Candidate pushes pro-business agenda

Pa. gubernatorial hopeful Mike Fisher visits the area, saying he wants the state to be the premiere destination for high-tech jo

Pa. gubernatorial hopeful Mike Fisher visits the area, saying he wants the state to be the premiere destination for high-tech jo

August 01, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Some Franklin County development leaders said the work force development platform Republican Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Mike Fisher was promoting in Chambersburg Wednesday could enhance what the county is already doing.

"I think Franklin County is a microcosm of what he wants to accomplish statewide," said L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corporation. "I'm encouraged that economic development is a cornerstone of his platform."

Franklin County is already reviewing work force needs and the schools are looking at revising the vocational-technical program, two things Fisher highlighted, said John Van Horn, executive director of the Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority, which is developing the Cumberland Valley Business Park on the former Army land.


Fisher outlined his plan during a visit to Precision Bushing Inc., a manufacturer of bushings and circular machine parts used to guide rotating equipment, which relocated to the Cumberland Valley Business Park last year.

Fisher and Sen. Jane Earll are running on the Republican ticket for governor and lieutenant governor in the November general election.

Their plan to bring more jobs to the commonwealth includes:

  • Preparing Pennsylvanians for the jobs of the 21st century.

  • Making Pennsylvania the premier destination for high-tech jobs.

  • Modernizing the state's infrastructure.

  • Reducing taxes and excessive regulations.

  • Expanding tax incentives and loan guarantees for entrepreneurs and startup businesses.

  • Creating a marketing team to attract new business to Pennsylvania.

Fisher's plans also include establishing a program that will provide $100 million in loan guarantees to give startup capital to new and expanding private businesses in Pennsylvania.

Fisher said Precision Bushing is a good example of a successful small business that is evolving with the times and integrating new technologies.

The Fisher/Earll plan also calls for rethinking how the state prepares students for jobs in the 21st century.

He said part of the plan is to spend more money on early education and improve relationships between businesses and schools.

Fisher spent Wednesday traveling through south-central Pennsylvania, including stops in Franklin, Adams and Cumberland counties to push his plan.

Ross said Precision Bushing is a great example of how Franklin County already is doing much of what Fisher outlined.

"FCADC supported them with a low-interest financing for capital investment," Ross said, noting the business moved out of a 2,000-square-foot space in Greencastle, Pa., last year to 12,000 square feet in the business park and saw its employment grow fivefold.

"Fisher's plan could complement and support what we are doing," Ross said.

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