PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Gov. Ed Rendell only has five weeks left in office, but that hasn’t stopped him from approving economic development grants around the state.

On Monday, it was Allegheny County’s turn.

During his eight years as governor, Rendell said the state has leveraged more than $2.7 billion to private and public projects in Allegheny County.

The money comes from the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, or R-CAP for short, which was approved by the general assembly.

In all, 19 projects are on Monday’s list and the governor said it means more jobs for this region.

Snow kept Gov. Rendell from getting to Pittsburgh, but it didn’t keep him from using the phone to make a year-end award of state dollars to a crowd of recipients at Point Park University.

“The Commonwealth is going to invest $83 million in 19 projects,” Rendell said.

The recipients are required to match those awards, and Gov. Rendell said it will keep this region’s unemployment below state and national figures.

“We believe there could be almost 13,000 permanent jobs created and an additional [3,000 to 4,000] construction jobs,” Gov. Rendell said.

A crowd with County Executive Dan Onorato and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl heard the projects include:

  • Strip District & Produce Terminal – $15 million
  • Clinton Industrial Park Site Development – $8 million
  • McKeesport Industrial Center Development – $5 million
  • Robert Morris University Business Complex – $5 million
  • Robert Morris University Nursing Center – $5 million
  • Carrie Furnace Rankin-Munhall Hot Metal Bridge – $5 million]
  • McClaren Business Park, Findlay – $5 million
  • City Center Duquesne Redevelopment – $5 million
  • Downtown Preservation in Fifth-Forbes Corridor – $4 million

Another big winner: $2.5 million for Point Park University’s Academic Village Project at Wood Street and the Boulevard of the Allies.

KDKA’s Jon Delano asked Gov. Rendell if Governor-Elect Tom Corbett would honor these grants and he said he hoped Corbett would follow past practice.

“We’re also optimistic and confident that Gov. Corbett will remain committed to these projects,” Mayor Ravenstahl said.

Now, some of that money will be legally obligated before Gov. Corbett takes office on Jan. 18.

As for the rest, Corbett may be within his rights to stop the dollars, but city, county, and state officials said these particular economic development projects have strong support.

Local project leaders hope the new governor will be as committed to jobs here as the old one.

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