Johnstown, PA (January 7, 2016) – The Pennsylvania Foreign-Trade Zone Corporation (“PAFTZ”) has been notified that the United States Department of Commerce’s Foreign-Trade Zones Board has awarded a Grant of Authority to PAFTZ, to establish and operate a regional based Alternative Site Framework Foreign-Trade Zone (“FTZ”) program. The new Zone will be known as FTZ # 295 and will encompass the following three counties in south-central Pennsylvania: Blair, Bedford and Cambria. PAFTZ Chairman Rex McQuaide stated that economic development groups such as the Cambria County Economic Development Authority (“CCEDA”), Johnstown Area Regional Industries, Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation and Bedford County Development Association will now have another important tool in their boxes as they pursue business opportunities for their respective communities.”
The establishment of a FTZ was set into action by the CCEDA which identified need for a FTZ as a business development tool. McQuaide credited US Senator Toomey, Congressman Rothfus, and Congressman Shuster as “instrumental in providing critically needed support for this important initiative”. According to McQuaide, the FTZ program is designed to assist businesses that import merchandise for further processing by American workers employed within our communities. That assistance comes in the form of deferral or elimination of tariff, duties and entry fees thus freeing up additional cash flow for businesses that locate operations anywhere within this three – county Zone. CCEDA Executive Director Nick Felice said “The program can be very effective for companies who import a great deal of raw material, component parts or finished goods. While assisting our county and regional based companies, I’m particularly excited about the prospect of competing with larger communities for new opportunities. This Zone will be instrumental in leveling the playing field with other regions such as Philadelphia or Pittsburgh”. According to McQuaide “The FTZ raises our stature and demonstrates a stronger level of commitment to lure both domestic and international companies to our communities”. Former Cambria County Commissioner, Douglas Lengenfelder, who initially spearheaded the FTZ initiative, commented: “This program, once fully utilized, will result in job creation and retention and will lay the ground work for bigger and better things for Cambria and surrounding communities”.
Administrative operation of the program will commence during the first quarter of 2016. Several local companies are expected to apply for this program before the end of March. Area companies who import merchandise or buy from distributors who import, are encouraged to contact our office at (814) 792 – 2759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.