Allentown Hockey Arena Sees Milestone As Concrete Slab Is Poured

English: City of Allentown from east side

English: City of Allentown from east side (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Allentown hockey arena construction saw another milestone today as more than 30 trucks worth of concrete were poured for what will be a 17,000-square-foot ice floor.

A total of 315 cubic yards of concrete were poured today, and the next major step will be making the ice itself, which will occur in the summer.

“This took a great team effort,” said Jim Brooks, co-owner of the Phantoms hockey team that will start its 2014 season at the PPL Center in September.

“There’s not too many 10,000-seat venues in the world, let alone the United States, and even less that have ice-making capabilities,” Brooks said. “It’s very difficult to pull off.”

Read more:http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2014/04/allentown_hockey_arena_sees_mi.html

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Armstrong Starts $41M Expansion Of Dillerville Road Plant

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Armstrong World Industries formally started an expansion Friday of its Lancaster floor plant, so it can begin making luxury vinyl tile there.

The $41 million project, announced by the company in October, is expected to create 60 jobs.

Shipping of luxury vinyl tile from the city plant is expected to begin in mid 2015.

The product made in the 1067 Dillerville Road plant will replace product made for Armstrong by a manufacturer in China.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/armstrong-starts-m-expansion-of-dillerville-road-plant/article_da8d7aa2-c0c0-11e3-8ebf-001a4bcf6878.html

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U.S. Senator Bob Casey Backs Community Development Funding

English: Official photo of Senator Bob Casey (...

English: Official photo of Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — U.S. Sen. Bob Casey wants more money allocated to the Community Development Block Grant program to allow municipalities to decide what projects are most needed and have the funding to complete them.

During a teleconference Wednesday, Casey, D-Scranton, said the Obama administration has proposed cutting CDBG funding by more than $200 million this year. Casey wants the allocation to be increased in 2015.

“CDBG has played an instrumental role in advancing locally driven projects that create jobs and contribute to economic growth,” Casey said. “The cuts proposed in the administration’s budget could limit the ability of municipalities in Pennsylvania to complete economic development projects that are essential.”

He said he’s pushing for Congress to increase the funding.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1298260/Casey-backs-community-development-funding

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Gov. Corbett Announces Hundreds Of Additional Projects Due To Transportation Plan

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG, PA – Gov. Tom Corbett today outlined more than 250 projects that will start work this year due to the state’s new transportation plan.

At least $2.1 billion will be invested into the state’s highway and bridge network — about $600 million more than what would have been available without the transportation bill Corbett signed last fall. Overall, more than 900 projects will get underway this year.

“This plan is creating safer roads, bridges and transit systems while at the same time saving 12,000 jobs and creating 50,000 new ones over the next five years – 18,000 jobs are expected to be created this year alone.” Corbett said. “We are putting these transportation investments to work quickly as we strive to build a stronger Pennsylvania both now and in the future.”

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1301350/Gov.-Corbett-announces-hundreds-of-additional-projects-due-to-transportation-plan

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Rock Lititz Gets Rolling: Tait Towers, Clair Global Begin Work On $100 Million Campus

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This month, on a farm near Route 501, construction began of an innovative facility named Rock Lititz Studio.

The studio is being built to fill a need in the concert-tour industry for affordable, accessible and available production-rehearsal space.

Costing more than $7 million to develop, according to industry sources, Rock Lititz Studio is set for completion in August.

Rock Lititz Studio will start as a 52,000-square-foot building, or roughly the size of a supermarket, except with  a 100-foot-high roof.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/rock-lititz-gets-rolling-tait-towers-clair-global-begin-work/article_d8c3c464-b6b7-11e3-b66c-001a4bcf6878.html?mode=story

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Business Forum: Steel, Health Dare And Future Wealth Of Our Robotic Region

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro ar...

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro area in the western part of the of . Red denotes the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, and yellow denotes the New Castle Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Pittsburgh-New Castle CSA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A city that doesn’t make things can never be a real city.

The Steel City got its name and built its international reputation by making the best metal products in the world. For Hollywood, wealth and fame came from making the greatest motion pictures the world has ever seen. Silicon Valley earned its place in history by giving us the personal computer, the cell phone and just about every other indispensable high-tech gadget you can think of.

In the aftermath of the dismantling of the steel industry, Pittsburgh was especially fortunate to have a world-class health care and university system. These gems allowed us to sidestep the ruinous fate that has befallen other Rust Belt cities such as Detroit and Gary, Indiana.

However, in the long run those regional assets will not be enough to elevate this metropolitan statistical area and its wealth back to the level it enjoyed during the middle of the last century.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/Biz-opinion/2014/02/15/Steel-health-care-and-future-wealth-of-our-robotic-region/stories/201402150066#ixzz2tPa3gmXI

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FedEx Exploring Millions In Tax Exemptions, Public Funds For Allen Township Megahub

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FedEx has explored pursuing $25.3 million in tax exemptions for the massive distribution plant it is considering building in Allen Township.

