PA Counties Band Together for Grant to Create Marcellus Jobs

A regional economic development group made up of officials from Blair, Cambria, Somerset, Huntingdon, Fulton and Bedford counties in Pennsylvania is asking the state for a $700,000 grant to help them help businesses located in the southern Allegheny region identify new business opportunities in the shale gas drilling industry. The group hopes that their geography, strategically located between PA’s northeastern and southwestern Marcellus gas fields, will bring new business to the area, and along with that new business, more jobs.

A regional economic development group representing Blair and surrounding counties thinks this area is strategically located for the creation of new jobs associated with the natural gas industry.

To that end, the Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission has requested about $700,000 over a three-year period from the state Department of Community and Economic Development, commission Executive Director Edward M. Silvetti said Tuesday.

An action plan has been proposed so that businesses in the commission’s six counties can learn about and identify opportunities for job growth stemming from efforts to extract and transport natural gas, Silvetti said.

The idea will be to develop a list of industries that can benefit from natural gas industry, to put together a list of sites near railroad infrastructure or major transportation corridors and truck bays, that will help a business locate in the region.*

*Altoona Mirror (Mar 7, 2012) – Gas industry jobs targeted