As the Chester County Economic Development Council enters its 60th-anniversary year, it has released its top economic development milestones for fiscal year 2018-2019, as well as details of a new initiative to engage the county’s business and community leaders under the age of 40.
CCEDC recently showcased the end-of-year milestones at its Ninth Annual Stakeholders’ Breakfast at the Desmond Hotel in Malvern. More than 150 local business leaders attended. The work of CCEDC is supported by 270 investors spanning every major industry, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, including Cerner Health Services, Comcast, PECO Energy, Pfizer, QVC, Vanguard, and West Pharmaceuticals.
Highlights of CCEDC’s milestones for fiscal year 2018-2019 include:
- Financing for 28 projects totaling $58,078,272
- Obtaining $9,292,869 in new grant funding for 28 workforce and redevelopment projects
- Engaging 6,631 individuals in various workforce and STEM initiatives
- Raising more than $1.4 million in support of high priority industry sector activities
- Serving more than 100 startup and growth companies focused on technology, biotech, medical devices, digital health, clean tech, and more
- Enabling 15 emerging tech companies to receive a total of $1,218,576 in funding through the Keystone Innovation Zone Tax Credits
CCEDC also introduced details of a new initiative, CCEDC ConNEXT, which will launch in 2020. CCEDC ConNEXT will engage 40 of the county’s most dynamic business and community leaders under the age of 40, as identified annually by VISTA Today’s Millennial Superstars. Millennials who participate in CCEDC ConNEXT programs will form a cohort of young leaders and be asked to provide valuable perspective that will help guide CCEDC strategies and programs moving forward.
“For 60 years, CCEDC has promoted smart growth in the region,” said Gary W. Smith, CCEDC President and CEO. “We look forward to providing the county’s next generation of leaders with opportunities to flourish as professionals while fostering their connections with other leaders. Their perspective on economic- and workforce development-related issues is essential to the region’s continued success.”
“We value the input of our young leaders and are committed to incorporating them into not only our organization, but other impactful organizations throughout Chester County,” said Michael L. Grigalonis, CCEDC’s Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President.
Other 2018-2019 highlights include:
Reinvigorating Cheyney University: In its role as an advocate for smart growth opportunities, CCEDC partnered with Mosaic Development Partners of Philadelphia to work with Cheyney University to identify facilities that would be suitable for companies to locate on Cheyney’s campus, creating economic value and incorporating students into their programming. This public/private partnership will also provide students with career exploration and internship opportunities that will revitalize the campus and enhance the educational experience of the student population.
Redeveloping Pennhurst: CCEDC and co-applicant Penn Hurst Holdings DE LLC received a $10 million Business in Our Sites (BOS) grant/loan from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania providing the funds for environmental remediation of site asbestos and demolition of 12 buildings, making them shovel-ready to transform the 120-acre site of the former Pennhurst State Mental Hospital into a mix of commercial and industrial sites.
Choosing Chester County: Portuguese juice maker Sonatural chose Malvern as the location for its U.S. operations – Sofresco. They selected Chester County after working with the Pennsylvania Office of International Business and CCEDC, which connected them with Georgia-based Universal Pasteurization Co., LLC at its location at 7 Lee Boulevard in Malvern, where Sofresco will manufacture its juice using locally sourced produce.
CCEDC continued in its role as a regional leader in providing financing solutions for growing companies and key economic development projects. Fueled by effective marketing, a knowledgeable staff, and historically low rates, CCEDC, and its SBA-lending affiliate Seedcopa, combined to finance nearly 25 projects totaling more than $58 million.
Over the past year, CCEDC also promoted early career exploration activities to 4,681 students with area employers through its GETT, Techies Day, What’s So Cool About Manufacturing video contest, career fairs, and other programs. Nearly 300 job seekers in transition were helped through the HireOne/ReferOne initiative, and 819 employers participated in industry partnership activities.
CCEDC continues to be a vital regional resource for starting and growing businesses, incubating business by working with emerging tech companies via its i2n, ITAG, SEI, and Life Science programs. The continuing collaboration among CCEDC, West Chester University, and Penn State Great Valley resulted in the second annual Chester County Startup Weekend where aspiring entrepreneurs, innovators, and would-be inventors gathered to take a new idea from concept to creation in just 54 hours.
Click here to view a complete copy of the CCEDC’s 2018-2019 Annual Report.