Broadband Funding Webinar

Please join the Office of US Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and officials from the US Department of Agriculture and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration for an educational conversation on available broadband funding opportunities for Pennsylvania communities. Any questions or concerns may be directed to

Transportation Webinar

Please join the Office of US Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Department of Transportation officials for an educational conversation on available grant and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funding opportunities through DOT for Pennsylvania communities. Any questions or concerns may be directed to

Senator Bob Casey Visits NEPIRC

United States Senator Bob Casey visited the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC) on November 23rd to recognize the organization’s recent attainment of a Silver Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the world’s largest association of economic development organizations and practitioners, for its COVID-19 Response, Readiness & Recovery services for regional manufacturers. Those services enabled manufacturers to avoid 1,700 layoffs and 4,661 temporary job furloughs during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. After touring NEPIRC’s Innovation Space 3D Lab, Multimedia Studio, Leadership Learning Center, Manufacturing Showcase and corporate offices, Senator Casey met with NEPIRC staff, federal stakeholders and regional manufacturing executives to discuss the business environment that NEPIRC’s clients are facing and review the positive impact that NEPIRC has had on the manufacturing sector across northeastern, northern and north central Pennsylvania.

During the meeting, Senator Casey also shared insights regarding the recently passed American Rescue Plan, Infrastructure Investment Act, Jobs Act, and Build Back Better Plan and spoke about their impacts upon our bridges, roads, mass transit systems, broadband infrastructure and overall economy.

“The Senator’s tour and discussion with our regional manufacturing leaders evidenced his strong commitment to our manufacturing economy and his eagerness to implement policies and programs that accelerate their growth and strengthen their long-term competitiveness,” said Eric Joseph Esoda, NEPIRC’s President & CEO. “We’re delighted to have had him visit us to recap various federal initiatives to create manufacturing jobs and stimulate our industrial economy,” he added.

Attending Senator Casey’s visit were NEPIRC staff, Eric Joseph Esoda, President & CEO, Drew Mackie, EVP & CFO, Dale Parmenteri, Vice President of Consulting Operations, and Chelsey Coslett, Manager of Marketing & Stakeholder Engagement, Rikki Riegner, Executive Director of PA MEP, and members of NEPIRC’s Board of Directors, such as Grace McGregor Kramer, McGregor Industries, Inc., Garry Hartman, Cheetah Chassis Corporation and Bruce Daniels, Medico Construction Equipment/Action Lift, Inc.

PennDOT Joins Senator Casey, State and Local Officials in Johnstown to Celebrate Federal Grant Award

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Yassmin Gramian joined Senator Bob Casey, state Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr., Mayor of Johnstown Frank Janakovic, Johnstown Vision 2025 chair Bill Polacek, Greater Johnstown Regional Partnership president Mark Pasquerilla, and Amtrak Assistant Vice President for Stations and Facilities George Holz to celebrate Johnstown receiving a $24.5 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) for its Iron-to-Arts Corridor project.

The Iron-to-Arts Corridor project will upgrade and connect Johnstown’s three downtown transit systems for visitors, residents, and commuters from all income levels: the Johnstown Train Station, the Inclined Plane transit system, and the Downtown Intermodal Bus Transportation Center. The total cost for the Iron-to-Arts Corridor project is just over $53 million with just under $29 million in state, local, philanthropic, other federal, and Amtrak funding already secured, with the remainder to be covered by the $24.5 million RAISE grant.

“Investment in transportation has historically paid dividends in economic development and thriving communities,” said Gramian. “I applaud Johnstown’s leaders for their strategic vision for this project, and for the growth of their city.”

“Today, I am proud to say that Johnstown can begin to take action on projects vital to the economic health of the region,” said Senator Casey. “Not only will upgrading and restoring transportation hubs allow for more pedestrian movement, these projects will facilitate commutes for workers and increase tourism. As we build back better, investing in our Nation’s infrastructure is absolutely critical. I will continue to advocate for resources to come to Johnstown and southwestern Pennsylvania.”

“Today’s announcement is of historic proportions and will greatly benefit the Greater Johnstown region and beyond. It is a true testament to the bipartisan collaboration across all levels – local, state, and federal. As chair of the Senate Transportation Committee and a key advocate for this funding, I look forward to its implementation and the catalyst it will be to spur further economic activity in our region,” said Langerholc.

