Beyond the Byline: Can we believe in Shapiro’s plan?

We all remember Tug McGraw, the flamboyant left-handed relief pitcher who coined the phrase “Ya Gotta Believe” — which became the rallying cry of the 1973 New York Mets.

What a simple yet inspiring three word phrase that was.

Now, some 50 years later, Pennsylvania has a new governor who would have us believe that he will transform and improve the state’s economy to a level where the always hard-working, work-ethic people of Keystone State are able to find meaningful employment that earns them a “family-sustaining” wage.

Can we believe that? Should we believe that?

Well, we’re kind of at the point where we have to believe it.

Being optimistic and having faith in our elected officials hasn’t always paid off, but given Gov. Josh Shapiro’s repeated statements/promises, maybe we should give this guy a chance this time.

This week, Shapiro signed an executive order establishing the Pennsylvania Office of Transformation and Opportunity within the Governor’s Office and Economic Development Strategy Group.

We have been told that this newly created office will be a one-stop shop for companies looking to grow and will work to aggressively revitalize Pennsylvania’s economy – fostering innovation, supporting transformative economic development, and real opportunity for businesses and workers to create equally in our Commonwealth. especially in communities that have too often been left behind.

According to a press release from the governor’s office, Shapiro’s executive order establishing the office underscores that building an economy that works for all is a key priority for his administration.

On day one, Shapiro demonstrated his commitment to economic growth and success here in Pennsylvania by taking action to provide opportunities for workers without a college degree.

With this new executive order, Shapiro is now sending a clear message that Pennsylvania is open for business and that the Commonwealth will work faster and find a way to get a yes to spur real economic development.

I can hear some of you out there saying, “blah blah blah.”

But wait and listen a little more.

We’re hearing the plan aims to get rid of forcing companies to go to multiple agencies for permits, permits and funding – the plan is for this new office to serve as a one-stop shop to cut red tape and bring state agencies together, support Pennsylvania businesses looking to grow and encourage other businesses to move here.

OK, that sounds promising.

• The Office of Transformation and Opportunity helps develop and guide overall growth strategy and implement economic development projects – coordinates with Commonwealth authorities, expedites approval reviews, and ensures the speed of business review and approval of major incentive programs.

• The Economic Development Strategy Group will advise the Governor directly on economic development projects and processes to attract and retain employers, recruit innovation leaders and create high-paying jobs in Pennsylvania, particularly in underserved communities.

Here’s what Shapiro said:

“I’ve heard from business and union leaders across the Commonwealth that government needs to work faster and find a way to get a yes. Today we make it clear that Pennsylvania is open for business and that we will be at the forefront of economic growth, job creation and innovation. My administration will connect our business, our workforce, our world-class universities and research institutions, and the public sector to drive economic development, especially in communities that have all too often been left behind. By helping businesses that are already here, encouraging new ones to move to Pennsylvania, and investing in our workforce, we can create real opportunity and build an economy that works for everyone.”

It sounds good again.

We want this plan to work. Pennsylvania and its citizens need it to function.

We need to believe that Shapiro and his administration are genuinely committed to growing Pennsylvania’s economy to make it work for everyone.

We have to believe that Shapiro will make sure to bring these good, family-friendly jobs to Pennsylvania and thereby boost the Pennsylvania economy.

We’ve heard similar promises from almost every candidate who’s gone through. It’s time to deliver on promises and deliver results.

Do we have to believe?

But the reality is that seeing is believing.

You can reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle or email [email protected]