What Business, Labor, Agriculture, and Education Leaders Are Saying About Governor Shapiro’s Economic Development Strategy

“A smart and practical approach to economic growth”…“long overdue”…“a needed blueprint for inclusive growth”…“a real investment in Pennsylvania’s workers and industries”…“a critical milestone”…“sustainable progress that lifts up families and neighborhoods”

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro and Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Rick Siger delivered on their promise to create the Pennsylvania Economic Development Strategy ― the first comprehensive plan of its kind to guide the Commonwealth’s economic growth in almost 20 years.  

Governor Shapiro’s plan sets forth five ambitious goals for our Commonwealth to: invest in our economic growth to compete, continue to make government work at the speed of business, open doors of opportunity for all Pennsylvanians, innovate to win, and build vibrant and resilient regions where every community flourishes.

Each of these five goals includes specific, dedicated initiatives to maximize the plan’s impact. On February 6, Governor Josh Shapiro will hold his annual budget address. His Fiscal Year 2024-25 budget will call for significant investments, directly tied back to this ten-year strategy.

Read what business, labor, agriculture, education, and government leaders are saying about the Commonwealth’s first economic development strategy in nearly two years.


“I am extremely proud to join Governor Shapiro as we continue to invest in our workers, entrepreneurs, innovators, and business leaders. Pennsylvania has the potential to lead the nation in cutting edge technology, energy, and manufacturing. The investments and strategy set forth by the Shapiro administration prepares our commonwealth well to capitalize on our incredible resources and succeed across the board. I look forward to continued discussions with partners and stakeholders as we fully realize this strategy.” – Senator Jay Costa

“This ten-year plan will boost Pennsylvania’s appeal to entrepreneurs, support existing businesses, create jobs and encourage thriving communities.” – Sen. Nick Miller

“A big day for the Lehigh Valley, as Governor Shapiro comes to us to unveil his ten-year strategic plan for economic development in Pennsylvania. Glad to join the Governor, and looking forward to working to ensure that we use this plan to get more businesses and more jobs.” – Representative Mike Schlossberg

“Today, Gov. Josh Shapiro launched the first statewide economic development strategy in nearly 20 years. We’re thrilled to see the Governor work toward making Pennsylvania a leader in innovation and economic development.” – Senate Democratic Leaders

“House Democrats lead the fight for better jobs in Pennsylvania – jobs with a real living wage and benefits so that working families of every size and type can thrive and support their communities. We passed bills to raise worker pay, guarantee safer workspaces, and protect workers’ rights to join a union. Beyond that, we’re leading the fight to make it easier to start and expand a business here in the commonwealth – investing in the companies who invest in us. Governor Shapiro’s commitment to strengthening our commonwealth through this comprehensive strategy is a commitment we share and something we’re ready to fight to make happen – forward-thinking, targeted investments in the high-tech, high-wage industries to build a better tomorrow and make sure we lead the technological revolution the way we led the industrial revolution. We look forward to working with the Shapiro Administration as we begin the budget process and we’re grateful that Governor Shapiro shares our vision to bring together government, industry, education and our world-class workforce to make sure we’re the keystone to America’s economy.” – House Democratic Leaders


“The Governor’s economic development strategy serves as a needed blueprint for inclusive growth throughout the Greater Philadelphia region and the Commonwealth, creating jobs, spurring innovation and growing opportunities. We stand ready to work together with the Shapiro Administration, General Assembly, and our business community to strengthen our competitive position in the global economy.” — Chellie Cameron, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia

“The release of the Governor’s economic development strategy is a critical milestone on the path to unlocking the growth potential of our region and state. We applaud the Governor not just for his vision for a competitive Pennsylvania, but for the consistent actions taken over the past year that have generated the positive momentum we are experiencing today. We look forward to working in partnership to realize the full potential embodied in this plan and to ensure the commonwealth is attractive to the people and employers who call it home as well as those we want to attract.” ― Stefani Pashman, Chief Executive Officer, Allegheny Conference

“A 10-year strategy for economic development is necessary and exciting. Pennsylvania has significant opportunities to strengthen its competitiveness, starting by getting clear about our priority sectors and the Commonwealth’s strength. This focus is energizing for local and regional partners from industry, the public sector, the network of economic development entities, academia, and labor to know that the state sees opportunities to accelerate in these key areas. We’re thrilled that Governor Shapiro is championing the enormous assets that exist in the Commonwealth while also being clear-eyed about the challenges.” ― Abby Smith, President & CEO, Team Pennsylvania

