Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Announces Resignation of DCED Secretary Dennis Yablonsky

Thu Oct 16, 2008 1:07pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Announces Resignation of DCED Secretary Dennis

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

"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 or call

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,

CONTACT:  Chuck Ardo

SOURCE  Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

Chuck Ardo of Pennsylvania Office of the Governor, +1-717-783-1116
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