The 10 county area appears to be rebounding to pre-pandemic levels when it comes to economic development.
That was a key takeaway from the 15th Annual Pittsburgh Area Business Investment Scorecard, released last week by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its affiliate, the Regional Alliance of Pittsburgh. This year’s dashboard details business investment activity that has been announced in 2021, including capital investment and new and retained jobs.
“Companies are investing in the region again,” said Jim Futrell, vice president of market research for the Allegheny conference. “What I think is even more encouraging is that new businesses are moving into the area. That number nearly doubled between 2020 and 2021. Companies are again looking to open and operate new businesses across the country, and especially in southwestern Pennsylvania.
The scorecard is the result of the Allegheny Conference partnering with its economic development partners in the region to compile a comprehensive inventory of business investment “wins”.
Futrell said Washington, Greene and Fayette counties reported good numbers in 2021.
“Washington always tends to be among the busiest counties,” he said. “We saw 28 announcements in total this year, about double the previous year. Greene tends to be a little calmer, although announcements from there have also doubled from two to four and Fayette remains stable at two. It’s a nice rebound within these three counties.”
The Washington County Scorecard listed 18 investment projects, including Innovative Electronics developing a 50,000 square foot building at Starpointe Business Park in Burgettstown that could expand to 100,000 square feet. The impact of this project on employment is 220 jobs and the capital investment is $5 million.
The county scorecard also listed 10 development projects.
Greene County lists three capital projects and one development project. Investment projects include Iron Senergy, which has a total employment impact of 700 jobs and a capital investment of $50 million.
Fayette County lists two development projects, including a 105,000 square foot building in the Fayette County Business Park, with a capital investment of $7 million.
In the 10-county area, the report noted 215 total deals in 2021, up from seven in 2020. According to the report, more companies are also planning to add or retain employees, and there were $3 billion combined capital investments, which has happened five times in the last six years.
In 2021, there were 65 development agreements, down 14 from 2020, but the report noted the number was still above the 15-year average of 56.
Additionally, 8,405 new jobs were created in 2021, the highest number since 2011.
The average number of new jobs per investment project was 56.3. This is due to at least 500 new jobs at four projects, including Iron Senergy in Waynesburg.