Reading tour showcases successful implementation of opportunity zones and regional needs

READING, May 10 – State Rep. Manuel Guzman, D-Reading, and the Reading Redevelopment Authority showed the House Democratic Policy Committee how an infusion of investment could benefit Reading and how that success could be duplicated in communities across the state.

Overcoming post-pandemic concerns for public safety was a point of concern from Reading Economic Development Director Jamal Abodalo. Alvernia University President John Loyack discussed the university’s renovation and small business incubator investments in Reading.

“We have the potential to help lift people out of poverty with investments that would revitalize communities, encourage private investment and put people to work, said Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro. “We must capitalize on federal funding to help people across the state recover from the hardships of the pandemic.”

“Our PA Rescue Plan would get money to local businesses, working people and schools to help them recover and thrive as we make our way through the COVID-19 pandemic,” Guzman said. “In the absence of any plan on the part of the majority party in Harrisburg to direct federal pandemic relief funds to these areas, I am happy to welcome my colleagues to the heart of Reading’s Keystone Opportunity Zone so that we can show the public how the plan I am working to enact would improve cities like Reading and communities throughout the state.”

The PA Rescue Plan proposes a $475 million investment of federal funding in job creation grants for newly created jobs with a five-year commitment paid over three years for each job created. At least 75 percent of investment would have to be in opportunity zones or for the relocation to opportunity zones.

The PA Rescue Plan aims to ensure federal American Rescue Plan funding is invested for immediate impact and long-term success. Additional information about the plan is available at