“Riverside Center for Innovation is thrilled to learn that Governor Shapiro and his administration took the necessary steps to address the challenges that small diverse businesses face to compete in a global economy through the release of a Pennsylvania Statewide Economic Development Strategy. Our plan is to use this strategy to align our core programming and provide a pathway that details how diverse and rural businesses can build vibrant, resilient communities and improve the livelihoods of families. Together, we can embark on a pathway that helps make entrepreneurs journey a more prosperous future.” – Juan Garrett, Executive Director, Riverside Center for Innovation

“This initiative will significantly impact many of our small, diverse entrepreneurs, the non-profit sector, and economic development organizations like Community First Fund. Moreover, it holds the promise of stimulating job creation in numerous underserved communities. I wholeheartedly endorse Governor Shapiro’s plan.” – Jonathan Encarnacion, Senior Vice President of Community First Fund

“The Latino community is poised to grow its pivotal economic role in Pennsylvania’s future, leveraging Governor Shapiro’s strategic investments and reforms. Our diverse and talented community is a vital leader in the entrepreneurial spirit that is the foundation for building and advancing the Governor’s vision for innovation and inclusive growth, ensuring every Pennsylvanian, irrespective of background, thrives with these new economic development initiatives.” – Reverend Bonnie Camarda, Director of Partnerships, The Salvation Army of Eastern PA & Delaware

“The Governors economic strategy is specific and wide reaching. While it values the importance of investments into our communities, supports job creation and economic growth, it also highlights our very diverse communities. It is very encouraging to work with a Governor and an Administration that is forward thinking and understands how to move the Commonwealth forward.” – Luis Campos, City Administrator, City of Easton

“Governor Shapiro’s new economic strategy for Pennsylvania is a smart and practical approach to economic growth that is focused on helping to create jobs and opportunity in the 21st Century. It’s long overdue for the state to have a comprehensive and strategic approach that will help all the regions of Pennsylvania thrive and prosper in a competitive world. It’s clear that a lot of thought and work was put into this plan.” – Don Cunningham, President & CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp

“The Shapiro Administration’s Economic Development Strategy promises a robust, forward-thinking Pennsylvania that recognizes challenges and turns them into opportunities. The five key sectors that are a focal point of this strategy are poised for explosive growth and job creation – and Pittsburgh robotics companies are leading the way in all of these areas. We share Governor Shapiro’s vision for a Commonwealth in which businesses find fertile ground for innovation and growth and every Pennsylvanian has access to family-sustaining jobs and fulfilling careers. Pennsylvania is indeed open for business. But more importantly, Pennsylvania is ready for the future.” – Jennifer Apicella, Executive Director, Pittsburgh Robotics Network

“Through this strategy, PA will become an even better place for the Latino community to do business and find great educational and job opportunities.” – Hector Herrada, Chair of Mexican Business Association of Philadelphia

“Pennsylvania will B.O.O.M. with Governor Shapiro’s Economic Development Strategy, and as a Latina in Chester County I fully support it. His strategy will Boost small businesses, Open doors inclusively, Optimize government speed, and Maximize investments and innovation in our communities.” – Ana Amarante-Craig, Esquire, Partner at HGSK Lawyers

“I’m extremely supportive of Governor Shapiro’s Economic Development Strategy, which I think will go a long way to bring all the stakeholders together to drive economic growth for everyone in the state. I’m especially eager to see how it can leverage the talent and potential within our Latino community to unlock doors and create more opportunities for all of us.” – Genesis Ortega, Commissioner for Governor’s Advisory Commission for Latino Affairs

“The strength of the American and the Commonwealth’s economy relies on transportation infrastructure to facilitate interstate commerce which bolsters our manufacturing base and our energy sector. Pennsylvania is unique in that we have a total transportation system including highways, freight and passenger rail, inland and coastal ports and airports that all play a key role in supporting economic growth.”

Robert E. Latham, Executive Vice President, Associated PA Constructors

“The Shapiro Administration’s Economic Development Strategy focuses on five key sectors that will best position Pennsylvania to compete and win on a global scale. It’s not surprising to see life sciences, the field dedicated to harnessing the enormous potential of the natural world, identified as one of the sectors that will drive inclusive, sustainable growth in Pennsylvania in the years ahead. We look forward to working alongside Governor Shapiro and his Administration, as well as the public and private sectors, to realize this strategy’s goals. Together, we can ensure the promise of an improved business climate is credible, attainable, and works for all Pennsylvanians.”

