March 27, 2017 Press Release Harrisburg, PA – In support of the Employment First initiative to help people with disabilities find employment, Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced a new Vanpool Incentive Program to create vanpools across the state that would provide a lower-cost alternative for people to commute to work.“Transportation access can be a deciding factor in whether someone is able to work, so anything we can do to expand options is good for Pennsylvanians,” Governor Wolf said. “No matter their abilities, people should have access to jobs that pay.”The program will invest up to $1 million annually and is open to government entities, non-profit entities and transportation companies. Approved vanpools will be offered an initial 50-percent cost incentive, up to $800 per vanpool per month based on van size, that is phased out over three years for non-ADA accessible vanpools.ADA-accessible vanpools would be eligible for a monthly subsidy up to $1,200 per van, and would be eligible for an ongoing $400-per-month subsidy after the third year. Participants would also be eligible for state investments to cover the cost to convert a van to be ADA-accessible.“Although public transportation is available in some form in every Pennsylvania county, we’re always looking for new ways to efficiently provide and expand transportation options,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. “We strongly encourage participation in this new program.”To qualify for the program, entities must create a new vanpool that has not operated previously to or from the identified destination or origin point. The vanpool must also have at least an expected 60-percent occupancy: five riders for seven-person vans; seven riders for 10-person vans; nine riders for 12-person vans (including ADA); and 11 riders for 15-person vans.To ensure proof of membership, vanpool riders will pay a minimum of $25 per month, with the final cost determined by providers.When officially opened in May, the application period will be announced via the Pennsylvania Bulletin. PennDOT expects to select the first vanpool program participants in the 2017-18 state fiscal year. Agencies or providers interested in the program may email BPTVanPool@pa.gov for more information. Wolf Administration Works to Expand Vanpool Options for Workers, Assist Persons with Disabilities SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
Governor Wolf Announces COE Distributing to Expand, Moving Operations from Out of State to Fayette County
SHARE Email Facebook Twitter August 10, 2017 Economy, Jobs That Pay, Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced COE Distributing (COE), a wholesale distributor of office furniture and accessories, will expand its footprint in Fayette County and consolidate operations from outside the commonwealth to its site in Smock, creating 20 new, full-time jobs.“Seeing a family-owned company, which has been in Fayette County since 1940, choose Pennsylvania to invest in their future means that we have the location, infrastructure, and pro-business climate for companies to grow,” said Governor Wolf. “Additionally, bringing outsourced jobs to Pennsylvania where they belong is a huge win not just for COE, but for the people of Fayette County.”COE currently leases 127,000 square feet of warehouse space at the Franklin Commercial Park in Smock, PA, and an additional 60,000 square feet in Uniontown. A 138,000 square-foot expansion is planned at Franklin Commercial Park for COE to consolidate the Uniontown facility and bring operations currently being outsourced to a company in Maryland in-house to the expanded facility. The expansion will allow COE to take on new business and improve operational efficiencies. COE has committed to investing at least $10 million into the project, and additionally committed to creating 20 new, full-time jobs and retaining 43 more positions statewide.“COE Distributing is extremely excited and grateful to work with the Governor’s Action Team on our expansion project,” said J.D. Ewing, president and CEO of COE Distributing. “Securing the ability to expand at Franklin Commercial Park will allow us to confidently proceed with our aggressive growth plan and assure our operations will move forward uninterrupted. This would not be possible without the help of the Governor’s Action Team.”COE received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development for a $40,000 Pennsylvania First grant and a $9,000 WEDnet grant for job training. The company has also been encouraged to apply for a $375,000 low-interest loan from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority.The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the Fay-Penn Economic Development Council.“COE is a great success story for our Fayette County economy,” said Bob Shark, executive director at Fay-Penn. “J.D. Ewing has worked diligently to create a world-class company that provides a significant number of great jobs and generates investment here. I know of the effort he expended to launch this expansion, and I’m thrilled that we could partner with the Governor’s Action Team and provide some funding to support it.”COE is a family-owned, third-generation company, operating in Fayette County since the 1940’s. COE specializes in wholesale distribution of office furniture and accessories and deals with key manufacturers such as OfficeSource, FireKing, HPFI, Flexsteel, LA-Z-BOY, VIRCO, and Linea Italia. The company has authorized dealers in 48 states and an extensive web-order business, allowing COE to sell globally.For more information about the Governor’s Action Team or DCED, visit dced.pa.gov. Governor Wolf Announces COE Distributing to Expand, Moving Operations from Out of State to Fayette County
