2 Schuylkill County Projects Receive Economic Development Grants

HARRISBURG – Two Schuylkill County projects have received state grants from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), according to Senator David G. Argall, Representative Jerry Knowles, Representative-elect Tim Twardzik, and Representative-elect Joseph Kerwin.  $1.5 million was awarded to support the development of the Center for Education, Business, and Arts (CEBA) in Shenandoah.  $2.5 million was awarded to support the construction of a new Shyft Manufacturing Facility in Schuylkill County.

RACP funding is intended for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects.  All monies received must be matched with an equal amount of private investment from the organization to be eligible for this grant program.

“I believe that this funding is another important tool in improving economic opportunities and fighting blight in Schuylkill County” Argall said. “These grants were highly competitive, so I was very pleased to hear that these well-deserving projects were rewarded for their efforts to bring new jobs to the area.”

“After a tough 2020, this is the kind of news that Schuylkill County needs,” said Kerwin. “The RACP grants combined with the entrepreneurial spirit will bring new economic opportunities to Schuylkill County and improve livelihoods. I applaud the awarding of these grants. I wish the Center for Education, Business, and Arts and The Shfyt Group the best in their endeavors and I thank them for investing in Schuylkill County.”

“This is a significant grant that will produce real value in the form of education, jobs and economic growth opportunity,” said Rep. Jerry Knowles.  “This is great news for the grantee, the citizens served by this facility and the Schuylkill County economy.”

On the new Shyft plant, Twardzik stated “Quality manufacturing jobs are a great benefit to our communities.  An expanding company like Shyft bringing high wages and excellent benefits is a vote of confidence in our excellent workforce. Their growth plans also will provide future jobs for the students training in our Vocational Technical schools.” On CEBA, Twardzik stated “Projects that help to revitalize our downtowns play a key role for the entire community. This investment in CEBA is a much-welcomed jump start to Shenandoah and vote of confidence to DSI and the volunteers who worked diligently to bring back “The Only Wild West Town in the East.”

CEBA will support Schuylkill County’s economy by offering programming, training, and mentorship for budding entrepreneurs and small business owners at a blighted downtown site which has been vacant for many years.  The center will also provide spaces for makers and artists, a business incubator, community event space, culinary makerspaces, a community computer, and a conference room.  This project is a key part of dedicated local efforts to revitalize Downtown Shenandoah.

Shyft will convert an existing facility in Schuylkill County into a modern manufacturing plant that will build trucks for other companies.  This project will ultimately create over 100 well-paying, stable manufacturing jobs for residents of the area.  The final location for the site has not yet been decided.

Contact: Jim Brugger