The energy level was high in Washington County last Thursday. The reason: a celebration of outstanding economic growth for the county. Assembled at Range Resources, more than 200 business and economic development leaders – including Washington County Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Kotula and Board Chairman Patrick O’Brien, President & CEO, First Federal Savings Bank – heard the good news first hand.
At the event, Commissioners Larry Maggi, Diana Irey Vaughan and Harlan Shober shared a report on the county’s economic vitality. Highlights included:
- In 2011, Washington County attracted 45 economic development projects that accounted for $198+ million in capital investment. Range Resource’s brand new $30 million regional headquarters in the Southpointe Business Park (the venue for the event) – is just one of the deals fueling the county’s growth. Other notable expansion/attraction projects include Alstom Grid, Chapman Corporation, Gardner Denver Nash and Mark West Energy Partners.
- Largely driven by the expansion of the natural gas industry, the county’s 4.3 percent rate of employment growth recently ranked third in the nation. Moreover, the county has experienced unemployment rates lower than the national average.
- The county has benefited from $279+ million in additional investments that have been leveraged through the Washington County Local Share Account – a fund that is capitalized by gaming revenues over the past five years. Funds have been used to invest in infrastructure, business parks and community development projects.
Commissioner Maggi attributed the success to a number of factors.
“Washington County government believes in partnering with our business community to create jobs and increase economic development activities through collaborative public/private efforts. We further encourage economic growth by keeping taxes low as well as investing in infrastructure, business parks and other job creation projects.”
Pittsburgh Regional Alliance President Dewitt Peart offered his congratulations on the news:
“Washington County’s remarkable growth demonstrates the positive impact that the Marcellus Shale industry is having throughout southwestern Pennsylvania.”
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