Calling for a ‘Jobs Renaissance’ for Allegheny County, Joe Rockey, Republican nominee for Allegheny County Executive, launched a six-point plan for economic growth and increased employment. The Rockey plan centers on six major themes:
1. Maximize federal programs enacted to encourage re-shoring of manufacturing of components needed by industries from automobiles to computers.
2. Leverage the abundant natural resources of the Allegheny County region.
3. Expand employment training programs while encouraging population growth.
4. Streamline regulatory processes that have held back business location and expansion, the recent loss of U.S. Steel’s $1.5 billion modernization in the Mon Valley as “Exhibit A.”
5. Spark a new industrial renaissance by encouraging an “all-of-the-above” menu of jobs ranging from technology to legacy manufacturing.
6. Promote the region to job-creators with a 100-company outreach to promote Allegheny County as a place to locate and grow business.
Rockey’s plan also calls for a county initiative to reduce bureaucratic roadblocks to employment expansion and called for the county to work to create more “pad-ready” sites for businesses seeking to establish manufacturing facilities here.
Endorsed by one of the region’s largest private-sector unions, the Laborers International Union of North America, Rockey promised to conduct a comprehensive workforce analysis to match job openings with training skills, and said he would promote education and training in the trades.
Rockey also enthusiastically endorsed the creation of a so-called “Hydrogen Hub” to manufacture carbon-free fuel, a major industrial goal of the Biden administration that has won the support of present County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Gov. Josh Shapiro. Rockey’s opponent, Sara Innamorato, has voiced opposition to such a project, despite its promise of thousands of jobs in both construction and later staffing of the facility.
Rockey also promised to launch what he termed “The 100-Company Project.” He said he would market the region to 100 top companies and act as the county’s “top salesman.”
A retired top executive with PNC, one of the nation’s largest financial institutions, Rockey was born and raised in the North Side, the son of a union Democrat. He has stressed that he is a political moderate able to work with both parties as well as business and labor to reverse job decline, restore public safety and end politics-as-usual in Allegheny County.