MERCER – Sen. Michele Brooks (R-50) and Rep. Mark Longietti (D-7) announced four Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grants totaling $2.85 million were awarded to Mercer County. The grants will benefit our local economy and families.
The Joy Cone plant expansion project received $1 million. Joy Cone employs more than 670 individuals, with 140 of those positions having been created since October 2020. With the current expansion plans, Joy Cone intends to hire an additional 90 employees in the next year.
“I appreciate the opportunity to work with Joy Cone, who recently celebrated 100 years in our community, as the company continues to add jobs and exponentially expands its facilities here in Mercer County. It’s always a sense of pride when seeing their world-famous products being used while watching a favorite movie and even when I’m in Harrisburg,” Brooks said.
Penn-Northwest Development Corporation will receive $500,000 to repair the roof of a 130,000-square-foot facility, as well as replace the lighting in the facility and the above-ground concrete to allow for manufacturers to run production lines, enabling the building to remain an important part of the manufacturing resurgence.
“The Sharon industrial building renovation project will expand the region’s ability to attract a significant manufacturer and a source of good-paying jobs, while funding to upgrade roadway and transportation logistics for the Joy Cone plant will help ensure this world-class manufacturer continues to grow and thrive in Hermitage,” said Longietti.
Projects such as the Sharon industrial building renovation will grow manufacturing capacity and the ability to bring additional family-sustaining jobs to the area. I appreciate Penn-Northwest’s vision in putting a plan together to attract additional manufacturing jobs,” Brooks said.
Buhl Community Recreation Center will receive $500,000 to support the major expansion of amenities, facilities and exercise equipment.
“Sharon is the Shenango Valley’s core community, so expanding the city’s recreational and hospitality opportunities drives economic growth for the entire region,” Longietti said. “The new funding for Buhl Community Recreation Center will build on the major facility improvements already underway by ensuring the center has the needed infrastructure – including parking, electrical and mechanical upgrades – to support the expansion. It’s estimated that the project will help increase membership by 3,500 and add nine permanent full-time jobs.
The final grant, $850,000 for JCL Development, will be used for renovation work on buildings acquired to create the Downtown Sharon Center, which will be a hospitality hub for eating and drinking establishments.
“Likewise, the new funding to JCL Development will build on progress to revitalize Downtown Sharon by supporting renovations to buildings JCL has acquired for a hospitality hub. Having that new space for bars and restaurants will be key to attracting more patrons to the downtown area,” said Longietti.
“The continued investment in restoring and expanding facilities and programs at the Buhl Club, along with the JCL project, contributes to the vitality of downtown Sharon and serves as a great resource for families and visitors.” Brooks said.
RACP is a Commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are state-funded and cannot obtain primary funding under other state programs.
CONTACT: Fallon Binner, 717-787-1322