Pennsylvania Launches New Economic Development Strategy; Focuses On Robotics, Tech

Pennsylvania’s new 10-year economic development strategy will focus on growing its agriculture, energy, life sciences, manufacturing, and robotics and technology sectors.

For the first time in nearly 20 years, Pennsylvania has launched a new Economic Development Strategy. Robotics and advanced manufacturing will play a major role in the 10-year plan, which Governor Josh Shapiro unveiled earlier this week during a visit to OraSure Technologies in the Lehigh Valley.

In addition to the robotics and technology sectors, the economic development strategy will focus on the agriculture, energy, life sciences, and manufacturing industries. Data-driven analysis revealed significant potential for growth in these sectors over the next decade.

“Since Day One, I promised that my Administration would be open for business – and, in my first year in office, we brought new energy to economic development here in Pennsylvania. We’re not waiting around — and Secretary Siger has hit the ground running with a bunch of wins for Pennsylvania,” Gov. Shapiro said during a visit to Mill 19 in Pittsburgh along with Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Rick Siger.

Pennsylvania economic development
Governor Josh Shapiro and Pennsylvania DCED Secretary Rick Siger joined legislative and business leaders during a visit to Mill 19 in Pittsburgh to highlight the important role of robotics and advanced manufacturing in the commonwealth’s new Economic Development Strategy. (Photo: DCED)


Mill 19, developed by the Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania (RIDC), is home to advanced manufacturing partners including Carnegie Mellon University’s ARM (Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing) Institute, the Manufacturing Futures Institute, and more.

“And now, for the first time in nearly two decades, we have a plan that brings stakeholders together behind common goals to grow our economy, create real opportunity, and show that when we work together, Pennsylvania gets it done,” Gov. Shapiro continued. “This plan is going to set down the foundational pieces here that will pave the way with core investments and strategies that build on these goals and make us a national leader – and we just need to come to the table to make this all happen. There is no doubt that together, we can do big things. Because we know when we work together, Pennsylvania gets it done.”

Pennsylvania’s Robotics And Technology Sector

Robotics and technology companies are projected to create 17,000 net new jobs over the next decade, and can be found across every region in Pennsylvania. The new economic development strategy is focused on supporting growth in these industries based on the following regional strengths:

  • Electrical equipment manufacturing throughout the Southwest, Northwest, North Central, and Lehigh Valley regions, bolstered by the robotics facilities of Pittsburgh.
  • Navigational instrument manufacturing in the Southern Alleghenies, North Central, and Central regions.
  • Technology hardware manufacturing in the South Central and Southern Alleghenies regions, amplified by strong defense clusters throughout these regions.

“To compete in today’s global marketplace, it’s essential that we amplify our investment in high-growth, high-value sectors where we have a deep competitive advantage and can expect significant growth potential,” said Siger. “While doing that, we have to ensure vibrant communities for both residents and businesses, and that every Pennsylvanian has a real opportunity for a good paying, family sustaining career.”

“For too long, we’ve been falling behind other states with which we compete, but Governor Shapiro has shown a commitment to making bold moves to put us back in the game,” said RIDC President Donald F. Smith, Jr. “We worked with his team, led by Secretary Siger, to attract Re:Build Manufacturing to New Kensington and we look forward to working together to attract more businesses and more jobs to our region — under the Governor’s new initiative.”

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“As the nation’s only advanced manufacturing institute headquartered in Pennsylvania, the ARM Institute is honored to work with Governor Shapiro and his administration to support and implement the new Pennsylvania Economic Development Strategy,” said ARM Institute CEO Ira Moskowitz. “Pennsylvania’s manufacturing ecosystem is critical to our economy and the nation. Helping our manufacturers and their workers gain the knowledge and skills to implement robotics and AI will ultimately lead to increased job opportunities and factory output.”

The Economic Development Strategy was developed with input from partners in local government, the private sector, the economic development community, labor, higher education, and the nonprofit sector. A full copy of the plan is available here.

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