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REGIONAL BIOSCIENCE INITIATIVE RECEIVES $60,000 FEDERAL GRANT AND AWARDS CONSULTING PROJECT

REGIONAL BIOSCIENCE INITIATIVE RECEIVES $60,000 FEDERAL GRANT AND AWARDS CONSULTING PROJECT
 
PITTSTON – Today, Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (PA-11) and Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Austin J. Burke, announced a $60,000 federal grant to help develop an eight-county regional economic development strategic plan to expand the region’s existing bioscience sector.  The plan is spearheaded by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Regional Bioscience Initiative (NEPA RBI).  The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) awarded the funding to The Scranton Lackawanna County Industrial Building Company (SLIBCO), the economic development arm of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. 
 
The plan will identify the assets and unmet needs of Northeastern Pennsylvania for bioscience growth and provide strategic recommendations for regional development. AngelouEconomics, a consulting firm located in Austin, Texas has been selected to complete the analysis.
 
The regional strategic study will include input and direction from education, business, economic development and government partners from Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Wayne, Pike, Susquehanna, Schuylkill and Wyoming Counties.
 
“This federal funding will help Northeastern Pennsylvania further develop its bioscience industry which has only improved with the creation of The Commonwealth Medical College,” said Congressman Kanjorski.  “This federal funding, in addition to $99,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will help enable the development of a strategic plan to help build up this industry in the area, and create jobs in a sector that will only continue to grow throughout the country.  We can ensure that the growth of the bioscience industry does not bypass Northeastern Pennsylvania.”
 
“Appalachia’s future is about economic diversification and creating new jobs for a knowledge based economy,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl. “Bioscience is one of the new economic engines that can create opportunities for both growth and jobs, and this regional strategic plan will help to identify ways to unlock its full potential in Northeastern Pennsylvania. We at ARC are pleased to provide funding for this important project.
 
Austin J. Burke, secretary, The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development stated, “The key to attracting and growing bioscience research and development opportunities will be through the leveraging of the region’s assets.  The development of a regional strategic plan will be the blueprint on which this sector is built.” 
 
“Development of a strategic plan of this importance would not be possible without the collaboration of the region’s economic development, business and educational communities,” said Philip Condron, acting executive vice president, SLIBCO. “We are thrilled to have all funding in place for this project and look forward to working with AngelouEconomics.  Their analysis of our region’s bioscience strengths and recommendations on how best to improve our weaknesses will allow us to expand a growing business sector and develop high-paying job opportunities for a qualified workforce.”
 
The Appalachian Regional Commission awards grants and contracts from funds appropriated to the Commission annually by Congress. Program grants are awarded to state and local agencies and governmental entities (such as economic development authorities), local governing boards, and nonprofit organizations. Contracts are awarded for research on topics that directly impact economic development in the Appalachian Region.
 
Grant funding was also received from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development, Life Science Greenhouse of PA (LSGHPA), and PPL Electric Utilities. Wayne County Industrial Development Corporation (WEDCO), Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services, and Penn’s Northeast have also supported this project.
 
AngelouEconomics is one of the largest independent global economic development consulting firms, serving as experts in planning, marketing implementation, site selection, and U.S. investment promotion. Headquartered in Austin, TX the company customizes client strategies to attract high-value business and a sustainable workforce.
 
SLIBCO and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Regional Bioscience Initiative (NEPA RBI) would like to extend special thanks to Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance, PA Department of Community and Economic Development, U.S. Senator Robert Casey, Jr., U.S. Representative Paul Kanjorski, U.S. Representative Christopher Carney for their assistance in securing funding to support this regional initiative.
 
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