Pa. Senate confirms Shapiro nominee for Community and Economic Development

Ed Gruver//May 4, 2023

Rick Siger has been officially approved by the State Senate as Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary. PHOTO/PAcast

Pa. Senate confirms Shapiro nominee for Community and Economic Development

Ed Gruver//May 4, 2023

Rick Siger, Gov. Josh Shapiro’s nominee for Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), was unanimously confirmed Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Senate. 

The role will see Siger lead the state’s efforts to grow the economy, strengthen communities, and seek to build a better future for residents. 

“Governor Josh Shapiro has a plan to make Pennsylvania a leader in innovation, job creation, and economic development,” Siger said in a statement. “I am thrilled to continue working hard in close collaboration with Pennsylvania’s businesses, communities, and my colleagues at DCED to move his vision for our commonwealth forward.” 

Siger added that under Shapiro’s leadership, Pennsylvania is “open for business.” 

Since his nomination in January, Siger has been involved in the following: 

  • Oversaw expansion projects through the Governor’s Action Team for EMD Electronics, Prysmian Group North America, and Re:Build Manufacturing that will collectively generate $403.5 million in investments, create at least 615 new jobs (including 220 related construction jobs), and retain 696 existing jobs statewide. 
  • Oversaw the approval of more than $24 million in loans through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority to spur business growth in 12 counties, create and retain more than 830 total jobs. 
  • Approved the exits of Franklin Borough, Johnstown, and Mahanoy City from distressed status. 
  • Announced $2.1 million in grants to 31 student research projects through the Manufacturing PA initiative to help advance innovation in manufacturing. 
  • Announced the new Airport Land Development Zone Program and the first airports to receive designations. 
  • Announced $3.5 million in new funding through the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority for Pennsylvania start-up tech companies.  
  • Awarded more than $1 million in investments to increase apprentices in the electrical worker, industrial paint, iron worker, and welding trades through the Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Grant Program. 
  • Announced $300,000 in grants through the Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career program to support a student run manufacturing program in Clarion County and Junior Achievement of South Central PA manufacturing program for students in grades 5-12 in York County. 

 Siger served as Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the President at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, setting the management agenda for CMU executives and advising the president on a variety of issues, including economic and community development. 

 The Pennsylvania Senate also confirmed on Wednesday two more of Shapiro’s cabinet nominations – Department of Transportation Secretary Mike Carroll and Department of Aging Secretary Jason Kavulich. 

 Carroll served as Chairman of the House Transportation Committee from 2018 to 2022. Under his direction, the Department of Transportation fixed more than 270 miles of roads, put out more than 201 bridge repair projects to bid, and made over 20 driver licensing and motor vehicle forms available for electronic submission to provide faster and more efficient customer service to residents. 

Kavulich has led Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging (PDA) in developing user-friendly materials to help seniors navigate the end of the public health emergency. PDA has helped older residents maintain access to food and health insurance resources.