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Community and Economic Impact of the Pennsylvania Wilds

August 11, 2023  | Community and Economic Development

The Pennsylvania Wilds is a place-based brand and destination region in north central Pennsylvania covering 13 entirely rural counties. It is entering its third decade since its inception as an official tourism region and conservation landscape. This comprehensive mixed-methods research study conducted in 2022 indicates that this region is an effective place-based tourism brand. Stakeholder groups of visitors, businesses, and residents recognize the PA Wilds brand attributes of environmental stewardship and economic development. Resident and business stakeholders indicated pride in belonging to the region. These overall positive impacts of the brand indicate that brand management in the PA Wilds is well executed. With the policy actions outlined in this report, the rural residents of this region can enjoy further positive economic and community dividends from the state's initial investment in this regional strategy.

Executive Summary

Tags:  economic development , #community development , rural tourism , outdoor recreation , regional place-based branding


Pennsylvania Wine Industry - An Assessment (2013)

March 05, 2013  | Community and Economic Development

This research examined the Pennsylvania wine industry’s characteristics, and compared the industry in terms of growth, state funding and shipping laws with those of other wine producing states in the East. The research also examined the industry’s use of economic funding and technical assistance programs, its capacity and growth potential, and its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Finally, it offered considerations for the industry and policymakers.

Tags:  economic development , wineries , viniculture , wine industry


An Evaluation of Strategies and Finances of the Rural Tourism Industry (2012)

April 17, 2012  | Community and Economic Development

This research examined the history, implementation and uses of the Hotel Room Rental Tax in Pennsylvania’s 3rd through 8th Class counties.

Tags:  economic development , tourism


An Evaluation of Pennsylvania's Main Street Programs (2011)

October 07, 2011  | Community and Economic Development

The Main Street Program has had a role in community revitalization in Pennsylvania since 1980. As of 2010, there were 165 programs initiated in Pennsylvania. This research explored the viability and sustainability of Main Street Programs (MSPs) in Pennsylvania and developed policy  considerations to support their continued viability and sustainability. For the research, sustainable programs were defined as those that had stability in leadership, governance, finances and staffing. The research, conducted in 2010, used existing data from the Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC) and the U.S. Census, and new data from a mail questionnaire of Main Street managers and site visits to a selection of programs throughout the state.

Tags:  community development , economic development , community revitalization , main street

Small Business Development Center Use in Pennsylvania (2011)

September 17, 2011  | Community and Economic Development

This research was conducted to profile clients of Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC). Using 10 years of data (2000-2009), which included demographic variables such as gender, race, ethnicity, veteran status, and handicapped status, the researcher profiled rural and urban clients and compared their use of SBDC services.

Tags:  community development , economic development , entrepreneurship


Broadband Internet Use in Rural Pennsylvania

January 01, 2008  | Infrastructure

This research, conducted in 2005–2006, employed case studies to provide a qualitative description of how four sectors, specifically healthcare, local government, education, and business, in rural Pennsylvania are using broadband Internet technology. The research was interested in determining whether these sectors were engaging in transactional or transformational uses of the Internet.

Tags:  economic development , broadband , social development

Introducing the Center's new journal, Rural Policy: The Research Bulletin of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania.