Good Jobs, Strong Industries, a Better Pennsylvania: Towards a 21st-Century State Economic Development Policy

Maria Cristina Herrera, Stephen Herzenberg, and Michael Wood |

Pennsylvania lawmakers today face two challenging pressures that are difficult to reconcile: a) a deep recession that has eroded state revenues, leading to careful scrutiny of all state spending and deep cuts in some programs, and b) high unemployment rates that have brought new urgency to state efforts to boost job creation. In the context of these twin pressures, this report contains an overview and assessment of current programs in Pennsylvania that aim to create jobs and promote economic growth.

The report suggests that today’s economy, together with a gubernatorial campaign and transition, provide a chance for policymakers to step back from 50 years of incremental expansion of state economic development programs, and to implement a strategic updating of Pennsylvania’s approach to stimulating economic growth.

Download the document here.