Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Announces Resignation of DCED Secretary Dennis Yablonsky
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Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Announces Resignation of DCED Secretary Dennis Yablonsky HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today said Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Yablonsky will resign, effective Oct. 23, to return to the private sector. The Governor lauded Yablonsky's service to Pennsylvania's working men and women, which drove economic growth throughout the commonwealth. "It is hard to imagine any secretary of DCED or Commerce had a greater impact in creating a stronger Pennsylvania economy than Dennis Yablonsky," Governor Rendell said. "He was at the forefront in attracting billions in new capital investments that have enabled us to create thousands of new jobs, revitalize our communities, diversify our economy and put Pennsylvania in a better position than most states. "Dennis and I worked hand-in-hand with the General Assembly to get my economic stimulus package passed that invested more than $3 billion to support more than 2,600 projects statewide. This state investment has been able to leverage more than $8.8 billion in additional investments -- far more than our original projection of $5 billion. The Governor cited figures showing that the commonwealth has more than 200,000 more people working today than in 2003. Pennsylvania's gross domestic product has jumped more than 20 percent -- from $423 billion in 2002 to $531 billion in 2007 -- and exports have nearly doubled from $15.8 billion to almost $30 billion. Venture capital investments in Pennsylvania have also skyrocketed from $455 million to $835 million during that same time period. "It's been an honor and privilege to work for Governor Rendell in advancing his community and economic development agenda," Yablonsky said. "We are at the very beginning of seeing the full impact of the Governor's economic stimulus package." During his tenure, DCED has focused on helping existing Pennsylvania businesses expand and attract out-of-state businesses. The Governor's Action Team has successfully completed 1,030 projects with 109,627 committed new jobs and $12.5 billion of private investment since January 2003. Additionally, through the Governor's World Trade PA initiative, Pennsylvania has emerged as a major player in the global marketplace with foreign companies investing $406 million here over the past three years with plans to create 4,200 jobs. "Dennis and his team were also instrumental in working with legislators to pass the extension of Keystone Opportunity Zones and our $650 million Alternative Energy package to expand renewable energy investments in the commonwealth. This legislation will further enhance the set of tools that the commonwealth has at its disposal to continue to drive economic growth." Yablonsky also worked to improve Pennsylvania's economic competitiveness by strongly advocating a reduction in the number of earned income tax collectors from 560 to 69, which the Governor signed into law this summer. The consolidation has eliminated a fragmented system that cost municipalities and school districts $237 million each year -- enough to hire 3,000 teachers and 3,000 more police officers. Leading industry groups and publications have noticed Pennsylvania's growth. IBM Plant Location International ranked Pennsylvania first in the U.S and Canada for cross border investments and number one for manufacturing projects. Global Insight and the National Venture Capital Association ranked Pennsylvania first among all 50 states in the rate of new job creation by venture-backed firms. Business Facilities magazine has ranked Pennsylvania's biotechnology sector first in the country. The Governor also praised the secretary's work to revitalize Pennsylvania's core communities, citing 80 revitalization projects through the Community Action Team Program. He also noted the progress Pittsburgh has made under Act 47. "I would also be remiss if I didn't mention how far Pittsburgh has come in just under four years after DCED designated our second largest city as financially distressed in 2004," the Governor said. "Pittsburgh has gone from projected deficits exceeding $100 million to surpluses in each of the past three years, due, in part, to the assistance provided by DCED and the Act 47 Recovery Team." For information on DCED programs and initiatives, visit www.newPA.com or call 1-866-466-3972. The Rendell administration is committed to creating a first-rate public education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing economic investment to support our communities and businesses.To find out more about Governor Rendell's initiatives and to sign up for his weekly newsletter, visit www.governor.state.pa.us. CONTACT: Chuck Ardo 717-783-1116 SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor Chuck Ardo of Pennsylvania Office of the Governor, +1-717-783-1116