The international shipping company has projected $2.53 million in annual tax breaks between 2017 and 2026 if a special tax zone is established on the 253 acres, according to company documents obtained by lehighvalleylive.com.

But those exemptions would require the creation of a Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance — or LERTA — zone, which would require approval from the township, county and Northampton Area School Board.

FedEx spokesman David Westrick declined to comment on the Allen Township proposal because the project is still only under consideration by the company.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2014/02/fedex_exploring_millions_in_ta.html

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Google To Expand Pittsburgh Operations

The Internet search giant Google Inc. said Monday it will become an anchor tenant in a six-story office building planned in the East End’s Bakery Square 2.0 development.

“Google has signed a lease for an additional 66,000 square feet at Bakery Square 2.0 to accommodate for natural growth in our Pittsburgh office,” the company said in a statement.

It said local hiring will continue, but declined to offer specifics.

Bakery Square developer Walnut Capital Partners, based in Shadyside, hopes to begin construction on the office building in March. Google will occupy about a third of the building. Work is expected to take 18 to 24 months and cost at least $40 million.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/5529819-74/square-bakery-google#ixzz2sOi8VvgS
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Lancaster County Jobless Rate Drops Under 6 Percent

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lancaster County‘s unemployment rate fell again in November, dipping to 5.9 percent from October’s 6.1 percent, the state reported Friday.

In declining for the third straight month, the local jobless rate sank to its lowest point since December 2008, when it was 5.6 percent.

The new rate means the county continues to slowly make progress toward its pre-recession level of unemployment.

“It’s taking a lot of time to settle down,” said Bill Sholly, an analyst with the state Department of Labor & Industry.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/939510_Lancaster-County-jobless-rate-drops-under-6-percent.html#ixzz2pRyoxj1x

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Berks County Unemployment Declines

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Berks County‘s unemployment rate decreased to 7.3 percent in November from 7.4 percent in October, the lowest unemployment rate since January 2009, when it was also 7.3 percent, the state Department of Labor and Industry reported Friday.

Berks’ unemployment rate was the eighth-lowest among the state’s 14 metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs.

“For Berks, as an MSA, it did rather well compared to other MSAs,” said Steven Zellers, industry and business analyst at Labor and Industry.

Lebanon and Centre counties had the lowest rates, 5.8 percent, while Scranton/Wilkes-Barre‘s was the highest at 9.1 percent.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20140104/MONEY/301049989#.Usgx5_RDsxI

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In Its Biggest Contract, High Steel To Fabricate Half Of The Steel For Approaches Of The New NY Bridge

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

High Steel Structures has won its biggest contract ever, triggering new jobs at its Lancaster and Williamsport plants.

High Steel has been picked to fabricate half of the steel for the approaches of The New NY Bridge.

To be completed in 2018, The New NY Bridge will replace the deteriorated, congested Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River north of New York City.

High Steel, founded in 1931, will fabricate 50,000 tons of steel for the approaches of the new bridge, to have eight passenger lanes and four emergency lanes.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/931218_In-its-biggest-contract–High-Steel-to-fabricate-half-of-the-steel-for-approaches-of-The-New-NY-Bridge.html#ixzz2nTWOUude

Conference Generates Ideas For Tackling Poverty In Reading

, U.S. Congressman (R-Pennsylvania, 1997-present)

, U.S. Congressman (R-Pennsylvania, 1997-present) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fatherless families, a lack of jobs and school dropout rates contribute to poverty and local economic conditions, U.S. Rep. Joseph R. Pitts said Monday.

“Families with fathers and mothers are the best anti-poverty program,” said the Chester County Republican, whose district includes Reading. “Saying these simple things can land you in all kinds of trouble.”

He was speaking at a conference on economic inequality that he organized at Reading Area Community College.

In an interview afterward, Pitts listed some points raised during the four-hour event that he will pursue.

“We will come up with some projects,” Pitts said.

While some of the 75 political, business and nonprofit leaders who participated agreed with Pitts’ points, several made their own arguments for improving the economy in Reading, where the 2012 poverty rate of 40.5 percent made it the second most impoverished city in the country behind Detroit.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20131210/NEWS/312109974/1052#.UqeN0fRDsxI

U.S. Unemployment Falls To 7%

WASHINGTON - A fourth straight month of solid hiring cut the U.S. unemployment rate in November to a five-year low of 7 percent. The surprisingly robust job gain suggested that the economy may have begun to accelerate.

It also fueled speculation that the Federal Reserve will scale back its economic stimulus when it meets later this month.

Employers added 203,000 jobs last month after adding 200,000 in October, the Labor Department said Friday. November’s job gain helped lower the unemployment rate from 7.3 percent in October.

The economy has now generated a four-month average of 204,000 jobs from August through November. That’s up from 159,000 a month from April through July.

Sallie Mae To Add 300 To Hanover Township Center

English: Map of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania h...

English: Map of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania highlighting Hanover Township (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HANOVER TWP. — Sallie Mae will add an additional close to 300 people to its workforce at its loan servicing center in the Hanover Industrial Estates over the next two years.

