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Economic Development

A unified vision for the future is essential for a community to grow and prosper. This is something that cannot be overlooked by Erie’s political and business officials. In recent years, economic initiatives have created a great deal of growth associated with the development of the Bayfront Convention Center, Presque Isle Downs and Casino and the Intermodal Transportation Complex. The extensive revitalization of Erie’s waterfront area has also skyrocketed present and future opportunities for the economy. There are a number of private and government organizations devoted to improving Erie, including the Economic Development of Erie County, Erie-Crawford Central Labor Council, Business Retention Technologies, Inc., and of course Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership.

Major Employers

The diversity of Erie’s effervescent business community is constantly changing. This region has always been home to a strong manufacturing history which has helped trigger significant expansion in health care, insurance, tourism and education. As a core of industrial production, approximately one third of all jobs are in manufacturing. Major manufacturers include: Bush Industries, Spectrum Control, PHB Corporation, and Lord Corporation. Electromagnetic filters and capacitors, die cast rubber and plastic products, hospital equipment, and aerospace and industrial products are just a few of the goods created by these companies. Additionally, four of the nation’s top plastics companies are located in Erie.

A variety of nationally known companies, whose corporate headquarters are located in Erie, lead the forefront for the growth of Erie business, such as Bush Industries, Erie Insurance Group, Marquette Savings Bank and Lord Corporation. Plastek Industries, which employs over 2,000 people, helps Erie provide over ten percent of the nation’s plastic injection molding as they produce precision molds and molded plastics. Erie is also home to The Barber National Institute, a world renowned special education facility which employs over 2,200 staff.

Several new sectors are beginning to emerge on the shores of Lake Erie as the expansion of Erie’s business community continues to thrive.

Top 50 Employers in Erie County

  1. General Electric Company
  2. Erie Indemnity Company
  3. UPMC Hamot
  4. Saint Vincent’s Health Center
  5. Pennsylvania State Government
  6. Wal-Mart Associates Inc.
  7. School District of the City of Erie
  8. Federal Government
  9. Erie County Government
  10. Millcreek Township School District
  11. The Barber National Institute
  12. Presque Isle Downs and Casino
  13. The Tamarkin Group
  14. Lord Corporation
  15. PA State System of Higher Education
  16. Gannon University
  17. City of Erie
  18. Country Fair Inc.
  19. Pennsylvania State University
  20. Plastek Industries Inc.
  21. Mercyhurst University
  22. YMCA of Greater Erie
  23. Wegmans Food Markets Inc.
  24. Career Concepts Staffing Services Inc.
  25. Regional Health Services Inc.
  26. Millcreek Community Hospital
  27. Saint Mary’s Home of Erie
  28. Dr. Gertrude A. Barber In-Home Services
  29. Lakeshore Community Services
  30. Erie Homes for Children and Adults
  31. Pleasant Ridge Manor
  32. Voices for Independence
  33. Blair Payroll LLC
  34. McDonald’s Restaurants of Pennsylvania, Inc.
  35. Parker-Hannifin Corporation
  36. General McLane School District
  37. Infinity Resources Inc.
  38. Clinical Pathology Institute Inc.
  39. St. Vincent’s Medical Education and Research Institute
  40. Welch Foods Inc.
  41. Fort LeBoeuf School District
  42. Eriez Manufacturing Group
  43. Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit
  44. Stairways Behavioral Health
  45. Parker White Metal Company Inc.
  46. Greater Erie Comm. Action Committee
  47. Harbor Creek School District
  48. Port Erie Plastics Inc.
  49. Corry Area School District
  50. Northwest Bancshares Inc.

• Source: Center for Workforce Information

Tourism  style=


Roar On The Shore event in Erie, PAErie has always been a hub of community progress. Tourism has been a major economic force in what has driven Erie for some time now. The most significant factor bringing tourists to Erie each year is Presque Isle State Park. With so much to do no wonder this Park attracts nearly 4.5 million visitors each year. This 3,200-acre sandy peninsula extends out into Lake Erie offering up endless opportunities for visitors to swim, hike, bike, walk, boat, bird watch, ski, and much more.

Home to Pennsylvania's only port on Lake Erie, Erie is an ideal destination for fishermen of all types. The fishermen, seeking out Pennsylvania's only "seashore," bring in over $25 million to local businesses including boat trips, shore trips, hotels, restaurants, bait shops and much more. Due to the deep nature of Presque Isle Bay, freighters are able to reach Erie making it a shipping port along the Great Lakes. This attribute also attracts many here for pleasure boating purposes.

Due to the increase in tourism in the area, the construction of additional hotels and restaurants have become necessary. As tourists continue to visit the area for shopping, dining, sightseeing, entertainment, festivals, and the waterfront, tourism will continue to make Erie prosper.


Banking in Erie, PennsylvaniaErie is home to numerous local and national banking and financial institutions. Marquette Savings Bank stands as a staple in the community as one of the few locally owned banking institutions. Marquette, First National Bank, PNC Bank, Erie Federal Credit Union, National Bank of North East, Community National Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania and many more institutions are recognized in Erie.

Retail  style=


Erie’s retail trade brings in over $3.5 billion to the region each year. This community is a textbook example of national trend illustrating the division of retail wealth and expansion. In today’s economy the small “mom and pop” businesses are being decimated by powerhouse franchise conglomerates. These retail tycoons have been built on the outskirts of the city (Millcreek, Harbor Creek and Summit Township) as is the trend throughout every other American city. Many of these nationally known franchises have made their way to Erie as a result of the growth of the upper Peach Street area. These powerhouses have brought a sense of convenience with them, as well as helping to boost tourism in the area.

It is a fact that all spending helps an economy but supporting the vast amount of privately owned businesses here is vital to Erie’s character. Many locally owned retail businesses have done well meeting consumer demand and have enabled themselves to preserve a presence in the community. Businesses such as Kada Gallery, Competitive Gear, A La Carte, and Kraus Department Store have all experienced the triumph of maintaining a face within the community.

Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership

Erie Chamber Of Commerce LogoThe Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership is the voice of the business community. As such, this organization leads the effort to identify key regional initiatives that promote economic health while providing the leadership for business attraction, retention, and expansion.

A vibrant, growing membership base comprising area businesses of all sizes is essential to effectiveness of the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership. The growth of the community depends on a mix of industries that create a dynamic business environment. Their professional staff works to promote and serve all businesses—large and small, from manufacturing and retail, to health care, education and more.

Benefits, programs, services, and events are designed to enhance the success of the businesses in our membership. And their membership investment supports a diverse and ongoing economic development effort that benefits the entire region.

One of the services provided through the ERCGP offices is the Erie Business Action Team. Through on-site meetings with business owners, they help to identify government-related programs that can best address a company's needs. Customer Action Plans (CAP) are then developed, providing possible solutions utilizing regional economic development partners. The perspectives of business owners in the region are also formally collected and communicated for the development of future policies and programs.

Save Time

Business Action Team professionals save business owners valuable time by providing them with relevant information based upon their needs.

Navigate the "System"

The economic development system can be difficult to navigate. BAT professionals serve as a case manager for the business so that it gets the full benefit of the programs offered by the region's service providers.

Erie Chamber Of Commerce Commencement

Make Connections

The connections made through the BAT program are an invaluable asset for future business endeavors.

No Cost

BAT is free. There is no cost to meet with a BAT professional. Membership in the Erie Regional Chamber is also not required.

The Business Action Team works with more than 500 companies in Erie County each year. How can they help you? Call 814-454-7191 to schedule an appointment.
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