FirstEnergy Named Top Utility for Economic Development

Kroger's new customer fulfillment center in Frederick, Md., is an automated warehouse facility with digital and robotic capabilities,

September 22, 2021

For the third year in a row, FirstEnergy has been named one of the nation’s leading utilities in promoting economic development by Site Selection magazine. FE earned the honor by helping to attract 14,500 new jobs and $5.5 billion in third-party corporate facility investment in our six-state service area in 2020.

This year’s award is especially notable because it reflects economic growth during the 2020 pandemic.

“Even in the midst of the pandemic, our economic development team positively influenced 107 major projects, attracting more new jobs and more direct investment than in 2019, which was also a banner year,” said Patrick Kelly, director, Economic Development.

Kelly noted the fact that Site Selection has recognized FirstEnergy 17 times in the last 19 years highlights the effectiveness of our economic development relationships and programs.

Significant 2020 development projects included General Motors and LG Chem investing $2.8 billion in Ultium Cells, a new electric vehicle battery facility being built in the Youngstown-Warren area of Ohio; Clorox’s new 100-job cat litter production facility in West Virginia; Kroger’s 500-job robotic fulfillment center in Maryland; and FirstEnergy’s overall effort in driving the tremendous number of distribution centers being built in our eastern Pennsylvania territory.

The award also noted FirstEnergy’s use of technology, such as the launch of a new economic development website, and FE webinars on the economic impact of the pandemic that focused on how businesses can encourage foreign direct investment as part of their overall economic development efforts.

The Site Selection award winners* were chosen from a field of more than 3,300 electric utilities and cooperatives across the country. The recipient utilities were recognized for their hands-on approach to encouraging business development, in addition to delivering reliable power to customers.

Amazon worked with FE on the development of a new 1 million-square-foot warehouse in Berks County, Pa. Amazon already operates two fulfillment centers in the region.

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