RACP Selection Process at a Glance
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A Candidate wishing to have their project selected for a RACP award must first meet the minimum eligibility requirements set forth in the redesign of RACP and highlighted below. For more detailed information on eligibility, please refer to the RACP Program Guidelines section of this website.
- The project must be authorized in a PA Capital Budget Project Itemization Act, which is passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor. Only itemized projects from the Acts that have remaining "Project Allocation" amounts that have not been statutorily "sunset" in accordance with Act 77 are eligible. A list of authorizations can be found in the Itemized Projects Eligible for Funding 1986-Present section of this website.
- The project must not be completed. A project that has completed construction and if applicable, obtained an occupancy permit is deemed a completed project.
- The project must not have their main focus be related to funding through other state programs such as PENNDOT or PENNVEST.
- The project must not be located in a City Revitalization and Improvement Zone (CRIZ) and be eligible for CRIZ benefits.
Once the project meets the minimum eligibility requirements, the Candidate must then submit a Business Plan to the Office of the Budget (OB). The Candidate should refer to the Funding Round Schedules and choose the round that will be closest to the anticipated start date of the project construction. The Candidate will need to submit their Business Plan before the deadline of that round.
Once a Business Plan is received, OB staff will perform a two-level review of the Business Plan. Projects that are set to start more than one (1) year from the Business Plan date and projects with incomplete submissions will be rejected at the first-level review. Projects not rejected will move to a second-level review and be scored based on published selection criteria which are summarized below. For more details, see the Selection Criteria section of this website.
JOBS (created or retained)—40%
The maximum points can be obtained when job creation starts at 351 for direct jobs, retained and/or created (permanent/full-time) with wage base of jobs that is at least a multiple of 2.51 of the county per capita median income, and with at least 101 construction jobs.
The maximum points can be obtained when the project: 1) is situated in a blighted, brownfield or related area, 2) improves the economic health of community, 3) enhances the quality of life, and 4) has a significant regional impact.
Act 77 alludes to the “criteria that reflect population and geographic distinctions of various communities throughout this Commonwealth.” OB’s scoring process takes into consideration less developed or more rural parts of the state that could be left at a severe disadvantage to more urban or developed parts. We remain cognizant of the fact that the more urban or developed areas would likely always be able to show a "more economic bang for the buck invested" score because their projects are going into more economic, population, and infrastructure-dense areas, which then give them greater access and opportunity for economic impact. On the other hand, we did not want to create a scoring process that would consistently drive RACP monies to less developed or rural areas because a single large project could have an outsized impact on the local economy, while the economic impact of a similar project in an urban environment would be more diluted. Our community impact component was borne out of this premise. This is also the reasoning behind the utilization of per capita standards instead of other factors that would explicitly favor certain counties over others.
The Community Impact section awards a maximum of 20% of the total score available based on 4 different community impact areas:
The first criteria are the location of the project being in a blighted area, in a Brownfield or involving reclamation of land; e. g. abandoned mine site. This relates directly to the project producing a physical improvement for the community’s benefit.
The second criteria involve the project producing an improvement of the economic health of the community and are based on several factors. These include whether the project is located in a county with unemployment higher than the state average, a county with declining population, a county with below the state median income or a project located in a designated KOZ/KOEZ/KIZ/KSDZ/EZ or other similarly designated areas demonstrating economic need.
The third criteria are based on how a project would improve the quality of life for the community based on whether the project would 1) create or improve a Civic, Cultural or Recreation facility, 2) improve commercial/retail/mixed-use building in a downtown/core area, and 3) address an immediate/urgent-improvement of quality of life or addresses issues that could have a negative impact-quality of life.
The fourth criteria relate to the project resulting in any significant regional impact based on the project being consistent with an existing revitalization plan, being a joint effort of multiple municipalities, promoting tourism, or the extent the public is engaged in the development of the project.
The above criteria make sure that the prospective project in each community, regardless of its size, would be considered and that each community would directly benefit by the results of the project.
STRATEGIC CLUSTER FOR DEVELOPMENT—5%
The maximum points can be obtained when the project falls into two (2) or more of the targeted sectors. The sectors are as follow 1) Biotech/Pharmaceutical/Life Sciences; 2) Agri-Business; 3) High Tech & Advanced Manufacturing Materials; 4) Meds/Eds (Healthcare & Medical Research); 5) Business & Financial and Services; and 6) Energy Extraction & Mining.
The maximum points can be obtained when 1) the project has demonstrated its long term viability; 2) the RACP grant is appreciably leveraged by a factor of five (5); 3) the tax base has been considerably increased by at least $2,000,000; and 4) the potential candidate has already put in place enough long term financing instruments that are fully amortized.
This category touches on the start of construction activities. The maximum points can be obtained when the anticipated construction start date is scheduled to occur within 180 days of the submission date of the Business Plan.
Projects that have been scored by OB in each round will then be sent to the Selection Committee. The committee will consist of multi-agency members (listed below) and will review the OB staff scoring results from each round. The Selection Committee then recommends which projects will be awarded a RACP Grant. The Selection Committee will be chaired by the Governor’s Office of the Budget.
- Department of Labor and Industry
- Department of Revenue
- Department of Banking
- Department of Community and Economic Development
- Governor's Policy Office
- Office of Legislative Affairs
Once a project is selected, based on final approval of the governor, an Award Letter will be sent detailing the amount of the RACP award and instructions to submit a formal application for the RACP grant to the Office of the Budget for further processing.
All Candidates, whether selected or rejected, will be notified with a formal letter and the results will also be posted to the RACP website for public access. Successful applicants are required to notify the OB within 30 days of receipt of an Award Letter as to whether or not they are accepting the grant award. The notification should come from the addressee of the OB award letter (grantee or sub-applicant).
In extraordinary circumstances, the Office of the Budget may accept, at its sole discretion, a project plan reviewed and recommended by the Governor’s Action Team in lieu of a business plan submitted during a funding round. Such circumstances would include at a minimum, urgency or acute time sensitivity in a competitive business attraction or jobs retention project. All project plans must comply with the requirements of Act 77 of 2013 before they may be considered for funding. The Office of the Budget’s acceptance is especially contingent upon the potential grantee’s full compliance with subsection 318 (a.1.). Please note that the recommended plans must contain, at a minimum, the following basic information mandated by the act:
- The applicant’s name and address
- The location of the project
- An estimate of the cost of the project, prepared by a qualified professional
- A statement of the amount of the project grant sought, including a statement as to the financial necessity for the project grant
- Any other information required by the office [of the Budget]