The announcement was made this afternoon by Sallie Mae CEO John (Jack) F. Remondi, who was joined at the Hanover Township center by Gov. Tom Corbett.

“Pennsylvania is open for business. We are actively working with companies like Sallie Mae to help them create family sustaining jobs throughout Pennsylvania, and I welcome Sallie Mae’s continued investment in our commonwealth and its greatest asset - our people,” Corbett said.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1035482/Sallie-Mae-to-add-300-to-Hanover-Township-center

Church & Dwight To Manufacture Gummy Vitamins In York County, Hire 180 People

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Church & Dwight plans to construct a new production line for gummy vitamins at its facility in Jackson Township.

A $55 million investment, the new production line will lead to the hiring of approximately 180 people, according to the company.

Construction will begin in January and the line is scheduled to be operational in the first quarter of 2015, according to a news release.

The company will also receive some state funds for the project via the Governor’s Action Team, which works with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/business/ci_24655737/church-dwight-hire-180-people-manufacture-gummy-vitamins

Maximus To Hire Hundreds In Jenkins Twp.

English: Map of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania h...

English: Map of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania higlighting Jenkins Township (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

JENKINS TWP. — A Virginia government contractor is expanding its operations in Northeastern Pennsylvania with a new service center in CenterPoint Trade Park East promising between 500 and 700 new jobs for the area.

Maximus, a company that provides support for health and human services at all levels of government, expects to occupy its new location sometime in January and will be accepting job applications for the next several months.

The company is filling seats to support its Medicare and Medicaid appeal review operations, which first appeared in the region last April at a smaller center in Moosic with about 100 employees. When Medicare and Medicaid determinations are appealed, Maximus provides an independent review service for those disputed claims. The new building represents Moosic’s expansion.

Modifications to a new building in CenterPoint, which is owned by Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services, are likely to be finished by the end of the week. The company plans to set up shop next month, according to Lisa Miles, Maximus’ vice president of investor relations and corporate communications.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/1030582/Maximus-to-hire-hundreds-in-Jenkins-Twp.

US Manufacturing Grows At Fastest Pace In 2½ Years

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. manufacturing grew in November at the fastest pace in 2½ years as factories ramped up production, stepped up hiring and received orders at a healthy clip.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity rose to 57.3. That was up from 56.4 in October and was the highest since April 2011. A reading above 50 signals growth.

One component of the index, a measure of hiring, rose to its highest level in nearly 18 months. And a gauge of export orders reached its highest level in nearly two years. Overseas demand is benefiting from modest recoveries in Europe, Japan and China.

Manufacturing activity has now expanded for six straight months after hitting a rough patch in the spring. The steady gains suggest that growth is remaining healthy in the current October-December quarter.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20131202_ap_4978c48d3b504648b48b0acc2f267984.html#flx0Btf732s7obLS.99

Reading Revitalization And Improvement Zone Authority Holds First Meeting

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The newly formed City of Reading Revitalization and Improvement Zone Authority held its inaugural meeting Wednesday night to outline its agenda over the next week.

The authority will be working to identify a potential city revitalization and improvement zone.

The CRIZ program was created by recent state legislation. The state departments of Revenue, Community and Economic Development and the Governor’s Office of Budget administer the program.

A CRIZ zone is an area of up to 130 acres comprising parcels that will provide economic development and job creation within a city. All new state and local taxes collected within the CRIZ will be used to repay debt service to stimulate economic development projects within the zone.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=519804

U.S. Added Surprisingly Strong 204,000 Jobs In October

The U.S. added a surprising 204,000 jobs in October, meaning private-employer hiring much more than offset the effect on jobs from the 16-day government shutdown.

“Maybe the government should be shut down more often,” said Kenneth Mayland, economist at Clearview Economics, Pepper Pike, Ohio.

The Labor Department on Friday also revised September and August job gains by a combined 60,000.

The unemployment rate rose to 7.3 percent last month from 7.2 percent in September, said the agency.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5031098-74/jobs-added-government#ixzz2k4vUYkAe 
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Armstrong World Industries To Invest $41 Million In Lancaster Plant, Will Lead To 57 New Jobs At Facility

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Armstrong World Industries said Thursday it will invest $41 million in its Lancaster floor plant, so it can make luxury vinyl tile there.

Adding production of the residential and commercial vinyl tile will lead to 57 new jobs at the 160-employee facility, the company said.

Armstrong will start constructing the new lines inside the current Dillerville Road plant in the first quarter of 2014.

Shipping of luxury vinyl tile from the 600,000-square-foot city plant is set to begin in mid-2015.

Armstrong now has its luxury vinyl tile made for it by a manufacturer in China.

Shifting that production here will enable the company to serve its North American customers faster and less expensively.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/904464_Armstrong-World-Industries-to-invest–41-million-in-Lancaster-plant–will-lead-to-57-new-jobs-at-facility.html#ixzz2hRRxQSUC