Pa.’s largest indoor indoor greens farm opens in Carbon

Gov. Josh Shapiro was in Carbon County Wednesday for the grand opening of Little Leaf Farms. 

The new farm is now the largest indoor-grown leafy greens production facility in the state. 

Officially opened in McAdoo this fall as part of its expansion, Little Leaf Farms – which produces packaged lettuce sustainably grown through controlled environment agriculture – grows its presence in Carbon County with the opening of this second facility in Pennsylvania. 

Little Leaf Farms already owns 180 acres in McAdoo and opened its first 10-acre greenhouse in July 2022.  

The additional capacity of 10 acres with this expansion will allow Little Leaf Farms to increase its retail presence to nearly 5,000 grocery stores, making its produce available at most major retailers from the Midwest to the Southeast. 

The indoor farm expects to employ around 170 workers by the end of the year.  

The state supported the project with $3.5 million in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grants. 

“Pennsylvania has a proud agricultural heritage, and our agriculture sector is a key driver of our economy, contributing over $132 billion to our economy and supporting nearly 600,000 jobs,” said Shapiro. “I want to plant a flag and show the rest of the country that Pennsylvania is a leader in agriculture, job creation, and innovation – and Little Leaf Farms’ investment in our Commonwealth is proof that the future is being grown right here in Carbon County. Pennsylvania is open for business and my Administration will continue to support our farmers, scientists, and entrepreneurs who want to grow and thrive here in the Commonwealth.” 

The new production facility will house state-of-the-art technology and efficiencies, including advanced heating, cooling, and lighting systems, and will integrate the brand’s hands-free automated grow system, meaning the leafy greens are untouched from seed to packaging and do not require washing. Little Leaf Farms’ lettuce is farmed 365 days a year, harvested daily, and delivered from greenhouse to grocery store within 24 hours. 


Ben Franklin Tech investments secure more than $2 billion in revenue for PA economy

Ben Franklin Technology Partners helped drive Pennsylvania’s economy by generating $2.4 billion in revenue and securing $1.1 billion in post-Ben Franklin financing, according to the 2022 Annual Statewide Impact Report. 

The annual report also shows that Ben Franklin Tech created close to 1,508 jobs, helped retain 10,145 positions, and supported 2,018 companies. 

“The numbers say it all,” Ryan E. Glenn, Ben Franklin’s Director of Statewide Initiatives, said in a release. “Ben Franklin Technology Partners and its clients are powering Pennsylvania’s economy and helping the state maintain its competitive edge in an increasingly high-tech world.” 

Ben Franklin clients developed 130 patents and software copyrights, commercialized 249 new products, and launched 90 new processes. 

Glenn said investments in innovation are the foundation of the new economy. 

“That’s why the competition among states is so intense,” he said. “Investments in early-stage firms, established manufacturers, and entrepreneurial ecosystems can transform our economy and create the types of new jobs and career opportunities that top talent seeks.” 

Ben Franklin serves all 67 counties in Pennsylvania, and has regionally based centers in Bethlehem, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and State College, along with satellite offices across the state. The “2022 Annual Statewide Impact Report” examined the combined impact of Ben Franklin’s regional offices. 

Ben Franklin partners with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to provide funding, business, and technical expertise, in addition to access to resources for both early-stage and established companies. 

Ben Franklin has contributed more than $30 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy in the 40 years since its inception and generated more than 58,000 jobs in client firms along with 101,000 spinoff positions for a total of 159,000 new jobs. According to an independent analysis, each dollar invested by the state into Ben Franklin creates $4 in added state taxes.

PA House passes bill for state-run retirement plan

The Keystone State is moving closer toward a state-run retirement plan. 

House Bill 577, a measure that would establish the Keystone Saves Program and an automatic enrollment payroll deduction IRA retirement savings program, was passed last week by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. 

HB 577 passed by a 106-95 vote and now moves to the Pennsylvania Senate for consideration. 

Each of the 101 Democrats in the House voted for the bill, along with five Republicans. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Kyle Mullins, D-Lackawanna, on March 20 and approved by the House Commerce Committee on May 3. 

The measure would provide coverage for private sector employees whose employers do not offer a retirement plan. It would create the Keystone Saves Program Fund, the Keystone Saves Administrative Fund, and the Keystone Same Program Advisory Board. It would also address the duties and powers of the Pennsylvania Treasury Department in relation to the program. 

