Casino Money May Help Bring New Jobs to Lackawanna County

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Thanks to an influx of state money from Pennsylvania casinos, economic developers say a now vacant building in Lackawanna County will soon house at least 100 new jobs.

Work at the former JC Penney Catalog offices in Moosic is one of several projects across the state that will receive funding from casino revenue.

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce will do the renovations. Officials are promising at least 100 jobs, but aren't saying from who.

"The companies that we're dealing with, these are very good jobs and I think they represent good career opportunities for our citizens," said Chamber President Austin Burke.

The Chamber started building the office in 1989, when Montage Mountain was only a mountain. The jobs moved out 1n 2008 and developers have since been looking for a new use for the building.

Chamber officials said the new jobs will be high-skill, high-paying positions. There are three interested tenants.

"I hope that we will be able to sign something with one of them, I'd love to do it within the next week or 10 days," Burke said.

Business owners near Montage Mountain said at least three major employers near Montage Mountain have moved out in the last five years so any influx of new jobs is welcome news.

Mark Brier, who owns Montage Tobacco, said he has seen traffic in his own store going down. He hopes the new jobs, whatever company they are for, will help him and other businesses too.

"If that could get back on track and somebody could get in there and start to develop that, get people off the exit and get money moving around here again, it would be nice," Brier said.

Officials from The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce said once they sign a new tenant for the building they will start renovations, hopefully, in time to start hiring in March.