City employers get $2 million in grants

Christmas came early for a local educational institution and one of Williamsport’s major employers.

Grants of $2 million each from the state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) have been awarded to Lycoming College and Lycoming Engines for construction, reconstruction, acquisition and infrastructure improvements.

“The funding awarded today will allow both Lycoming College and Lycoming Engines to remain competitive in today’s environment,” said state Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township. “Whether it’s private industry or academia, both must think and prepare for the long-term. In doing so, Lycoming College and Lycoming Engines will be better positioned for the future. I was pleased to advocate for both of these projects and happy to see that they received this state investment.”

Lycoming has plans to construct a “Gateway Building” at the south side of campus for a new home for the admissions office, the Center for Enhanced Academic Experiences, and the Outdoor Leadership and Education Program. The building is to provide an entrance to the Old City/East Third Street Gateway area, with the hope of helping to bring economic revitalization.

Lycoming Engines, a manufacturer of piston aircraft engines and a division of Avco Corp., has targeted improvements of its city facility to prepare for installation of new equipment.

Plans include partial demolition of a building and reconstruction of another structure to improve efficiency, creation of 33 new positions and sustaining the present workforce of 400 people.

RACP is a state grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects.

Jason Fitzgerald, of Penn Strategies, grant writer for the Lycoming Engines project, said the dollars will enable the company to provide more family-sustaining jobs for the area.

He noted that more than $1 billion in grant requests is made for RACP dollars, with only about 10 percent of those monies awarded.

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