365 days. It often seems like it flies by, but a lot can happen in a year. Here at the GRCA, looking back on what all was accomplished last year we were amazed.
The beginning of the year began with us moving into our new home, 606 Court Street. This move helped solidify our position at the center of downtown Reading.
From projects worked on by the economic development team, we saw over 110 companies visited through our Local Business Outreach program. Of the companies visited, 18% of manufacturers are looking to expand in the next 12-18 months.
Through our business attraction and expansion efforts, over 750 jobs were created and retained this past year. In 2019 & 2020, we anticipate new development to add 7.5 million + square feet of new industrial and distribution space. This will create hundreds of jobs, add $2.75 million + to County Taxes and continue investment into our community.
From our Greater Berks Development Fund
They oversaw 16 projects in 2018. These projects accounted for over $27 million +. These projects help our community and local businesses alike grow. With Greater Berks Development Fund being part of the GRCA, we are excited to see what we can accomplish.
Looking ahead to 2019
We have two main areas for our Strategic Focus: Talent Attraction and Passenger Rail. Talent Attraction is a priority for our organization. Stay tuned to see our upcoming Talent Attraction strategy and information. For Passenger Rail, we understand the benefit which rail brings to a community. Outside investment, tourism and an expanded labor pool are just the beginning. We are continuing to research and put forward possible solutions to this problem. 2019 will be another big year for our organization. We are transitioning to a new tiered membership platform to help bring the most value to the table for our members.
If you would like to learn more about our new tiered membership platform, contact Kirsten Haas at KHaas@greaterreading.org or 610-898-7785