Ken Raybuck on Growing Investment & the Economy in Butler County; Part 5 of a Bi-Weekly, 10-Part Series

by on May 4, 2016

Part 5 of a Bi-Weekly, 10-Part Series

NAIOPQuotesKenRaybuckNote:  The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA) invited each of its economic development partners from the 10-county region to tell us about what is top of mind for them when it comes to marketing their counties – and the Pittsburgh region – for business investment.  We provided 10 questions and asked our partners to respond to some or all of them, providing fresh insight and perspective at the micro (county) and macro (region) levels. 

Here are some of the responses that Ken Raybuck, executive director, Butler County Community Development Corporation, shared with us.

Q: Which sector currently is the lead driver of your county’s economy?  What makes that sector a winner?

Healthcare continues to expand – not only Butler Health System which opened a new $18 million center in December – but other healthcare-related companies like Synergy Health, which just doubled the size of its operation to 50,000 square feet in Victory Road Business Park. Concordia Lutheran Services, Lutheran Senior Life and St. Barnabas are all looking at expansions which would add jobs in Butler County.

Q: Hands down, what is your county’s biggest economic development advantage?

We have some companies with locations in other states and people at those other locations always say that our workforce is superior to the other regions.  Our workforce is more dedicated, reliable, and include some of the best in the country with regard to their expertise.  Butler County’s low taxes and livability are also important factors.

Q: Foreign direct investment:  it puts our region on the global map, and investment from other parts of the world is fuel for our economy.  Which country is the leading international investor in your county, and name a global company in your region that’s exceptional? 

Two examples are Aldi and Bayer Healthcare, both German companies and both located in our Victory Road Business Park.  Benefitting from the Keystone Opportunity Zone tax abatement, these companies continue to expand and attract other investment. Bayer, for example, has an agreement with Synergy Health, (a U.K.-based company), to sterilize its products.  Synergy Health had to double the size of its plant to 50,000 square feet (co-located with Bayer at Victory Road Business Park) to meet demand for continued growth.  Foreign-owned firms like these sell to a worldwide market, and they have the capital to continue growing.

Read the complete article, “Take 10 [Questions],” featuring responses from all of the region’s economic development professionals.  The piece was originally published in the Pittsburgh Business Times as part of a supplement for the NAIOP Pittsburgh 23rd annual awards banquet in March.

Check back on the PRA Blog every Monday and Wednesday for the next installment of the #Take10Pgh blog series.