– Michele Washko, President and Chief Executive Officer at Life Sciences Greenhouse Investments


“Building a strong economy requires building a strong workforce, and we appreciate the Shapiro Administration’s focus on making sure that job seekers, workers, and employers have the resources they need to make Pennsylvania’s workforce the strongest in the nation. We are encouraged by the opportunity to align and coordinate economic development priorities with workforce development expertise. Governor Shapiro’s commitment to crafting a strategic economic development plan is a critical first step; partnering with Pennsylvania’s workforce development system will help move that plan to a reality that lifts up communities and elevates workforce delivery models that are more relevant to the types of careers job seekers and workers are pursuing now and in the future.” – Carrie Amann, Executive Director, PA Workforce Development Association

“Governor Shapiro’s Pennsylvania Economic Development Strategy is a real investment in Pennsylvania’s workers and industries. Because of this historic investment, industries that have played a vital role in the economic growth of the Commonwealth will be rejuvenated in a sustainable way that puts workers and the community at the forefront.” – Daniel P. Bauder, President, Philadelphia AFL-CIO

“Governor Shapiro’s new Economic Development Strategy demonstrates his commitment to Pennsylvania workers. By considering barriers to economic growth and developing goals to guide policies and investments, the Governor shows he wants the Pennsylvania economy to thrive once again. When our industries thrive, our workers thrive. With better pay and benefits, our hardworking men and women can improve the lives of their families and contribute to the vibrancy of their communities.” – Angela Ferritto, President, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO


“Pennsylvania’s farmers appreciate the Shapiro Administration’s inclusion of agriculture among the five key economic sectors targeted under the Pennsylvania Economic Development Strategy. Pennsylvania Farm Bureau looks forward to seeing the Administration’s proposals affecting agriculture in its soon-to-be-forthcoming 2024-25 budget plan, and to working with it and the General Assembly to help best direct the Commonwealth’s resources in a manner that will support the broad goals outlined in the Strategy while advancing the policy priorities identified by Farm Bureau members.” – Chris Hoffman, President, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau

“We applaud the Shapiro Administration for recognizing agriculture as Pennsylvania’s legacy first industry and to lead an aggressive proactive economic development strategy to ensure the future viability of agriculture for future generations. Agricultural Economic Development to be included as a priority pillar of Governor Shapiro’s Economic Development Strategy will distinguish our Commonwealth to be a leader among states not only in farmland preservation but to enhance the economic future of our food producers and processors for our future.” – Gary W. Smith, CEO, Chester County Economic Development Council

“We are thrilled that Governor Shapiro has recognized the immense impact that agriculture has in the Commonwealth, not just on the farms where our food is raised and harvested, but the impact that food has in communities both rural and urban where it is processed, distributed, sold, and ultimately used to nourish Pennsylvanians at their family dinner tables. We appreciate that Governor Shapiro supports the growth of small businesses, making it easier for entrepreneurs to access resources, financing, and training to grow.” – Jodi Gauker, Agriculture Project Director, Chester County Economic Development 

“Governor Shapiro’s recognition of the economic importance of agriculture sends a clear signal as to where his priorities lie – in supporting our farmers and those of us who process and transport their products to market. As a dairy processor who is deeply connected to Pennsylvania farms, and to retailers and consumers, I have seen that investments in agriculture are investments in communities and the Commonwealth as a whole. We look forward to continuing to strengthen PA dairy and agriculture through economic growth opportunities under the Shapiro Administration.” – Chuck Turner, President, Turner Dairy Farms 

“Pennsylvania’s Forest Products Industry values its close and long-standing partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the Hardwoods Development Council. With a total economic impact exceeding $39 billion annually, forest products account for the single largest sector within Pennsylvania agriculture. The Shapiro Administration’s commitment to feature the forest products sector in its new comprehensive economic development strategy is great news for an industry that provides profound economic and environmental benefits across all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. We look forward to partnering with Governor Shapiro to ensure that Pennsylvania continues to be the nation’s leading hardwood producing state.”– Matt Gabler, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Forest Products Association

