DCED Secretary Siger visits Wilkes-Barre to tout Shapiro’s Economic Vision


Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, PA - Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Rick Siger on Wednesday said he’s “energized and ready to get to work” following a visit to local renewable energy company, Endless Energy, where he spoke about DCED and Gov. Josh Shapiro’s new statewide Economic Development Strategy.

The 10-year plan, which is the first of its kind in nearly two decades, was unveiled on Jan. 30 and will focus on economic growth across the state to strengthen communities, enable family-sustaining job creation and encourage innovation.

The Shapiro Administration already got a head start on this plan this past year, securing $1.2 billion in private sector investment and reducing the time it takes to get a business license in the state from 8 weeks to just three days.

Siger’s visit to Wilkes-Barre occurred just one day after Gov. Shapiro announced the proposed state budget, which calls for significant investments to support this Economic Development Plan, including $25 million for Main Street Matters to support small businesses as well as $20 million to support innovation.

During his remarks on Wednesday, Siger said that “based on rigorous analysis of data based on countless conversations with businesses and others across Pennsylvania,” he and his team identified five key sectors to focus resources on: Agriculture, Energy, Life Sciences, Manufacturing, and Robotics and Technology.

Endless Energy, family-owned for over 50 years, specializes in all things renewable energy for both commercial and residential.

“Small businesses are the backbone of Pennsylvania’s economy and the backbone of our communities and we thought this first day, after the budget address, a visit to Northeast PA was really important to be at a small business to highlight their importance to the economy,” Siger said.

Co-owner John Pitcavage said that he is proud that he and his brother, Mike Pitcavage’s, business can provide a healthy wage and a comfortable place to work, but none of that would be possible without the right support from the government.

“This economic road has had some potholes over the years, both figuratively and physically, but I believe that the governor’s office is trying to fix this road that we’re all on. And I think that with the right incentive and the right policy, we can have more success,” he said.

Pitcavage is hopeful this new plan will not only help Endless Energy grow as a business but assist in its goal of building up Pennsylvania’s energy infrastructure.

Siger also highlighted some of the investments Shapiro called for including his personal favorite: a $3.5 million program that would, if passed by the legislature, create and launch a regional competitiveness challenge to empower regions and incentivize regional growth.

“These combined investments will propel us up the ranks in business competitiveness, and more importantly create jobs and opportunities for Pennsylvania,” Siger said.

Several community leaders and elected officials were in attendance on Wednesday, including Luzerne County Manager Romilda Crocamo, Wilkes University Small Business Development Center Director Dorothy Lane, Nolan Trent representing the office of Rep. Marty Flynn, Jeff Box of the NEPA Alliance and Paul Macknosky, Northeast Regional Director, DCED.

Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre, applauded Gov. Shapiro for “investing in the people of Pennsylvania.”

“He believes in the talents of Pennsylvania on every single level, from a solid work ethic to the drive of small business, to a higher education, to make sure we prepare our own Pennsylvania students for the 21st century and beyond,” said Pashinski.

Lindsay Griffin-Boylan, CEO of the Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce, said that the proposed DCED plan charts a path forward for the area by focusing on the same core priorities that are also important to her and her team.

“Building a vibrant and resilient region for economic innovation and community development is truly at the core of what we do. It’s really what we’ve been kind of looking forward towards as we rebuilt ourselves in the past few years,” Boylan said.

Following his remarks, Siger said that he believes the DCED has a strong plan and looks forward to continuing to implement it.

“It gives us a chance to compete at a whole new level with the surrounding states. It’s about competition, it’s about job creation, quality job creation, to make sure, frankly, that the citizens of PA have the competitive government that they deserve.”

For further details and to read the strategy in full visit pagetsitdone.com.