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.