Mullins remarked in the May 1 Commerce Committee hearing that the bill would not replace employees’ ability to locate additional options to invest in their retirement, “but it will start them on a path to learning more about saving for retirement.” 

Rep. Marla Brown, R-Lawrence, was among those casting a “no” vote for the Keystone Saves Program. 

The subcommittee chairperson for local business under the House Commerce Committee, Brown said the bill would further damage small businesses still suffering from the pandemic and inflation by establishing unnecessary mandates. 

“This legislation would make it harder to do business in Pennsylvania,” Brown said in a statement. “Employers would be required to prove if they have an existing retirement savings program and are responsible for registering new employees. 

“Businesses must manage certain portions of the program, including varying contribution percentages, workers’ anniversaries, and tax filings. In addition, they could be subject to penalties should they not be able to keep up with the demands of the new program.” 

Brown said that under the bill, any business that employs more than five people must comply. She added that according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), 84% of Pennsylvania’s small businesses oppose the measure. 

“An alternative would have provided tax credits to companies that provide private retirement plans to their employees,” Brown said. “This would have helped to ease the burden on employers by removing mandates while incentivizing retirement savings without government penalties.” 

Andrew Remo, Director of Federal and State Legislative Affairs for the American Retirement Association (ARA), said his organization favors the bill.  

“Data shows that private sector retirement plan adoption rates increase in states that have fully implemented an auto-IRA program with a retirement plan coverage requirement like the Keystone Saves Program,” said Remo. “The Keystone Saves Program will complement, not compete, with the private sector and ARA urges its prompt enactment into law.” 

Employees participating in the Keystone Saves Program would be enrolled automatically unless they opt out. Regular deductions would be taken from a participant’s gross wages and put into the participant’s program account. 

Covered employees could also choose from the program’s investment options and could change their investment option at any time. If a participant does not select any investment option, deductions from a participant’s gross wages will be invested in a default option established by the Treasury Department. 

The default payroll deduction rate would be 4% of gross wages. The bill provides an automatic increase of the deduction equal to 1% of annual gross wages, up to a maximum of 10%.  

Participants would be able to select the rate of payroll deduction, increase or decrease the deduction, and freeze the automatic increase in the annual deduction rate.  

The Keystone Saves Program Advisory Board, which would be part of the Treasury Department, would be composed of the following members: 

  • the Governor, or a designee. 
  • the State Treasurer, or a designee. 
  • four members, who would serve a term of four years, one each appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the Senate; and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.  

The State Treasurer, or a designee, shall serve as chairperson of the board. 

The bill states that no later than 24 months from the effective date the legislation is enacted, the Treasury Department would be required to begin implementing the program and allow a participating employer to register with it. 

Registration would be phased in by employers according to their number of employees: 

  • Employers with 100 or more employees: no later than two years after the effective date. 
  • Employers with 20-99 employees: no later than 30 months after the effective date. 
  • Employers with 10-19 employees: no later than three years after the effective date. 
  • Employers with 5-9 employees: no later than four years after the effective date.  

The department may delay implementation for up to one year if it determines that would be in the program’s best interests.

Workforce challenges in rural communities subject of public hearing

Workforce challenges faced by employers in rural communities were voiced by PA Chamber Director of Government Affairs Kevin Sunday this week in a public hearing hosted by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania. 

Held at Penn College, the hearing included participants from PA Chamber members, UPMC, University of Pittsburgh, Penn State, Coterra Energy, Shippensburg University, and Penn College. Leaders from Pennsylvania’s energy and healthcare sectors along with agency officials, educators, and nonprofit associations were also on hand. 

Sunday testified on workforce challenges in rural communities, highlighting the importance of improving Pennsylvania’s economic competitiveness through favorable tax and regulatory policies. He said the PA Chamber’s goal is to make Pennsylvania the most economically competitive state in the country. 

“This requires a tax and regulatory environment that encourages investment into the state,” Sunday said in a release. 

Sunday emphasized the need to support economic growth across Pennsylvania through modernized infrastructure. 

“We need modernized infrastructure across the state – from a safe and efficient system of roads and bridges to world-class airports and ports, to reliable gas, electric, and water infrastructure, and, just as important, access to high-speed broadband,” he said.

Sunday restated the chamber’s support for efforts to improve Pennsylvania’s workforce by addressing key issues such as affordable childcare, occupational licensing requirements, re-entry into the workforce following incarceration, and childcare for working families.

