SCRANTON, February 25, 2011 – – At a number of events throughout Lackawanna County today, state Sen. John P. Blake highlighted the details of a Senate Democratic proposal that has the potential to create over 28,000 jobs while reducing state spending and encouraging private investment.

Blake, joined by Senate Democratic Appropriations Chairman Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia /Montgomery County), said that the six-point PA Works plan will focus on small business, workforce training, critical state investments, clean and green energy, infrastructure investment and tax fairness.

“Here in the Scranton area, good jobs are becoming increasingly scarce while our unemployment rate remains among the highest in Pennsylvania,” Blake said. “PA Works is not another new means of government spending, but a retooling of current spending for better impact and job creation.”

Blake said that PA Works is the first step towards stimulating and growing Pennsylvania’s economy and is expected to leverage over $2 billion in new private investments while resulting in more than $150 million in General Fund savings.

“If we are going to put Pennsylvania’s economy back on track, we need to look at every issue through the ‘job creation lens,’” Hughes said. “PA Works not only puts our friends and neighbors back to work, but it invests in our future through infrastructure improvements, workforce training and small business development.”

The initiatives proposed in PA Works rely exclusively on increased utilization of existing funding sources, most notably the more than $500 million remaining unspent by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

“The success of our small business community has always been a barometer for the Scranton area,” Blake added. “If we want to cut unemployment, expand small business and attract big business it is imperative that the legislature embraces innovative, cost-effective proposals like PA Works.”

For further details on the PA Works proposal visit

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