Dec 19, 2000
Continuing its string of successes in economic development, PPL Utilities has won the prestigious Platinum Award for excellence in the Economic Development Achievement Awards sponsored by "Business Facilities" magazine.
"PPL is a leader in combining the concepts of economic development and community development in ways that benefit both the company and the communities it serves," said Donna S. Buchheit, PPL manager of Economic Development.
PPL received the Platinum Award for having the highest scoring entry in all categories among organizations that entered the competition.
A panel of economic development professionals, consultants and business executives judged entries on the basis of innovation, effectiveness and success in creating a pro-business environment.
"We entered three strong programs in the competition, each of which earned an award in its category," Buchheit noted. "The strength of those programs is the reason we were able to win the grand prize."
PPL took first place in the Incentive Programs category for acquisition and development of an 85-acre industrial park in Renovo, Pa. The state of Pennsylvania designated the former railroad repair yard a brownfield site because of environmental problems resulting from its prior use.
The loss of railroad jobs left this remote area of north central Pennsylvania with chronically high unemployment -- often more than 20 percent of the work force.
PPL, working with the Clinton County Economic Partnership, successfully leveraged local, state and federal grants to redevelop the site as an industrial park. PPL even provided a site-assessment grant and a no-interest loan for site acquisition.
"The Renovo story is a testament to the potential of partnerships," Buchheit said, "and an example of the full range of services PPL can bring to economic development projects. A former vacant property is now a tax- and job-generating resource for the community, and we continue to work with the Clinton County Economic Partnership to market the industrial park."
PPL won another first-place award in the Work Force Training category for its business-education partnerships with several communities in Central Eastern Pennsylvania.
"As with all our economic development efforts, the work force training initiatives are a partnership involving PPL, other businesses, local organizations and schools," Buchheit said. "Our shared goal is to ensure a supply of skilled workers that businesses need to compete in today's technology-intensive economy."
PPL also earned a third-place award for its international economic development program, which has attracted businesses from Canada and western Europe to locate facilities in Central Eastern Pennsylvania.
The Platinum Award from "Business Facilities" is just the latest in a series of honors for PPL's economic and community development program. Others include:
-- PPL was chosen as a Best-Practice Partner -- one of only six worldwide -- in a study by the American Productivity & Quality Council on measuring the value created by corporate community relations. -- PPL won three awards from the Northeast Economic Developers Association (NEDA) for promotional efforts in economic development.
"We're proud of the work PPL does to improve the communities we serve and create new jobs," Buchheit said. "We believe it's good business, and good for business."
Based in Allentown, Pa., PPL Corp. (NYSE: PPL) is a FORTUNE 500® company that delivers electricity and natural gas to more than 1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania; markets wholesale or retail energy in 42 U.S. states and Canada; provides energy services for businesses in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S.; generates electricity at power plants in Pennsylvania, Maine and Montana; delivers electricity to 2.4 million customers in the United Kingdom; and delivers electricity to more than 2 million customers in Chile, Bolivia, El Salvador and Brazil.
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SOURCE: PPL Corporation
Contact: George Lewis, 610-774-5997, or Donna Buchheit, 610-774-4375, or
Fax: 610-774-5281, both of PPL