Shapiro signs executive order creating Pennsylvania Office of Transformation and Opportunity and Economic Development Strategy Group to Lead Efforts to Recruit & Retain Businesses and Workers
HARRISBURG, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro signed an executive order establishing the Pennsylvania Office of Transformation and Opportunity within the Governor’s Office and the Economic Development Strategy Group. This newly created office will be a one-stop-shop for businesses looking to grow and will work to aggressively reignite Pennsylvania’s economy – fostering innovation, supporting transformational economic development, and creating real opportunity for businesses and workers alike in our Commonwealth, particularly in communities that have too often been left behind. As part of this announcement, Governor Shapiro named Pennsylvania business leader and entrepreneur Ben Kirshner to the role of Chief Transformation and Opportunity Officer.
The Governor’s executive order to create this office and bring in a business leader to serve as Chief Transformation and Opportunity Officer underscores how building an economy that works for all is a key priority for his Administration. On day one, Governor Shapiro demonstrated his commitment to creating economic growth and success here in Pennsylvania by taking action to open the doors of opportunity to workers without college degrees. Now, with this new executive order, Governor Shapiro is sending a clear message that Pennsylvania is open for business and that the Commonwealth will work more quickly and find a way to get to yes in order to spur real economic development.
Today’s executive order created the Pennsylvania Office of Transformation and Opportunity and the Economic Development Strategy Group. Both offices will work to create a unified strategy for economic growth and development, with a special focus on disadvantaged and underserved communities:
- The Office of Transformation and Opportunity will help develop and lead an overall growth strategy and implement economic development projects – coordinating with Commonwealth agencies, expediting permit reviews, and ensuring the speed of business review and approval of key incentive programs. Instead of forcing business to go to multiple agencies for permits, approvals, and funding, the Office will serve as a one-stop-shop to cut through red tape, bring state agencies together, support Pennsylvania businesses who want to grow, and encourage other businesses to move here.
- The Economic Development Strategy Group will be driven by the Chief Transformation Officer, and will be chaired by the Governor, consisting of the Chief Transformation and Opportunity Officer and the Secretaries of Labor & Industry, Community and Economic Development, Transportation, Agriculture, Education, and Environmental Protection. This group will directly advise the Governor on economic development projects and processes to attract and retain employers, recruit innovation leaders, and create good-paying jobs in Pennsylvania, particularly in underserved communities.