“On behalf of the forest and wood products industry of Northwest and North Central, PA, we are grateful to Governor Shapiro and his team for their recognition of the existing and potential impact of agriculture on the state’s economy and to the resilience and vitality of our rural communities. We look forward to engaging our industry in working with the Shapiro Administration to capitalize on the opportunities that this comprehensive economic development plan will provide for innovation, strategic policy and market development, sector diversification and investment to strengthen Pennsylvania’s standing as a leading domestic and international hardwood producer.” – Amy Shields, Executive Director, Allegheny Hardwoods Utilization Group

“Agriculture is the backbone of rural communities and a significant contributor to our local economies. It’s broad ranging impact includes food security, environmental stewardship, and quality of life. The inclusion of agriculture in the state’s new economic plan underscores the importance of this deep-rooted and remarkable industry.” – Bette Slayton, President/CEO, Bedford County Development Association 

“As we chart Pennsylvania’s economic future, we must embrace innovation with boldness. Our state’s prosperity hinges on a comprehensive strategy that identifies strengths, tackles barriers, and fosters growth opportunities for all Pennsylvanians. Pennsylvania’s forthcoming economic development strategy marks a pivotal moment in our state’s trajectory as a leader, nationally and globally. By aligning resources, streamlining processes, and nurturing key sectors such as agribusiness – including its’ energy, water and environmental components – we’re not just planning for tomorrow, but laying the groundwork for future decades of inclusive prosperity and innovation.”– Charles Satish Smith, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Epcot Crenshaw Corporation

“At a time when the U.S. is importing more fresh food than ever before, we applaud Governor Shapiro’s economic plan for recognizing the significant opportunity that indoor farming can provide in driving new economic growth and agricultural innovation. Supporting Bowery’s Bethlehem farm, a former brownfield site, is the perfect illustration for how the Commonwealth is thinking about deploying indoor farming to generate new economic potential.” – Colin O’Neil, Senior Director of Public Policy & Social Impact for Bowery

“Grow Pittsburgh, a Pittsburgh based Urban Agriculture nonprofit, fully supports the inclusion of agriculture in Governor Shapiro’s new comprehensive economic development strategy. Agriculture, and in particular Urban Agriculture, provides communities with the economic growth opportunities by providing workforce development, entrepreneurship opportunities, and providing space for community self-determination. Agriculture is key to the future and success of the Commonwealth.” – Denele Hughson, Executive Director, Grow Pittsburgh


“As a leader, invested in empowering minority-owned and women-owned businesses, I applaud Governor Shapiro’s administration for putting inclusive economic growth at the center of this monumental statewide strategy. By directing resources towards diverse entrepreneurs across multiple sectors, this plan can foster sustainable progress that lifts up families and neighborhoods statewide. Outreach initiatives that facilitate access to contracts, financing, and professional development open the door for growth on Main Streets and for small businesses and minority-owned firms across the Commonwealth. When people of color, women, and minority business owners have greater opportunities, our whole state prospers. I look forward to the launch of this transformational economic development plan to drive participation from diverse groups, advancing Pennsylvania’s future.” – Vernard Alexander, Director of Community Engagement, University of Pittsburgh

“Pennsylvania’s schools excel at preparing learners to be college and career ready, which we see firsthand in Northwestern PA through our regional collaboration between schools and employers in high-demand fields. Governor Shapiro’s plan to bolster economic development activities will create more opportunities for today’s students to enter tomorrow’s workforce, and we at IU5 look forward to partnering with the Shapiro Administration, schools, and industry partners to implement this work with fidelity across the Commonwealth.” – Brad Whitman, Executive Director, Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit 5

“The Pennsylvania Association of Career and Technical Administrators (PACTA) believe that all Pennsylvania students should have access to quality career and technical programming, and we work to connect business and industry partners with their future workforce. While it is well established that the Commonwealth and the nation face workforce gaps, the need to address them is urgent. Governor Shapiro’s statewide plan for economic development will bridge the gaps by connecting Career and Technical Education (CTE) with in-demand careers. These connections will benefit in-demand industries and drive economic development in local communities. We look forward to being a partner in creating opportunities for all Pennsylvanians.” – John T. Pulver, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association of Career & Technical Administrators

“Thaddeus Stevens College is focused on a hands-on approach to preparing students for in-demand, high-paying jobs. Almost all graduates stay in Pennsylvania, helping to meet pressing workforce talent needs across the state. Invested in the success of the Governor’s economic plan, Stevens stands ready to supply the skilled workers that local employers need to thrive.” – Pedro Rivera, President, Thaddeus Stevens College

# # #

Media Contacts

Governor's Press Office

Governor's Office Media