CARLISLE, April 16, 2015 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today joined legislative and military leaders from across Pennsylvania to discuss the economic importance of Pennsylvania’s military operations at the inaugural meeting of the Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission (PMCEC).
The 17-member commission, which was formally established through Act 161 of last year, is tasked with examining and advocating for Pennsylvania’s military installations and the important missions they have which support our state’s economy and our national security.
“With a nearly $3 billion annual economic impact, Tobyhanna Army Depot is arguably the largest economic driver in northeastern Pennsylvania – and it remains the largest industrial employer in our region,” Blake said. “Our commission was created to promote, protect and further develop Tobyhanna and our other fine military installations around the state which employ tens of thousands of hard-working Pennsylvanians.”
The Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission was established under the Department of Community and Economic Development and will coordinate with the department – and also with Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation – to identify potential sources of funding for economic development projects and to monitor the prospective impact of future Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) activities at the Department of Defense.
“I am looking forward to working with my legislative colleagues as well as with economic development professionals and other volunteers on the commission to focus our efforts and activities that will protect and enhance the military value of our defense installations in serving our warfighters,” Blake added. “We are aware that BRAC discussions will occur in Washington D.C. in the years ahead. We need to work now to ensure Pennsylvania installations and Pennsylvania workers are not endangered by future BRAC decisions.”
Sen. Blake, a founding member of the Military Installations and Base Development Caucus in the General Assembly, will serve on the commission along with state Sen. Richard Alloway (R-Adams/Cumberland) and state Reps. Harry Readshaw (D-Allegheny) and Nick Miccarelli (R-Delaware).
The inaugural meeting of the Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission was held at Kings Gap Environmental Education Center in Carlisle.
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