October 25, 2017 GO-TIME: DEP Grant Modernization Is Increasing Efficiency, Improving Review Timelines SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Efficiency, Environment, GO-TIME, Government That Works, Innovation, Press Release Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that the use of a centralized electronic system for grants is reducing costs, increasing efficiency and significantly shortening the application review time while maintaining a thorough evaluation process.When fully implemented, e-grants will be available for 30 grants administered by DEP, saving $200,000 annually.“Modernizing this grant application system is improving customer service for many citizens, nonprofit organizations, local governments, and businesses,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “With this advancement, we are making the process more efficient as we keep our comprehensive reviews in place and ultimately speed up the support for these important environmental programs in communities across the commonwealth.”DEP was the first agency to begin using the Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) electronic grants system for one of its programs. This has allowed DEP to modernize its application and review processes without having to build or buy its own system.The Environmental Education grant program was the first to accept electronic applications, starting last fall. The Alternative Fuel Vehicle, Small Business Advantage, and Coastal Zone Resource Management grant programs have begun accepting electronic applications in the past six months.The e-grant system reduces applicant errors and allows for electronic approval, which reduces processing time and speeds review. DCED provides online application customer support. DEP staff score applications online and no longer perform manual data entryAs a result of these and other efficiencies, the grant review process that formerly required about two weeks has been reduced to an average of two days.The new grant system complements ongoing work to shift agency-wide permitting from paper to online applications, part of a major effort to modernize technology at DEP that launched in January 2016. In March of this year, DEP announced an electronic mining permit application for surface coal mines that will make the permit review process faster for DEP and operators and provide more transparency to the public.The new process is a DEP initiative developed through the Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management, and Efficiency (GO-TIME).GO-TIME is working to modernize government operations to reduce costs and improve services. GO-TIME works with agencies to identify opportunities to share resources, collaborate and engage employees in transformation.
January 30, 2018 National Issues, Press Release, Redistricting, Voting & Elections State College, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf was joined by Penn State University faculty and students, community leaders, and residents for a non-partisan panel discussion on gerrymandering in the commonwealth. Nearly 100 constituents joined the discussion on how the current Congressional map affects their representation and how they feel redistricting should be approached. This is the first in a series of listening sessions the governor will hold across Pennsylvania in advance of the February 9 deadline for the General Assembly to deliver a redrawn Congressional map.“It’s important that we engage in open and transparent conversation on gerrymandering,” said Governor Wolf. “This is not a partisan issue and I want to make it clear that the people of Pennsylvania are the ones leading this charge.”Along with Governor Wolf, panelists included Zak Kalp, Penn State University senior and President of Better Politics PSU; Dr. Jessica O’Hara, Associate Teaching Professor in Communication Arts and Sciences, Penn State University; Dr. Bradford Vivian, Associate Professor in Communications Arts and Sciences, Penn State University, and Director of the Center for Democratic Deliberation; Debbie Trudeau, Fair Districts PA; and Jonathan Marks, Commissioner, Department of State Bureau of Commissions, Elections, and Legislation.Last week Governor Wolf announced he will enlist a non-partisan mathematician, Moon Duchin, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of Mathematics from Tufts University, to provide him with guidance on evaluating redistricting maps for fairness. Governor Wolf has it made clear since the Supreme Court ruled the map unconstitutional that he sees this as an opportunity to eliminate partisan gerrymandering and deliver the people of Pennsylvania a fair Congressional map. Governor Wolf Hosts Non-Partisan Redistricting Listening Session with State College Residents SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
August 29, 2018 Governor Wolf Issues Statement on Lockdown of State Prisons Press Release, Public Safety Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf issued the following statement on today’s decision by the Department of Corrections to lock down the 25 state correctional institution because of multiple recent incidents of staff sickened by substances:“Pennsylvania’s corrections officers put themselves in harm’s way to make our commonwealth safer, and it is up to us to provide them protection from harm. I spoke to Sec. Wetzel today and they continue to work diligently to address the emerging issue of synthetic drugs in our prison system, and my office and I have been supporting his efforts. Today’s action to lock down all of the state’s correctional facilities is a necessary step to ensure the safety of our officers and provide the department the opportunity to assess and control the situation.“It is our responsibility to keep all commonwealth employees safe while at work so that they return home each day to their families. I have confidence that the Department of Corrections, working with state agency partners and law enforcement, will determine the cause or causes of the recent sickening of staff and put in place the necessary protections and procedures to ensure staff safety.” SHARE Email Facebook Twitter