Southwestern PA receives federal grant to establish green building supply chain

A photo of the Roberto Clemente Bridge spanning the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Getty Images / Joe Daniel Price)

By Sean Kitchen

October 27, 2023

The funding will help prepare western Pennsylvania to meet the increasing regional and national demand for the products and materials needed to construct, renovate, maintain and operate energy-efficient buildings and infrastructure. 

The Green Building Alliance, a non-profit organization based in Pittsburgh, was awarded a $500,000 grant funded through President Joe Biden’s landmark Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, US Sens. Bob Casey and John Fetterman announced on Thursday.

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), which is described as an economic development entity operating under the federal government and 13 state governments across the Appalachian Region’s 423 counties, awarded the grant to the Green Building Alliance. The funds will go towards establishing an economic hub for the green building supply chain in Western Pennsylvania. 

“As the demand for a healthy and resilient built environment increases, so does the need for new materials, products, and systems,” said US Sen Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania). “I fought for this award to ensure that the workers and communities in Southwestern Pennsylvania can partake in and benefit from the growth of the green building supply chain.” 

The Green Building Alliance serves 26 counties in Western Pennsylvania and is one of the country’s oldest regional green building organizations. Their mission is to transform how communities are built from the materials that are used and develop plans and policies that set new standards for the future. 

According to the organization, the initiative will prepare Upper Appalachia, which consists of western Pennsylvania, northeast Ohio and West Virginia, to meet the increasing regional and national demand in both residential and commercial sectors for the products and materials needed to construct, renovate, maintain and operate energy-efficient buildings and infrastructure. 

Partners involved in the one-year project include West Virginia University, including WVU Extension and Vantage Ventures; Pittsburgh-based Catalyst Connection; and the Youngstown Business Incubator and BRITE Energy Innovators in Ohio.

“Historically, the Appalachian Region’s economy has been based on extractive industries that produced the energy, buildings, and infrastructure that built the country and strengthened economic prosperity,” said Green Building Alliance CEO Jenna Cramer. “As national and international economies shift to cleaner, low-carbon products and solutions, the Appalachian region is well-positioned to forge a strong path forward in a way that honors that legacy.”

US Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pennsylvania) also applauded the grant that’s going to help a part of the country that has been historically underserved even though the region contained an abundance of natural resources. 

“I came to Washington to fight for forgotten communities and the rural communities of Appalachia are all too often left behind. This funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission will help meet the increased regional and national demand for healthy, resilient buildings and infrastructure, benefiting hundreds of workers, businesses, and communities,” Fetterman said in a statement. 

 

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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