Franklin Co. Economy On Track to Grow, Diversify


FRANKLIN COUNTY, Pa. - The unemployment rate is down in Franklin County where businesses are on track to bring about 1,500 new jobs this year.

That’s according to Mike Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corporation. He says Franklin County’s economy is growing and diversifying.

"Right now we're starting to see our unemployment rate fall to pre-recession figures. We're down under 5 percent now,” said Ross. “We've been working very hard at trying to diversify our economy. On Interstate-81 from Carlisle to our north to Winchester in our south, we're all well-positioned. I think we're all enjoying the opportunities for growth."

Martin's Famous Pastry Shoppe is currently building a 140,000 square foot addition, bringing in about 50 to 60 new jobs.

“Martin's Famous Pastry Shoppe is doing a major expansion of their operation,” said Ross.

But it is not the only place you can hear construction.

Proctor and Gamble, which will introduce 963 jobs to Franklin County, began building their Shippensburg distribution center last summer. The facility is expected to open this September.

The Waynesboro area is also seeing growth. "There’s going to be two major employment creating projects that will be going on in the greater Waynesboro area,” said Ross.

Pacemaker Press, PP&S will bring about 40 jobs to Washington Township. They are scheduled to break ground within the next 45 days. Fil-Tec, Inc. will also create about 50 to 60 jobs in Washington Township.

Meanwhile, Summit Health is currently building a new office building at Waynesboro Hospital. They hope to finish construction by next spring.

And the growth doesn’t stop there.

Brazil-based Torcomp, a manufacturer of machine parts, will be opening its North America headquarters in the Cumberland Valley Business Park, creating 75 new jobs. Gabler Trucking, Inc.’s pending 60,000 square foot expansion will create another 55. Meanwhile, Vovlo's new North American customer service center in Shippensburg will be opening in June, bringing about 300 jobs.

Georgia-Pacific has also expressed interest in building a distribution center in the Shippensburg area, either in Franklin County or Cumberland County. They're expected to bring about 50 to 60 jobs.

"We think the greater Shippensburg community wins regardless of which county is chosen,” said Ross.

Franklin County's economic developers say all this growth will not come without its challenges, but they are ready to take it on.

"I think our biggest challenge as a region is how we manage it,” said Ross. "We're at a good place at a good time...I think we're all enjoying the opportunities for growth."

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