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Welcome to "Mike's Memo," an update on what's happening in the 48th Legislative District, the State Capitol, and the progress of my legislative priorities. If you haven't done so already, please take a few moments to visit my website at www.senatorfolmer.com to learn more about issues that may affect you and your family.

Week of August 15, 2016

Reminder: Highspire Borough Town Hall Meeting
6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 23: Highspire Borough, Dauphin County

Borough Building, 640 Eshelman Street, Highspire, PA 17034
Hope to see you there! And, thanks to everyone who attended my previous Town Hall Meetings! I enjoyed our discussions and the opportunity to meet with constituents.

Column: Midstate Jobs
Jobs and the economy are often the top issues of concern among citizens and many elected officials run for office promising to create jobs.

That’s why I found a recent Central Penn Business Journal list of the largest midstate employers interesting. Who do you think are our area’s largest employers? Here’s some hints: government, health care, education, and service industries are the top 15 employers. They are:

  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (20,770 Capitol Complex, 72,437 total)
  • Us Government (14,263 local employees; 5.73 Million total)
  • Wellspan Health (14,801 local employees)
  • Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and College of Medicine (10,536 local employees)
  • Lancaster General Health (7,569 local employees)
  • Pinnacle Health System (6,314 local employees)
  • JFC Staffing (5,877 local employees)
  • Highmark Health (formerly Highmark Blue Shield; 3,800 local employees)
  • Summit Health (3,258 local employees)
  • Holy Spirit (2,588 local employees)
  • York County (2,570 local employees)
  • Harrisburg Area Community College (2,526 local employees)
  • Select Medical Corp. (2,201 local employees)
  • Lancaster County (1,969 local employees)
  • Comcast Corporation (1,801 local employees)

Central Pennsylvania is obviously lucky to have such large, well respected, and successful local entities supplying jobs to people. However, it does beg the question: what about manufacturing and other industries?

The United States was founded in Philadelphia, saved at Gettysburg, and ushered into the industrial age by countless manufacturers across our Commonwealth. Many of those industries no longer exist or have moved to other states and nations.

Pennsylvania with its Keystone location is within a day’s drive of about one-third of the nation’s population. Yet, manufacturers aren’t coming here – despite the promises of candidates for public office to promote jobs and job opportunities.

That’s why anyone running for office should be asked what they’re going to do to make our state and nation more competitive. I believe it begins with government living within its means, less spending and borrowing, lower taxes, and less government red tape.

As government has grown, job creators like Baldwin Locomotive Works, Bethlehem Steel, Carnegie Steel, GC Murphy, Jones & Laughlin Steel, Newberry stores, Quaker State headquarters, Pennsylvania Railroad, Philco, Reading Company, Rolling Rock Beer, Schmidt’s Beer, Scott Paper, Strawbridge’s, Susquehanna Radio Corporation, Westinghouse Electric, Wanamaker’s, Woolworth’s, and Wyeth have either disappeared, been sold, or merged with other companies.

Please remember these former Pennsylvania employers when someone says “business can afford it”!

Veterans’ Expo and Job Fair, August 25 in Camp Hill
Veterans of all ages, active military, and their families are invited to the Veterans’ Expo and Job Fair, a free event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, August 25 at the Radisson Hotel Harrisburg, 1150 Camp Hill Bypass, Camp Hill. Exhibitors will include community service providers, healthcare professionals, VA benefits counselors, education/training providers, and business startup assistance, as well as businesses from home improvement, legal services, and finance, to retirement living and insurance. A photographer will also be taking free, professional headshots for use in social media profiles. For more information on the Veterans Expo and Job Fair, call (717) 285-1350, or visit www.veteransexpo.com.

Highspire Borough and Lower Swatara Township Town Hall Meetings
6:30 p.m., Tuesday, August 23: Highspire Borough, Dauphin County – Borough Building, 640 Eshelman Street, Highspire, PA 17034
6:30 p.m., Monday, August 29: Lower Swatara Township, Dauphin County – Lower Swatara Fire Hall, 1350 Fulling Mill Road, Middletown, PA 17057
Suggestions for locations in the 48th Senatorial District to host a town hall meeting can be sent to fbinner@pasen.gov. Please note, I use no taxpayer dollars to hold these meetings!


Contact Information
Please feel free to contact me at any time on state-related issues that are of concern to you. I may be reached through my website or my Lebanon or Harrisburg offices.

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