When downsizing threatened the Letterkenny Army Depot, an essential institution in Franklin County, the community rallied. Determined not to lose a major employer without a fight, local economic development and county government officials sprang into action, making moves that are still paying dividends 20 years later.
At the long-abandoned 7,000-square-foot Smith Paint Building in downtown Harrisburg, two men are churning out handcrafted vodka, rum, moonshine and more. They are part of a wave of micro-distilleries across Pennsylvania, spurred by an easing of the state's liquor laws.
Development projects spearheaded by neighborhoods and nonprofits often need a boost when it comes to design and planning. Fortunately, institutions in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and State College make it their mission to spur thoughtful upgrades to the built environment.
The company's exquisite single-origin bars have won a following around the globe. Flavors like Camel Milk, Rum Raisin and Strawberry Rye Whiskey are handcrafted in an old shoe factory in this Pennsylvania borough. The space also boats a retail arm and coffee shop.
Counter to many narratives about the death of manufacturing in southwestern PA, in 2016 the sector accounted for the most investment dollars ($6.1 billion), the most deals (50 companies expanding or relocating), and the most new and retained jobs (3,667).