C. Alan Walker, Secretary, PA Department of Community and Economic Development
Governor Corbett has worked hard to ensure Pennsylvania job growth and as a result of his policies, more than 125,000 private sector jobs have been created since January 2011.
As head of the Department of Community and Economic Development, my agency supports the economic growth of Pennsylvania by encouraging business to choose Pennsylvania as the best place in the country to grow and create jobs.
Business growth is vital to any state’s economic health, and a modern, high-capacity transportation system is critical to businesses looking to grow.
It’s no accident that trucking and logistics companies decided decades ago to make Pennsylvania’s highway corridors their major transportation hub. But the same highway system and transportation infrastructure that lured those companies here is aging and traffic congestion is getting worse.
Every year, nearly half-a-trillion dollars of goods and services move through our state transportation system. Maintaining and expanding Pennsylvania’s transportation system is vital to keeping our businesses connected to the global economy.
One of the first things that manufacturing companies evaluate when deciding where to locate is the availability of fast, efficient transportation. They want to be able to move raw materials in quickly, for just-in-time delivery and then move finished products to market with the same ease.
For logistics companies, good transportation is at the heart of what they do. Be it over-the-road trucks or shipping by rail, if the transportation infrastructure is not high capacity and safe and dependable, these job-producing companies will look at other states to locate their business.
Governor Corbett’s plan would tackle an issue that has been neglected for nearly three decades, making available nearly $2 billion in additional yearly funding for our transportation system. The plan would raise revenue while reducing consumer taxes, calling for a 17 percent reduction in the retail gas tax paid by customers at the pump.
Transportation is also proven to create jobs. In total, the governor’s transportation plan could add 50,000 good-paying jobs through sustained investment in maintenance and improvement projects on an annual basis. And having a sustainable, long-term solution will ensure Pennsylvania is an attractive location for businesses to expand or begin their operations – this will also lead to future job growth.
Governor Corbett’s transportation plan is a long-term solution to our infrastructure needs that does not leave the bill to our children and grandchildren.
As the Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development and a member of the Transportation Funding Advisory Council, I am in strong support of the governor’s plan and truly believe it will lead to a stable, world-class infrastructure system for all Pennsylvanians now and into the future.