York tour highlights tourism, economic development in region

Rep. Hill-Evans hosts event to spotlight local companies, positive impact

YORK, Nov. 2 – Local businesses are economic drivers when it comes to job creation, however, they can offer even more positive impact in communities through the creation of tourism options for unique local businesses and iconic brands that call central Pennsylvania home.

The House Majority Policy Committee joined members of the House Tourism and Economic and Recreational Development Committee on Thursday for a roundtable discussion on tourism and its economic impact on the region and state.

“For long-time residents of York County, the presence of iconic brands and businesses throughout our region might not seem all that unusual,” said Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, who represents portions of York County and hosted the Policy Committee tour and discussion. “When you travel outside central Pennsylvania, however, you quickly realize how fortunate we are that so many iconic brands have either called York home or continue to call York home. It’s an impressive list of businesses and brands.” 

State lawmakers toured several local businesses in York County, including businesses that have a national reputation in the snack food industry.

“It’s so rewarding to see iconic national brands that call Pennsylvania home,” said Policy Chairman Ryan Bizzarro, who represents portions of Erie County. “The origin stories of these companies is inspiring in that many of them started as small local business with small dreams, and these companies just blossomed into a business that holds a national footprint in the industry. Being able to visit and talk to representatives of companies throughout York helped hammer home to lawmakers the numerous positive aspects local businesses can offer to our communities that go way beyond job creation.”

Thursday’s House Majority Policy event included stops at Bickel’s Snack Foods, Martin’s Snacks and Caputo Brothers Creamery. The tour began after lawmakers and members of the Tourism Committee visited WellSpan Park, home of the York Revolution – a professional baseball team and member of the.Atlantic League.

“It comes as no surprise, knowing Pennsylvania’s agricultural history and plentiful number of farms and orchards, our state ranks among the best in the nation in several categories in food manufacturing,” said Rep. Mary Jo Daley, who represents portions of Montgomery County and serves as the majority chair on the House Tourism Committee. “So it was impressive to tour businesses in York, ‘The Snack Food Capitol of the World,’ not only to witness the operations but see how they continue to drive economic development and tourism in the region.

“The Tourism Committee also participated in a historical tour earlier in the morning, which highlighted the important and rich history of York.”

Information about this hearing and other House Majority Policy Committee hearings can be found at pahouse.com/policy. Photos to be used for publication can be found at pahouse.com/PolicyCommittee/Galleries.