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1 West Broad Street
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Hazleton, PA 18201
Phone: (570) 453-1344
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Harrisburg, PA 17120-2116
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Local Lawmakers Cite Employment Gains with Area Manufacturer
HARRISBURG – With a strong focus on rebuilding the state’s economy since taking control of the House legislative majority in 2011, House Republicans have developed and enacted pro-growth policies that have created an atmosphere where local manufacturing can thrive. Reps. Doyle Heffley (R-Lehighton), Jerry Knowles (R-Tamaqua), Tarah Toohil (R-Hazleton) and Mike Tobash (R-Pottsville) made that point Friday at a press conference at Kovatch Mobile Equipment Corporation (KME), a Nesquehoning firm that is a global leader in the manufacture of customized specialty trucks and vehicles.

Watch the press conference here.

“Pennsylvania has gained 117,700 jobs since 2011,” said Heffley. “KME has added 154 jobs since the beginning of the year, and it plans to hire 21 more people this year.”

“Unemployment in the state dropped from 8.1 percent to 5.7 percent – down 29.6 percent in the last four years – and is lower than the national rate of 5.9 percent. And in Carbon County, unemployment is down 28.3 percent since 2011, going from 9.9 percent to 7.1 percent,” he added.

The lawmakers were joined in Nesquehoning by KME President John Kovatch, recently hired KME purchasing agent Nikolas Wasko and others who have benefitted from recent jobs expansions.

“We are creating an attractive environment in which to bring new industry and help existing ones better position themselves,” said Knowles. “Cutting taxes, balancing budgets and making necessary reforms show employers that Pennsylvania is open for business and has put out the welcome mat for new jobs for our citizens.”

Knowles noted that Schuylkill County has realized a net gain of 1,600 jobs since 2011.

“The work of the House is bringing about real change to the business environment and yielding results in the form of new jobs at places like KME and Greiner Packaging, PGA and C3i Incorporated in Luzerne County,” Toohil added.

Business experts are noticing the changes as well. Site Selection Magazine ranked the state third in the nation and first in the northeast for new or expanded corporate facilities. Pennsylvania is ranked ninth in the nation for economic growth potential by Business Facilities Magazine, and Area Development Magazine awarded Pennsylvania its 2013 “Silver Shovel Award.”

“Leveling the playing field for our businesses has been the goal of numerous pieces of legislation we have passed during the past four years,” Tobash said. “We must continue to create an environment that is supportive of our small businesses and spearhead new initiatives designed to attract manufacturers to the Commonwealth. However, there is still much work to be done. Any unemployed Pennsylvanians are too many unemployed Pennsylvanians. We must continue to focus on the strengths of Pennsylvania’s economy for the current and future generations.”

Representative Doyle Heffley
122nd District
Representative Jerry Knowles
124th District
Representative Tarah Toohil
116th District
Representative Mike Tobash
125th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

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