Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Governor Ed Rendell announced today the investment of almost $500 million in state and private monies to construction and redevelopment projects in the Pittsburgh area. The $27 million contributed by the state engendered a return investment of over $475 million from private investors. "People are always asking me, 'Is the state giving corporate welfare?' Well, we'll spend [$27 million] any time to get $476 million in private investments," says Rendell. "These projects will create over 2,000 construction jobs and over 1,000 permanent jobs when up and running." Included in the projects are a new YMCA center in the Hill District, the renovation of a new home for the Pittsburgh Opera, increased downtown parking space, and a convention center in Monroeville. The diversity and scope of the work, says Rendell, will help stimulate the local economy on multiple levels. The governor estimates that over 115,000 jobs have been lost in the Commonwealth over the past year. Says Rendell, "The bad news is, we're still locked in a recession, the unemployment figures are not good, and they're not going to get better for a while. But there are some good signs on the horizon for the economy, especially the level of investment from federal, state and local governments to pump spending into the economy. And real spending, that's not makework spending -- it's spending that's going to create tremendous benefits."