ABCD 2017 Annual Meeting: $35 million Capital Investment + 700 Jobs
This month more than 300 Blair County change makers came together to celebrate the Altoona Blair County Development (ABCD) Corporation’s annual impact. 2017 was a big year. More than 30 development projects resulted in excess of $35 million of new capital investment that positively impacted more than 700 jobs.
There was also a lot of work done last year on several very big projects that were announced in early 2018. They include the largest adaptive mixed-use development project for Blair County at the site of the former Puritan Silk Mill Building, an effort led by John Radionoff and the Fiore Family. That was followed by the largest business attraction win for the area when Governor Wolf announced Centene Management Corporation’s decision to construct a new $26 million corporate facility here in Blair County which will create close to 300 new jobs.
ABCD Corporation would not be able report out on the many good things happening, if it were not for the commitment, leadership and investment from the private sector. Behind each of these projects and the numbers we use to measure them, are people. People stepping up to open new coffee shops, lodging properties, manufacturing operations, destination retailers, family businesses, breweries, adaptive reuse housing projects, and yes, even a rooftop wood-fired pizza place.
With the projects completed in 2017 plus those now in the works this year, Blair County could realize more than a quarter of a billion dollars of new investment in less than 24 months. And for that, we say thank you. Thank you to our private sector partners, investors and developers. They are shouting from our mountain tops that we are “all in” on our community’s future success, our competitiveness, the smarts and hearts of our kids, and their kids, and our ability to attract new business investment, and talent.
What are some of the objectives ABCD is taking on to help keep this momentum going?
- First, we are working to sure-up our existing revolving loan funds and create new ones that help to close the gaps on higher risk – high impact projects of all types.
- We also need to ensure that all state and federal loan and tax credit programs are relevant and responsive to today’s modern market demands
- We are working with the private sector to help update and expand our housing stock along with the spaces and places that surround them. If potential ex-pats, boomerangers, and new comers find our community a great place to live, but no place to live in, we will fall short in our efforts.
- And we must keep telling our story, sharing the voices of those who are making the difference in the First Frontier. Our social media strategy and outreach efforts are engaging more and more people from outside the area and will continue to grow.
In the end our goal is simple: attract, retain and engage talented, creative and passionate people and the investment they represent to Blair County. Thank you to all who made our annual meeting a success and we are all looking forward to a continued prosperous and impactful 2018.