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The Keystone State Has Found the Key to Success

Pennsylvania offers a wealth of advantages to attract investment and create jobs.

By Kevin Litwin on March 27, 2021

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Chris Wimpey

Pennsylvania is at the crossroads of commerce and revolution, a place where companies from around the world come to do business and where a culture of innovation is a springboard for new enterprise.>

A diverse $813.5 billion economy includes major industry sectors in life sciences, manufacturing, agribusiness and logistics. Growth in these industries has been driven by increasing demands from e-commerce, shifts in supply chain needs and accelerated innovation in response to the pandemic.>

Despite the events of 2020, business expansion and relocation projects have been occurring at higher than normal rates in Pennsylvania. Companies are drawn to the state’s competitive business environment. It offers many assets and advantages, including world-class higher education institutions, renowned research capabilities, access to key markets and proximity to business decision-makers and a wealth of potential business partners.

The Right Location

Pennsylvania provides ready access to more than 40% of the U.S. population and 60% of the Canadian population.

A world-class infrastructure includes ports that offer access to the Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, as well as three Class I rail carriers and international air service.

Ports in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Erie, offer unique advantages to in-state and global companies alike. The Port of Pittsburgh alone moves more than 35 million tons of goods along its three major waterways and is the second-busiest inland port in the U.S.

At 70 million tons, Pennsylvania ranks 10th in the country for volume of goods moved through its ports, which generate an economic benefit of nearly $50 billion to the state each year.


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Chris Wimpey

Address of Choice

Pennsylvania is a haven for global companies, many of which are homegrown.

Nearly two dozen Fortune 500 companies have headquarters in the commonwealth, from pharmaceutical wholesaler AmerisourceBergen to household names such as Comcast, Rite Aid, Dick’s Sporting Goods, PPG Industries, U.S. Steel and Hershey.

Whether you are at the start of a career or taking it to the next level, Pennsylvania’s diverse economy and leading-edge industry sectors provide a wealth of opportunity. Between 2015 and 2019, the commonwealth added more than 230,000 nonfarm jobs.


The talent pool in Pennsylvania runs wide and deep. The nearly 250 public and private higher education institutions award almost 194,000 certifications and associate and bachelor’s degrees each year, and it ranks second among states for net migration for postsecondary education. Plus, its colleges and universities attract more than 36,000 students annually from across the U.S. and around the world.

Its winning combination of market access, affordability, and talent brings new jobs and investment to the state.

Companies, including UPS, Amazon, Nestle Purina, Hershey and Ball Corp., have announced major projects in the state.


Ball Corp., which provides aluminum packaging solutions for the personal care, beverage and household product industries, will invest $360 million for a multiline sustainable aluminum beverage packaging manufacturing operation in Luzerne County. Ball is retrofitting a more than 1-million-square-foot industrial building in Jenkins Township. It will create over $16 million in new employment payroll.

“Ball is excited to expand into Pennsylvania to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant to support the growth of our customers in infinitely recyclable aluminum beverage packaging,” says Colin J. Gillis, president of Ball Beverage Packaging North & Central America. “We appreciate the cooperation between state and local agencies as part of the site selection process, and we look forward to being part of the community.”


In Lehigh Valley, digitally native women’s apparel brand Lulus expanded into Pennsylvania with a 255,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution operation in Northampton County to create more than 460 jobs.

After evaluating several states as potential sites for expansion, Lulus selected a site in Palmer Township due to the workforce’s strength in the region.

“By opening our new facility in Palmer Township, we will now be able to vastly improve our shipping windows to ensure that we are always there to dress the Lulus woman, from day to night to everything in between,” says Colleen Winter, Lulus co-founder and CEO.


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Courtesy of Villanova University

Top Projects by Capital Investment


  • UPS: $1.05 billion at facilities across the state

  • Ball Corp.: $360 million to retrofit a more than 1 million-square-foot industrial building in Luzerne County

  • Keurig Dr. Pepper: $219.7 million to retool a 1.5-million-square-foot former Kraft Heinz plant in Lehigh County into a manufacturing, warehouse and distribution facility, creating nearly 400 jobs

  • Hershey: $178.2 million on an 810,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Lebanon County

  • Nestle Purina: $166 million to add new processing and packaging lines at its Cumberland County operation, where it produces pet food. The investment will add 94 jobs to its 320-person workforce.


Top Projects by Announced Jobs


  • UPS will expand its operations across the state, supporting the creation of 1,721 new full-time jobs and the retention of 6,458 full-time jobs.

  • Chewy.com will expand its operations in Lackawanna County. The company has pledged to invest upward of $35 million into the expansion and create at least 1,000 new, full-time jobs.

  • Amazon is investing more than $30 million into a new fulfillment center in Allegheny County and creating 800 new, full-time jobs at the site.



  • Lulus is opening a 255,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution operation in Northampton County to create more than 460 jobs.

  • Keurig Dr. Pepper is investing $219.7 million to retool a 1.5-million-square foot former Kraft Heinz plant in Lehigh County into a manufacturing, warehouse and distribution facility, creating nearly 400 jobs.

  • Hershey will build an 810,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Lebanon County that will create 270 new, full-time jobs.


If you’d like to learn more about the Pennsylvania area, check out the latest edition of Pennsylvania: Work Smart, Live Happy.


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