Pennsylvania’s anthracite region consists of seven counties located in the Appalachian mountain range: Carbon, Columbia, Dauphin, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Northumberland, and Schuylkill. All fall within the watershed of the Susquehanna River. Environmental and economic projects in the region may be eligible for assistance from the Susquehanna River Basin Commission as well as the Appalachian Regional Commission.
KETEC is conveniently located in the Borough of Mt. Carmel near the juncture of Interstates 80 and 81, within 150 miles of Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore and Washington. It is within 50 miles of three international airports (Harrisburg, Allentown, and Scranton-Wilkes Barre). The region provides a boundless supply of treatable mine water for geothermal energy as well as industrial uses. Abundant land once used for mining lies ready for production of biofuel crops and biomass-to-energy feedstocks. Appalachian ridges are well suited to wind power installations, and clean coal R & D flourishes here: a local coal gasification operation was one of the first such projects built in the United States.
TURN-KEY INDUSTRIAL SITES
The incubator is five miles from SEEDCO industrial center, a 1000-acre Keystone Opportunity Zone that will become its regional eco-industrial hub. Northumberland County secured approximately $7.8 million in federal and state funds to construct an access road and extend infrastructure to the site, and SEEDCO’s owners, The Provco Group, have invested $10M to acquire and develop the park. Mount Carmel Municipal Authority has constructed a new sewage treatment facility with added capacity to serve all park occupants. Several other nearby industrial parks in Northumberland and surrounding counties are also ready to accept graduates of the incubator.
WORKFORCE AVAILABILITY AND TRAINING
Companies incubating in our region will have no trouble finding staff for their operations. Three area schools have designed green-collar curricula to serve the new workforce needs:
KETEC itself is a source for workers trained for clean tech professions, since Drexel University’s Steinbright Career Development Center has been providing student interns to KETEC since September 2009.
Our workforce development partner, Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation, conducts state-of-the-art evaluations of regional employer needs and matches them to skilled workers, and the Pennsylvania Careerlink in nearby Shamokin brings all the employment services of the Commonwealth to the area.
PROXIMITY TO NATIONAL POWER GRID
Pennsylvania is the nation’s sixth-largest producer of electricity. Anthracite and nuclear power drove the growth of the delivery grid throughout KETEC’s territory, and multiple Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM) grid routes pass through the Anthracite Corridor.