Yesterday, I announced $487,000 of federal funding I secured for a new mixed-use, transit-oriented development near the Temple University Rail Station. I was joined by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, and the two developers the City has chosen to partner with on this project, the Asociacíon Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM) and Jonathan Rose Companies, as well as other community officials and representatives. The City will be working closely with its two development partners to construct a transit village that will strengthen the adjacent Ludlow/Temple University neighborhoods and serve as transit hub for eastern North Philadelphia.
The press conference was held on Ninth Street, between Berks and Norris Streets, next to the parking lot that will be the future home of the transit village. It will include 164 rental apartments, at least 44 of which will be affordable housing units, as well as community and retail space. It will also be sustainably designed with the goal of providing a healthy living environment that ensures improved indoor air quality and a reduction in water and energy use. Aside from its “green” design, it will also provide other environmental benefits, by encouraging the use of public transit that will reduce congestion on the road and dependence on cars.
The total cost of the project is just under $50 million, which represents a significant investment in the neighborhood, and it is expected to create 400 construction jobs and future permanent jobs. It was a pleasure to announce this project with Mayor Nutter as it furthers strong economic and environmental revitalization efforts in the City of Philadelphia.
Yesterday, I attended the grand opening of the new Norristown Regional Health Center (NRHC) in Montgomery County. Due to a consistent increase in patients, long waiting times and lack of space for expansion, the NRHC purchased a larger facility to meet growing demand.
The new facility was renovated with partial funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will allow the NRHC to see more patients, offer more services, decrease waiting times and hire more staff. The newly renovated facility includes 16 examination rooms, 5 triage and 5 dental exam rooms, an onsite physician medication dispensary and expanded laboratory and administrative space.
This facility is important as it will serve a particularly disadvantaged community and create jobs. I appreciated the tour provided by Patti Deitch, President and CEO of Delaware Valley Community Health, and am thankful for the hard work and essential services that the NRHC provides to people in the region.
On Monday, March 22, I joined members and guests of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg to discuss a very important issue: jobs for Pennsylvanians. During the event, I spoke with many members and guests who are committed to energizing the economy in Central Pennsylvania. I also outlined some of the benefits that Pennsylvanians can expect to receive from the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (HIRE Act) that was passed by Congress and signed into law last week. This bill is the first in a planned series of bills targeted towards job creation and retention. As this work continues in Congress, I will continue to listen to workers, business leaders and economists on the best ways to move forward to create jobs and help our economy.
On the first day of President's Day recess, I stopped for lunch at the Cabin Kitchen in Emporium, Cameron County to sit down with local officials to hear their concerns and ideas on economic recovery. With unemployment over 16%, Cameron County has the highest rate in Pennsylvania. While the unemployment is disconcerting, the bipartisan effort that local officials are taking to meet the needs of the county ought to serve as a model in Washington. It is so valuable to hear from these leaders who are on the ground to really understand how the economy has affected Pennsylvanians.
After an informative meeting and a great tuna hoagie, I am heading to Clearfield County.
On my way from Scranton to Washington this morning, I stopped in Elkins Park, Montgomery County to tour the Women's Center of Montgomery County to see Recovery dollars at work. The Women's Center received federal funding through the STOP Violence Against Women grant program. This money allowed the Center to create two new jobs, retain six more and expand the hours of another part-time employee.
The work of the employees and volunteers is truly inspirational. They assist women in some of the darkest days of their lives to find them the resources and services they need to stay safe and succeed. The Center serves as just one example of how the Recovery Act creates jobs, but also how it has a profound and positive impact in the community.
I'm off to Washington barring more snow.