Renovations for the historic Johnstown Train Station include restoring it as a multimodal center with daily Amtrak, regional rail, and bus transit services. The city also seeks to utilize now-vacant portions of this upgraded station for uses that could include a new Johnstown Visitors’ Center, a healthy food and farmers market, and a retail transit-oriented development expansion, along with the newly-launched headquarters of the Artist-Blacksmiths Association of North America (ABANA) which located there earlier this year.

The RAISE grant will also provide more funding, leveraging PennDOT investment, for the upgrade of the historic Johnstown Inclined Plane, restoring the passenger and vehicle funicular system to full function which will help boost ridership by 300% annually on this central CamTran transit link, further fostering an expanded regional tourism market and new economic development.  

The RAISE grant funding for the CamTran Downtown Bus Intermodal Transportation Center will design and construct upgrades to this central hub for bus transit with passenger safety upgrades, station improvements, and mobility connections to the surrounding catchment area.

The RAISE grant for the Iron-to-Arts Corridor will also provide the funding needed to connect these transit hubs with complete street and pedestrian and bicycle trail upgrades, a component called the “Main Street Greenway & Urban Connectivity” initiative.  This component of the project will improve walkability with 0.5 miles of complete street upgrades on Main Street including sidewalk, traffic calming, transit stop enhancements, ADA-accessibility, green infrastructure, and streetscape improvements. RAISE funding will also help this project connect key downtown segments of the Path of the Flood Trail and the Jim Mayer Riverwalk Trail, which will join these three transit hubs and key community anchors, as well as link Johnstown to the National 9/11 trail.

RAISE grants, formerly known as Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) and Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grants, fund projects that help build or repair critical pieces of freight or passenger transportation networks. Projects for RAISE funding are evaluated based on merit criteria that include safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, economic competitiveness, state of good repair, innovation, and partnership. Projects are prioritized that can demonstrate improvements to racial equity, reduce impacts of climate change and create good-paying jobs.

For additional information about PennDOT’s multimodal program, please visit the Projects and Programs section of PennDOT’s website.

NeighborWorks NEPA Announces Grant for Aging in Place Services

Staff from NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania were joined today by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) to announce the receipt of a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) for the expansion ofAging in Place Services in Lackawanna and Wayne Counties.

Awarded as part of HUD’s Older Adult Home Modification Program (OAHMP), the grant will fund safety upgrades and home improvement projects in 225 homes to meet the needs of low-income elderly homeowners in Lackawanna and Wayne counties.

“Seniors across the nation have made their desire to live in their own homes resoundingly clear, which is why the work that NeighborWorks does is so vital,” said Senator Casey. “These dollars will go directly to seniors who need services and supports such as safety adjustments, home repairs and accessibility modifications that will allow them to live safely and with dignity. I look forward to seeing the benefits that will reach Northeastern Pennsylvania seniors as a result of this grant and I will continue to advocate for a historic federal investment in home and community-based services.”

“The Office of Lead Hazard Control & Healthy Homes is excited to broaden our scope to include the Older Adults Home Modification Program (OAHMP),” Yolanda Brown, Lead and Healthy Homes Program Division Director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said of the program expansion. “OAHMP provides funding to assess the needs of low-income, elderly homeowners and make home modifications that are responsive to those needs. The work made possible by these funds help to make activities of daily living (e.g. eating, cooking, moving around the home) easier for our beneficiaries and extend their opportunity to safely age-in-place.”

“We are most thankful for the support of Senator Casey and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in supporting our Aging in Place program with this significant investment,” Jesse Ergott, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania President & CEO, said of the award. “Being able to reach more older adults in Lackawanna County, together with the expansion of Aging in Place services in Wayne County, will make a profound impact for the good of older adults in Northeastern Pennsylvania.”

Since its inception in 2015, the Aging in Place program of NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania has provided homeowners aged 60 and above with services that focus on assisting them to continue living safely and with dignity in their home and community. Services provided as part of the Aging in Place program include critical safety modifications, home repairs, senior isolation prevention, financial coaching, and more.

NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania is one of 32 grant recipients across the United States to be receiving funding in this round of OAHMP awards; other grant recipients include local and state government entities, nonprofit agencies, and public housing authorities. Altogether, more than 5,000 beneficiaries nationwide will be reached by services that will assist seniors in continuing to live in their homes.

Lackawanna County residents seeking Aging in Place services should contact the Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging at 570-963-6707 to ask for an Aging in Place referral. Wayne County residents seeking Aging in Place services are asked to contact the Wayne County Area Agency on Aging by calling 570-253-4262.