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For the first time in years, Chester County's economic future is looking decidedly bright. (Good news because we were getting sick of seeing "The Death Card" at all of our tarot card readings.) That was the word at last week's Chester County Economic Development Council panel.
PECO ENERGY ed piscopo chester county economic development council panel expansions
As PECO Energy's Ed Piscopo (above) noted at the start, "Growth is coming [to Western Chester County] whether you like it or not." The county, it turns out, is home to a surprisingly large number of expansion projects that are either already in the works or being seriously considered, including Victory Brewing Co's recently announced $50M second brewery in Parkesburg. (And just like that, Parkesburg is the coolest place to be.) A bit farther afield, Lancaster General Health is said to be considering an expansion. And in roughly one month, a 125-room, $36M Courtyard Marriott will be opening in Coatesville, developed by the Oliver Tyrone Pulver Corp. A freestanding restaurant and a four-story, 80k SF office building will be coming to Coatesville soon after the hotel opens its doors.

chester economic development council michael rossman governor action team joseph szafran sikorsky global helicopters communications test design conrad ollie
Michael Rossman of the Governor's Action Team was the moderator and keynote; the day's panel featured two local management leaders whose companies are (gasp) actually hiring. That would be Sikorsky Global Helicopters' Joseph Szafran (seated in the middle of the table) and Communications Test Design's Conrad Olie (left). We caught them listening intently to some words from president of the Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce Patti Jackson.

pennsylvania governor michael rossman action team commonwealth site selection magazine
Michael (above) also shared an interesting factoid about the recent rise of Pennsylvania-wide development and job growth: The Commonwealth placed third in Site Selection magazine's 2011 Governor's Cup competition, which annually surveys the number of each state's new investment or expansion projects with a minimum investment of $1M, or a minimum creation of 50 jobs. Ohio (498 projects) and Texas (464) took home the gold and silver, respectively. But the Keystone State's very respectable ranking, with 453, was the highest it's reached at any point in the past two decades.