Gov. Announces Major New Investment for Blair County – 300 Jobs

by | Apr 6, 2018 | News

As published in the April 6, 2018 edition of the Altoona Mirror. Reported by Walt Frank

A St. Louis-based company headed by an Altoona native announced plans Thursday to expand into Blair County creating nearly 300 new jobs.

Centene Management Co., a health care services provider, will expand into Allegheny Township, Gov. Tom Wolf said.

“This expansion by CMC represents a long-term investment in the Altoona area that will create hundreds of jobs and boost the regional economy,” Wolf said in a statement. “This is a great day for Blair County workers and their families, and I applaud CMC for recognizing all of the advantages Pennsylvania provides to companies looking to grow and thrive.”

CMC is headed by Chairman and CEO Michael Neidorff, a 1961 graduate of Altoona High School. Neidorff is also a 1966 graduate of Saint Francis College with a master’s degree in industrial relations.

CMC plans to purchase land and construct a 53,300-square-foot facility along Theater Drive to serve as a national health care inbound customer claims center. The facility will include a cafeteria and a day care center for its employees. The company also plans to invest more than $20 million into the project, which will create nearly 300 new jobs over the next four years.

CMC received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Develop­ment for a $900,000 Pennsylvania First grant and $592,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon creation of the new jobs. The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, a group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania, in coordination with the Altoona Blair County Development Corp.

Thursday’s announcement is a “big deal,” said Stephen McKnight, president and CEO of ABCD Corp.

“Centene Corp.’s decision to locate here in Blair County — the nation’s First Frontier — represents one of the most significant new investments our community has seen in many years,” McKnight said. “With almost 300 new jobs expected, it will be one of our largest single job generating attraction projects. On behalf of the ABCD Corp.’s entire board, we could not be happier to have played a part in securing this project for Blair County and the commonwealth, and we greatly appreciate the critical role Gov. Wolf, the Governor’s Action Team and our local officials have played in getting this new investment across the finish line. We look forward to Centene moving through all of the final steps in the permitting, site development process and ultimately breaking ground,” McKnight said.

The announcement appears to be great news for the business community and the region, said Joe Hurd, president/CEO of the Blair County Chamber of Commerce.

“We’re aware of the outstanding reputation that Centene has in the other communities in which they’re located, and it’s never a bad thing when someone with local ties sees an opportunity to reconnect. We’re excited anytime that quality companies bring family-sustaining jobs to our area,” Hurd said.

The announcement is good news for Allegheny Township.

“This is great for both the township and the community,” said David Burchfield Jr., chairman of the township supervisors.

CMC is a subsidiary of Centene Corp., a Fortune 500 health care services company. The company has a full range of health care solutions for uninsured Americans by contracting with their health plans and other health care and commercial organizations to provide specialty services such as behavioral health, life and health management, managed vision, telehealth, pharmacy benefits management and medication adherence.

Link to the original Altoona Mirror Article click here

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