Franklin County to host new manufacturing operation

A new manufacturing operation expected to create 80 jobs will be built in Franklin County. 

Gov. Josh Shapiro announced Thursday morning that with support from his administration, Corrugated Partners Group, a manufacturing company that produces materials for boxes, selected Pennsylvania over other states to invest at least $52.7 million to build a new manufacturing operation. The investment is expected to create at least 80 jobs over the next three years in Franklin County. 

The operation will be known as Keystone Sheets, and its first location in Pennsylvania will be a 420,000-square-foot facility at 1465 Nitterhouse Drive in Chambersburg. The company will serve customers in the mid-Atlantic region and produce single, double and triple wall corrugated sheets for boxes. 

Shapiro said transformational investments are bringing good-paying jobs to Pennsylvania and positioning the state to be a leader in innovation and economic development. 

“I’m thrilled that the commonwealth won this advanced manufacturing project over other states and am pleased to welcome Corrugated Partners Group to Franklin County,” Shapiro said in a statement. “Investments like this one support Pennsylvania’s economy by creating good-paying jobs that support our local communities – and we will continue to compete aggressively for great projects like this one as we send the clear message to the world that Pennsylvania is open for business.” 

A funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) provided the Corrugated Partners Group a $400,000 Pennsylvania First grant and a $160,000 workforce development grant to train workers. The group was also encouraged to apply for tax credits through the Manufacturing Tax Credit Program. 

“Manufacturing is an integral part of Pennsylvania’s economy, and I am proud that the DCED team could assist the Corrugated Partners Group as they establish their first location in Pennsylvania with Keystone Sheets,” DCED Secretary Rick Siger said. “This project is creating 80 new jobs and will have a positive economic impact in Franklin County for years to come.” 

As a collaborative network of sheet feeders, Corrugated Partners Group produces over 20% of the country’s corrugated sheet requirements. The network employs more than 1,200 individuals across 15 plants in the country. 

Mike Ross, president, Franklin County Area Development Corporation said the collaborative efforts of the Franklin County Area Development Corporation and the Shapiro Administration proved instrumental in Corrugated Partners Group’s decision to locate Keystone Sheets in Chambersburg. 

“The creation of 80 manufacturing jobs will have a significant impact on our local economy,” said Ross.

Dauphin County to receive more than $2M for sewage treatment improvement

The Highspire Borough Authority in Dauphin County has been approved for $2.1 million in state funding to help pay for sewage treatment improvement. 

State Sen. John DiSanto, R-Dauphin, announced the funding on Wednesday. 

“Proper sewage treatment is critical to maintaining public health, but it is expensive and requires ongoing investment,” DiSanto said in a statement. “I am happy to announce this state assistance that will allow Highspire to make these crucial upgrades while maintaining affordability for local ratepayers.” 

A $274,000 low-interest loan and a $1.8 million grant from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) will go to the Highspire Borough Authority for the improvement project. PENNVEST is an independent state agency providing financial assistance to fund construction of drinking water, sewer, and stormwater projects throughout Pennsylvania. 

The improvement project includes demolition of the primary digester and building, construction of a new digester and dewatering building, a new shelter for die sludge cake dumpster, and two new common wall digester tanks. 

Also included are new transfer structures. The centrifuge is nearly 30 years old and is nearing the end of its useful operating life. Due to the equipment’s age, parts for the centrifuge are not readily available and have long lead times when ordered. The results are accelerating costs and unpredictability related to the treatment process.

Affordable apartments in Waynesboro get $417,000 for repairs

Valley Terrace Townhomes in Waynesboro is one of 11 projects statewide to receive $4.3 million in total funding from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s Housing Options Grant Program.

The money will be used to make emergency repairs to multifamily buildings so that 375 affordable apartments across Pennsylvania will remain available for renters, PHFA said.

Valley Terrace is earmarked $417,228 to repair the roof and the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in 22 units.