Noting Pennsylvania’s population decline, Sunday called for policymakers to focus on creating an environment in the state promotes population growth and attracts investment. Citing IRS data showing that businesses and citizens are leaving Pennsylvania for states with better economic climates, he urged a close look at regional economic needs and population migration trends.

“Reforms to the state’s tax and regulatory structure help everywhere,” said Sunday, “but it is certainly the case that each region of the state has its own key industries.”

Sunday reiterated the PA Chamber’s commitment to working with the Shapiro Administration, state legislature, local communities, and other key stakeholders to deal with Pennsylvania’s workforce challenges.

Small, disadvantaged businesses to gain access to increased federal contracting

A new initiative to increase federal contracting with small, disadvantaged businesses was announced Thursday by the Biden-Harris Administration. 

The 8(a) MAS Pool Initiative is a joint effort by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to help small, disadvantaged businesses (SDBS) in the 8(a) Business Development Program gain access to additional federal contracts in GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program. 

By establishing a pool of 8(a) firms, procurement officials will find it easier to locate and contract with SBDs across industries. The joint initiative between the SBA and GSA is aimed at increasing federal contracting opportunities for minority-owned and other small, disadvantaged businesses. 

Participants accepted into the 8(a) MAS Pool will receive a designation indicating to buyers that the business is eligible for awards. Federal agencies can then leverage the size and scale of the MAS marketplace to achieve their contracting goals. 

“We know America’s diverse small business communities provide tremendous value to our government and to taxpayers,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan said in a press release. “We’re excited about this new pool that will make it easier for federal acquisition professionals to find them, buy from them, help them create jobs, and advance agency missions across government.” 

Guided by an executive order advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities, the MAS Pool will seek to create new avenues for minority-owned small businesses to compete in the marketplace. 

The 8(a) Business Development Program provides opportunities for socially and economically disadvantaged participants to develop and grow their businesses, create wealth, and generate jobs in underserved communities. Business development training with SBA’s district teams is part of the program, along with one-on-one counseling, business workshops, and management and technical guidance. 

Future path of PA energy debated in state Supreme Court

Proponents of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)see it as a path to a modern economy that will see Pennsylvanians benefit from both a health and economic standpoint. 

Opponents to RGGI see it as something else – a plan that will raise taxes on residents and devastate the state’s economy. 

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court heard arguments on both sides Wednesday on an issue that will determine entry into the multi-state initiative. 

“We are pleased to see the court seriously addressing Pennsylvania’s Environmental Rights Amendment and pushing the Department of Environmental Protection on its obligations as a trustee of our public natural resources,” said attorney Jessica O’Neill, who argued the case for PennFuture, a Harrisburg-based environmental advocacy nonprofit. 

“Several justices questioned the Commonwealth Court’s injunction, which stopped the RGGI regulation from going into effect, and we are confident that the Supreme Court will agree with the nonprofits and the DEP that the injunction was wrongly issued.” 

Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court enjoined the state’s entry into RGGI while legal merits were being argued in court. Wednesday’s arguments were part of an appeal of that ruling that could result in Pennsylvania’s entry while the case proceeds. 

PennFuture President and CEO Patrick McDonnell called RGGI an initiative where every Pennsylvania citizen wins on health and economic outcomes. 

“RGGI is a cap-and-invest system that will add $4 billion in economic value across our region and create 30,000 new jobs in Pennsylvania,” said McDonnell. “The market has spoken, and fossil fuel plants continue to close, giving no employment alternative for the communities that host them. 

“Not only will RGGI reduce carbon pollution in Pennsylvania by up to 227 million tons by 2030, but the energy industry can easily make that transition with proven and affordable renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage technologies.” 

McDonnell said the 11 current RGGI states have proven that the benefits of moving forward equal lower costs, more jobs, better health, and a sustainable future. 

“It’s time to start delivering on the promise of a clean energy future for Pennsylvanians,” he stated. 

Pennsylvania House Republican Leader Bryan Cutler of Lancaster called on the state Supreme Court to follow the law and continue the delay placed on entry into the initiative by the Commonwealth Court while legal merits are presented. 

Cutler said in a statement Wednesday that as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court hears arguments that will decide whether the state’s entrance into RGGI can continue concurrent while legal questions are still being determined, he encouraged the court to follow the law and continue to pause entry. 

