Development program, makes a point during an announcement about a new manufacturing initiative.

Team Pennsylvania Foundation and a group of regional economic development partners are working together through the multi-agency Make It in America Challenge to promote manufacturing, attract international investment and promote general economic growth in rural Pennsylvania.

The initiative will further support recommendations from the Foundation-administered Governor’s Manufacturing Advisory Council and allow for a more cohesive and coordinated approach to re-shoring and foreign direct investment efforts.

SEDA-COG, a regional economic development organization based in Lewisburg, will administer the $1.8M EDA Grant on behalf of the partnership.

Team PA has also worked extensively to increase the state’s share of international business, leading trade missions overseas, spearheading the development of the first statewide International Business Advisory Board and conducting stateside tours for foreign journalists, consultants, engineers, and allied partners who have contact with firms overseas in cooperation with the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Office of International Business Development (OIBD).

“Team PA is proud to unite with our PREP partners and the state’s Office of International Business Development via a program geared to provide expansion opportunities for Pennsylvania businesses while attracting new ones to the commonwealth,” said Matt Zieger, President and CEO, Team PA. “We want to make doing business in Pennsylvania as attractive and easy as possible for foreign prospects by creating efficiencies in the delivery of service. This initiative dovetails nicely with the recommendations in the Governor’s Manufacturing Advisory Council, the International Business Advisory Board and findings in the high-growth study.”

Noelle Long, SEDA-COG Export Development program, said a portion of the program’s funding has been provided through a federal “Make It in America” grant, one of just ten such grants approved nationwide by the Obama Administration. The program will be carried out in the 52 counties that comprise the “T” region of Pennsylvania.

Total funding for the project is nearly $3 million. Key funding sources include the Economic Development Administration (EDA) $500,000 and Employment and Training Administration at $1,300,000, as well as the National Institute of Standards and Technology/Manufacturing Extension Partnership at $375,000.

The EDA-funded portion of the program ($1.8M) will employ a comprehensive plan of “reverse investment,” encouraging foreign companies to expand into Pennsylvania, as well as domestic companies that have moved their production overseas. “Our state has a lot to offer,” said Long, “a reliable, industrious work force; quality schools and research centers; and potential opportunities in areas like agribusiness, energy, and advanced manufacturing.

“What we have to do,” she added, “is match the economic development assets of Pennsylvania with the needs and objectives of the world’s manufacturing community.”

A major role will also be played by the Commonwealth’s Center for Direct Investment (CDI). As leading foreign direct investment experts for Pennsylvania, the CDI staff will support regional coordination efforts, align marketing and branding strategies, expand capacity through FDI trainings, and organize familiarization and press tours in an effort to promote high-value business growth opportunities across the “T” region.

Pennsylvania’s Industrial Resource Centers, key strategic partners for the development and implementation phases, will identify and analyze the state’s “industry clusters.” As industry clusters and additional opportunities are identified, Workforce Investment Boards will be charged with training the labor force needed to meet companies’ requirements.

Commenting on the new program, C. Alan Walker, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, said, “Governor Corbett’s commitment to an improved business climate and lower taxes is resulting in businesses from around the globe taking a serious look at Pennsylvania to grow and thrive. Our efforts to attract international companies will be strengthened by this new partnership and together we can introduce a new, energized Pennsylvania to businesses throughout the world.”

For more information on Team PA’s work with the Make it in America Challenge contact Lindsay Helsel at 717-233-1375 or via email at