Pennsylvania's Democratic attorney general Josh Shapiro speaks to a crowd with the fountain at Point State Park behind him during his campaign launch address for Pennsylvania governor, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic) Josh Shapiro
Pennsylvania's Democratic attorney general Josh Shapiro speaks to a crowd with the fountain at Point State Park behind him during his campaign launch address for Pennsylvania governor, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Pennsylvania’s Democratic nominee for governor wants to cut business taxes, eliminate red tape, and improve workforce training to make the commonwealth more competitive.

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Josh Shapiro laid out a four-pronged approach to boosting Pennsylvania’s economy at an event in Lackawanna County Monday.

Shapiro said his plan would make the state more competitive by working on bipartisan goals.

If elected governor, Shapiro said he would lower the corporate tax rate to 4% by 2025. In addition, he would create an office of Economic Growth and Workforce Development to streamline the process for businesses to get permits and licenses. All state agencies involved in economic development would have an online portal allowing applicants to track the status of their requests and establish timelines to make licensing and permitting predictable.

“That’s going to send a clear message all across this nation that we’re open for business,” Shapiro said.

To foster new industries, Shapiro said he would create innovation hubs to connect businesses, universities, research centers, and workers to create jobs. He would also expand the state Department of Community and Economic Development’s Manufacturing PA initiative which encourages higher education institutions to work with employers to develop a trained workforce.

In a tweet last week, Shapiro said he’d eliminate college degree requirements for thousands of state jobs. He also wants to expand job skills training programs, and invest in apprenticeships and on-the-job training initiatives. 

“We will put vocational, technical, and computer training in every single high school in Pennsylvania, to give students access to that,” Shapiro said.

The Democratic candidate also expressed a desire to have 30% of the state’s electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2030 and have the state reach net-zero emissions by 2050. He also said he would expand the use of carbon capture technology in the state, and make the state home to a “new regional hydrogen hub.”

Shapiro is facing state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin) in November. While he has yet to announce a formal plan, according to Mastriano’s website, he wants to eliminate property taxes, cut the gas tax, and reduce the corporate net income tax to attract new jobs. Mastriano’s website also says he would cut tens of thousands of state regulations.