Cutler added that legal questions include whether a governor can “unilaterally place a tax on Pennsylvanians.” He said Pennsylvania’s entry into the 11-state compact “will do nothing but raise energy prices on Pennsylvania’s families and crush family-sustaining energy sector jobs.” 

O’Neill remarked in an interview on the eve of the hearing that a decision by the Supreme Court wasn’t expected soon. 

“The Supreme Court will write an opinion and it could take them some time, so we don’t really have a timeline,” she said, adding that there is a timeliness about entry into RGGI. 

“But for this injunction, we would have begun participating in RGGI last September,” she said. “Every quarter that we’re not in it, the state is losing out on potential proceeds. 

“There is a real sense of urgency to being able to not just start capping this pollution, but to actually receive these benefits and start this program of working toward energy transition.”

Independent sellers in Pa. sold more than 81 million products last year on Amazon

Amazon has released its Small Business Empowerment Report, detailing how independent sellers in Amazon’s U.S. store sold more than 4.1 billion products in 2022 – an average of 7,800 each minute.

More than 60% of sales in Amazon’s store are from independent sellers, most of which are small and medium-sized businesses. Those sellers averaged more than $230,000 in Amazon sales last year and exported 260 million-plus items.

Pennsylvania is home to over 14,000 independent sellers selling in Amazon’s store, according to an Amazon spokesman. They sold more than 81 million products in 2022 through Amazon, with average annual sales of $170,000.

The most-shopped categories from U.S. independent sellers in Amazon’s store, a release said, are health and personal care, home, beauty, grocery and apparel.

Selling in Amazon’s store has also enabled independent sellers to create an estimated 1.5 million jobs in the U.S.

“Small businesses are the heart of our local communities and the backbone of the U.S. economy,” said Dharmesh Mehta, vice president of Worldwide Selling Partner Services at Amazon. “Amazon invests billions of dollars annually to provide entrepreneurs with a constantly improving set of valuable tools and resources to help them gain access to capital, quickly launch in our store, build their brands, and rapidly scale and reach more customers. Amazon is committed to the success of small businesses, and we are excited to continue innovating on their behalf and help them grow into thriving success stories.”

According to the report, brand owners in the U.S. grew sales over 20% year over year in Amazon’s store.


Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Montgomery County Rep. sponsors bill to aid family-owned bars, taverns, restaurants

Proponents of a House Bill leaving committee hope it might serve as the solution to rising costs for Pennsylvania’s restaurants and bars, according to the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. 

The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association (PLBTA) issued a statement supporting the Pennsylvania House Liquor Control Committee’s voted Tuesday to move House Bill 1160 out of committee. 

The vote was unanimously in favor of the measure, whose primary sponsor is Rep. Napoleon Nelson, D-Montgomery. The bill is seen by proponents as aiding the state’s family-owned bars, taverns, and licensed restaurants as they seek to recover from restrictions placed upon them during the pandemic. 

Under Rep. Nelson’s bill, liquor licensees would be able to hold an unlimited number of off-premises catering events beyond 2024. Act 87 of 2021 sunsets at the end of 2024, and if allowed to sunset, the state would revert back to liquor codes limiting the number of off-premises catering events. 

HB 1160 would remove the sunset date. 

Nelson said that while the pandemic emergency is lessening, many Pennsylvania restaurants and bars continue to struggle. 

“New hurdles have appeared with raising costs due to inflation and supply chain issues along with labor shortages,” Nelson said in a statement. “We need to do all we can to help these businesses adapt and remain flexible.” 

Chuck Moran, executive director of the PLBTA, said the organization fully supports Nelson’s bill. 

“The past decade has been a financially difficult one for family-owned taverns, bars, and licensed restaurants,” said Moran. “First, the industry lost the exclusive right to sell six-packs to go, resulting in significant loss of revenue. This was followed by pandemic restrictions that closed indoor dining. Then recovery efforts were hampered by supply chain issues, inflation, and a lack of workers. 

“Each of these have acted as a gut punch to drinking establishments statewide. The time has come to give these small businesses hope that they can prosper and make it on their own in the future.”

PA Supreme Court to hear RGGI appeal

Later today, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court will hear the appeal of the injunction stopping the Department of Environmental Protection’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) Regulation. 

