Wall Street West

Featured — By on February 25, 2008 at 8:36 pm

The hub of the U.S. economy is located on Wall Street, New York, but some local community leaders are working to provide a safety net for New York’s economic institutions and to give Northeastern Pennsylvania a Wall Street of its own. Why not Rediscover Scranton for yourself and see what the buzz is about?

The Wall Street West project, begun roughly five years ago, aims to preserve the sanctity of the U.S. financial system in the event of a disaster by creating a backup in Northeastern Pennsylvania – less than 100 miles away from New York City. Data and backup operations of Wall Street companies would reside in facilities in our region.

The project, once just a speculative endeavor, now seems closer than ever to fruition. The project recently received a $15 million grant from the United States Department of Labor, according to Chris Haran of the Great Valley Technology Alliance, to encourage New York-based economic institutions to establish operations in the region. The grant will also be used to train workers in a nine-county local area, including Berks, Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike and Wayne counties, to work “Wall-Street-type jobs.”

“I always remain optimistic,” said Haran. “All we need is one of those companies to relocate here and the rest will come along.”

Recently, a promising development on the road to creating Wall Street West came when SECCAS, a New York-based data-backup provider, chose Scranton and set up operations in the Diversified Information Technologies building on Wyoming Avenue. According to Dan Summa of SECCAS, the new Scranton office, which should be up and running by February, simply made sense. “It worked out very well for us,” Summa said. “It’s only two hours outside New York City; it met all the requirements we were looking for.”

Working with the city of Scranton on this project, Summa said, has been a pleasure. “The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, individuals and the city government have all been very helpful. It’s moving along very smoothly.” His positive experiences working with the city to set up the Scranton office have led Summa to recommend three other major New York City-based companies to the Scranton area.

The impact of a full-scale Wall Street West on the local economy would be enormous — “six-figure jobs,” said Haran.

The Scranton Plan, the industrial marketing arm of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and community leaders launched Rediscover Scranton to promote and strengthen greater Scranton’s quality of life and business assets. Through Rediscover Scranton, volunteers are identifying and contacting accomplished people with ties to greater Scranton, informing them about economic, quality of living, and growth opportunities, and encouraging them to relocate their businesses and families to the area. For more information visit www.rediscoverscranton.com.

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