Roddey Launches Business Expansion Network
Unique Initiative to Assist Growth of Existing Employers in Region
(July 11, 2003)
Allegheny County Chief Executive Jim Roddey today announced the creation of the Business Expansion Network during a news conference at the Allegheny County Courthouse.
This unique initiative is aimed at fostering growth among the area’s existing employers by identifying companies that are poised to expand and connecting them with appropriate programs within the public sector that could help facilitate that job creation.
“So often, the focus of job creation is on attracting new businesses and industry to our area,” Mr. Roddey said. “While those efforts remain a critical part of my vision for economic development, I believe we must also make sure we support those successful companies already here.”
The Business Expansion Network will be a cooperative effort among three groups: existing local businesses with an interest in expanding; a network of professional service firms that can help to identify those businesses and bring them to the county’s attention; and Allegheny County, which administers and coordinates with other partner organizations a variety of funding programs to facilitate job growth and business expansion.
The Professional Service Provider Network, a part of the Business Expansion Network, will consist of law firms, accountants, investment advisors, and other business consultants in the region. PSPN members will nominate companies that meet the program criteria and may be eligible for public-sector support. The nominations will be reviewed by the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development to determine what programs may be most appropriate.
Eligible companies must employ at least 15 full-time workers, have been in business for at least five years with stable or growing revenue, and be committed to increasing the number of employees by at least 10 percent by creating new, family-sustaining jobs.The initiative will not require any additional funding from the Allegheny County budget and will be conducted in concert with the ongoing efforts to attract new businesses to the region.
“In the last three years, much of the job creation we have experienced in Allegheny County has come from the successes of local employers who were able to expand their operations. Some recent examples include Dick’s Sporting goods, GlaxoSmithKline, Lake Region Medical, Capco Contracting and Mitsubishi Electric Power Products,” Mr. Roddey said. “With this trend likely to continue, my vision is to form a public-private consortium that can directly lead to local job growth.”
Among the Professional Services Providers who have expressed interest in participating in the Business Expansion network are Parker Hunter and Commonwealth Capital. Mr. Roddey encouraged any interested professional service firms to contact the Business Expansion Network hotline, 412-350-1026, or through e-mail, Ben@county.allegheny.pa.us.
Under Mr. Roddey’s direction, the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development serves as the County’s primary job creation and business attraction team. The office provides streamlined assistance to businesses, developers and local municipalities. The office also manages more than 300 grant projects each year, with a budget of more than $25 million. Since 2000, the department managed more than $66 million in Community Development Block Grant funds.
More information on the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development can be obtained by calling (412) 350-1049.