The regulation is supported by Gov. Josh Shapiro and his predecessor Tom Wolf and was something of a political football last November when Shapiro’s Republican opponent, Doug Mastriano, opposed RGGI in favor of fossil fuels. If approved, the regulation will enable Pennsylvania to join the multi-state initiative. 

Jessica O’Neill, a PennFuture staff attorney who will be arguing the case on behalf of the  environmental advocacy nonproft and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), said Tuesday that the injunction to maintain the pre-RGGI regulation status quo was wrongly issued. She will also be arguing the Commonwealth Court that heard the case last November was wrong to stop the rule from going into effect. 

“The other thing that we’re challenging,” she added, “is that we attempted to intervene on the same side as the Commonwealth, and we were granted provisional intervener status, but the Court ultimately denied our application to intervene overall. We’ve also appealed that. 

“We’ll be arguing that an environmental groups like ours that has a membership of Pennsylvanians across the state who are concerned about their health and about the climate impact, we should be able to intervene and advocate for our members’ interests in this legal challenge.” 

O’Neill said her hope is that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court finds that it was wrong to stop the rule from going into effect and vacate the injunction so that the right to regulation can take effect. If so, she said Pennsylvania will “start seeing the benefits that this rule will bring to our state.” 

Critics of RGGI, such as Carl Marrara, vice president of Government Affairs for the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, contend that the regulation will have a devastating effect on Pennsylvania’s economy. 

In his testimony before the Pennsylvania State Senate, Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, and Community, Economic, and Recreational Development Committee in a March 2022 joint public hearing on the Economic Impacts of RGGI, Marrara called the regulation the “antithesis” to the idea that Pennsylvania is “perhaps the most regulated, safest, and provides the best working conditions of any energy producing state or nation.” 

Marrara stated that more than 8,000 predominantly union, family sustaining jobs that would be uprooted when RGGI goes into effect. 

“Thousands of indirect and induced jobs in these most impacted communities depend on this industry,” Marrara said in his testimony. Manufacturers would pay significantly more for energy, forcing their operations to locate and expand in other states. This would place Pennsylvania’s population decline on an even steeper downward trajectory. 

“It does not have to be this way,” Mararra said. 

O’Neill said that opponents of RGGI who will be likewise arguing their case are members of the General Assembly who don’t want to see the rule go into effect. 

“It’s interesting that it’s the Department of Environmental Protection and us on the one side, and the other side is various members of the Pennsylvania House and Senate who don’t want to have regulation,” she said. 

She noted that there were challenges brought before the state Supreme Court by industry, power plants, and coal-affiliated industries, but those cases were dismissed. 

RGGI sets a state-wide cap on carbon dioxide emissions. At the end of the reporting period, a power plant that is covered by the regulation will need to purchase allowances for every ton of carbon dioxide it has emitted during that period. The cap will then decline over time. 

O’Neill notes that Pennsylvania is not the first state to do these regulations. 

“The initiative has been going on for nearly a decade in other states, who have seen environmental and economic benefits from the regulation,” she said. “We’re hoping that Pennsylvania can also achieve those benefits.” 

O’Neill says there has been some misinformation in the public about RGGI. 

“There is a view that consumer electricity bills will go up,” she said. “That’s not the case. When the state conducted modeling to try and evaluate that very issue, what they found is that there might be a very small, short-term rise, like a dollar or two, in consumer electric costs.” 

O’Neill said that over time, people’s energy bills will decrease because of reinvestment in renewable energy as well as the market changing to bring older, less efficient energy sources offline. 

“That’s one source of opposition to the regulation,” she said. “Another source is the fossil fuel industry, which has promoted the narrative that this regulation will kill the energy sector in Pennsylvania. Again, I think there’s some misinformation there. I don’t believe that’s the case. We know our remaining coal plants have committed to cease operating within the next five years because they do not intend to upgrade their facilities to comply with other federal regulations. 

“This transition is coming. Our energy sector in Pennsylvania is transforming from one of coal and fracked gas into one of renewables. Transitions are hard and there are concerns in a lot of communities that this regulation will affect what was a potential economic driver of their community. But the coal plants are closing anyway. 

“With this regulation, we’re finally putting a price on the pollution that these plants are emitting and sending that price back to the Commonwealth so it can reinvest in newer energy sources we’re helping to fund that transition rather than leave these communities out in the cold.”