The neighborhood was developed by Luminest Community Development, formerly Valley Community Housing, which began in July 2002 as a startup to develop nonprofit affordable homes in Franklin County.

“Part of the strategy for expanding affordable housing in Pennsylvania is to keep current affordable housing stock from falling into disrepair and being taken out of service,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Robin Wiessmann. “We’re grateful to the General Assembly for making this funding available so that we don’t lose critical housing resources.”

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Area land, water preservation efforts gain grant funding

In support of land and water preservation efforts in York County, the York County Community Foundation (YCCF) announced Thursday more than $176,000 in grant funding. 

To build on the work of existing watershed improvement programs, the Codorus Watershed Fund works to develop strategic direction and action plans. The fund leverages new public and private investments to improve the Codorus and its environment. The Codorus Watershed Advisory Committee is overseen by volunteers who steward the grant funds to ensure the highest environmental impact.

“We are pleased to partner with and support organizations that are doing important work in the area of environmental stewardship,” YCCF Board member and Chair of YCCF’s Codorus Watershed Endowment Advisory Committee Matthew Poff said in a statement.

The grants include the following funding and projects:

  • $150,000 to the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay for its Expanding Corporate Sustainability Initiative. This initiative seeks to implement best management practices on farmlands to improve the health of local waterways. 
  • $21,700 to Crispus Attucks York for its Codorus Corridor Summer Enrichment Program. This program seeks to enhance summer learning opportunities for York City School District students using the Codorus Creek Greenway project. 
  • $4,980 for the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association Greener Codorus Initiative. The initiative is an annual maintenance program along the banks of the Codorus Creek in York City to maintain the vegetation along the creek.

“We understand the connection between a healthy and sustainable environment and a vibrant community with opportunities for our residents and business community to both thrive,” said Poff.

York organization receives WIC grant of more than $500k

The Community Progress Council of York announced Friday it is one of 36 organizations nationwide, and the only one in Pennsylvania, to receive a WIC CIAO grant.

The grant amount is $550,000 and is supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service.

The grant’s purpose is to support efforts to develop, implement, and evaluate outreach strategies to increase awareness, participation, and benefit redemptions in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and reduce disparities in program delivery.

“With the WIC CIAO grant, we have an incredible opportunity to identify new ways to connect families with young children to nutrition support and other resources available through WIC and through Community Progress Council,” Robin Rohrbaugh, president/CEO, Community Progress Council, said in a statement.

“We are excited to share our plans to hire WIC Community Outreach Navigator positions, dedicated to promoting WIC throughout York County, in various languages and locations.”

CPC’s project, along with the new Navigator roles, will utilize a mobile outreach vehicle unit to expand partnerships with Head Start, grocery stores, food pantries and other organizations within the maternal and child health sector to meet people where they are and connect them to comprehensive, integrated services.

CPC’s project supports the organization’s mission to empower individuals and families to make progress in education, income, employment, housing, and other goals to help them achieve economic self-sufficiency.

“We look forward to celebrating this achievement with representatives from our community and to thank the USDA and other WIC CIAO funders,” Rohrbaugh said.

Bill to upskill PA adults for workforce passed by Senate Committee

Legislation that would create a grant program to upskill adults for the Pennsylvania workforce was passed Tuesday by the Senate Education Committee. 

Sponsored by Sen. Camera Bartolotta, R-Beaver/Washington/Greene, Senate Bill 462 now advances to the full Senate for consideration. 

Bartolotta said Pennsylvania’s workforce is desperate in its need for skilled workers, matching the need of adults throughout the state who are seeking to earn family-sustaining salaries. 

“My bill addresses both of those needs and also benefits the state’s economy – a win all around,” Bartolotta said in a press release. 

Under the measure, the Department of Education would create a program to provide grants to programs that assist adult workers in the workforce. Bartolotta’s bill would also allow providers of adult education additional resources to offer career services, digital literacy, education partnerships, tuition assistance, and workforce/adult basic education partnerships.