PennDOT announces Cargo Growth Incentive Program fund extension

The Pennsylvania Intermodal Cargo Growth Incentive Program (PICGIP), which looks to increase containerized cargo activity by incentivizing shippers to move cargo through Pennsylvania ports, is being extended to July 2024. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced on Friday the extension of the program, which was scheduled to end in June 2023. 

“Pennsylvania’s ports are a crucial part of our state’s transportation network,” PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll said in a press release. “Increasing shipping activity will help ensure that goods are delivered to market in a timely manner, and the Cargo Growth Incentive Program is a critical tool in keeping Pennsylvania’s economy moving.” 

PICGIP was created in 2015 through PennDOT’s Multimodal Fund, and it makes up to $1 million available annually to participating ocean carriers that move cargo through Pennsylvania’s ports. Increased cargo helps secure full-time employment at the terminals and also increases economic activity through indirect and induced jobs. 

Used as a tool to compete with other ports in attracting new ocean carriers and trade lanes to Pennsylvania, the Intermodal Cargo Growth Incentive Program helps retain and reward loyalty as carriers return to Pennsylvania ports and have the chance to achieve incentive payment. 

Since 2015, nearly 3 million units of cargo have been sent to Pennsylvania ports by participating ocean carriers. Over the same time, ocean carriers have been awarded approximately $6 million in incentive funds. 

New service at a Pennsylvania port as well as existing carriers qualify for the program incentive. New carriers receive $25 per new container unit loaded or discharged from vessels to a Pennsylvania port. Existing participants who exceed established benchmarks also qualify for the incentive payment.

PA unemployment rate for April matches record low

Pennsylvania’s nonfarm jobs continue to increase, reaching a record high in April for the fourth straight month. 

The result is unemployment dropped .01 of a percentage point to 4.1% in April, equaling the lowest rate on record dating to January 1976. The national unemployment rate from March also decreased by .01 of a percentage point, dipping to 3.4%. 

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate is down 0.2 percentage points from April 2022. The U.S. rate also dropped .02 percentage points over the year. 

April 2023 saw the state’s civilian labor force increase by 4,000. The month also saw resident employment rise by 13,000 and unemployment fall by 8,000. Nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania rose by 11,000 and established a record high of 6,117,1000. 

Seven of the 11 supersectors saw employment increase in March, the largest gain being in education and health services, which saw an increase of 8,400. Professional and business services also reached a record high. 

Nonfarm jobs saw gains of 156,300 over the year, with all 11 supersectors showing increases. Education and health services gained 55,200 jobs, the largest gain among supersectors.

Reading, Allentown rank among state’s top cities

Reading, Allentown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, and York rank among the top seven Pennsylvania cities to live in, according to a recent report from U.S. News & World Report. 

Some 150 metro areas in the country were analyzed by U.S. News and ranked on the quality of life, job market, value of residing there, and desire to live there. 

Reading ranks No. 6 in Pennsylvania in Best Places to Live. It’s No. 10 in Best Places to Retire and No. 88 nationally in Best Places to Live. U.S. News rated Reading 6.2 overall. 

Allentown is ranked as the No. 7 Best Place to Live in Pennsylvania and No. 9 in Best Places to Retire in the state. Allentown is rated No. 109 nationally in Best Places to Live and received an overall rating of 6.1 from U.S. News.

Harrisburg heads the list of Pennsylvania cities to live in, the state capital earning a ranking of 6.4 out of 10. U.S. News ranked Harrisburg No. 2 in Best Places to Retire in Pennsylvania and No. 38 nationally in Best Places to Live. 

U.S. News cited the capital city’s accessibility to Amish country and to major metro areas in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. Hershey and Gettysburg are also cited by U.S. News as popular tourist attractions, and the urban landscape and close proximity of the Appalachian Trail, state parks, and forests are also seen as benefits to living in Harrisburg. 

Lancaster is ranked by U.S. News as the No. 3 Best Place to Live in Pennsylvania, and No. 1 in Best Places to Retire. The Red Rose City is No. 55 in the country in Best Places to Live. Like Harrisburg, Lancaster earned a score of 6.4 out of 10. 

York ranks No. 4 in Best Places to Live in Pennsylvania and No. 5 in Best Places to retire. The White Rose City is No. 78 in places to live. U.S. News gives York an overall ranking of 6.3.

Among other Pennsylvania cities, U.S. News ranks Pittsburgh as the state’s No. 2 city to live in. Scranton is ranked No. 5 and Philadelphia No. 8.