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Why Lawrence County?


Lawrence County, Pennsylvania is at the center of your business, and we love that spot. The Forward Lawrence Economic Development team works hard to be your central place for economic development activity. We are here for our current businesses and to welcome new owners into our community. We provide assistance with business attraction, expansion, and retention, site development, and workforce development by cultivating partnerships and a business-friendly environment that encourages the investments necessary to support new business opportunities.

Why Lawrence County?

Lawrence County, PA is located at the core of North America’s largest concentration of population and business markets. Strategically positioned at the intersection of Interstate 80, a major East/West interstate system, and Interstate 79, a major North/South system, your business will enjoy easy access to such metropolitan centers as New York City, Chicago, Toronto, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Youngstown, and more. Lawrence County is the ideal location for businesses seeking access to the largest business and consumer markets in North America.

In July 2023, Lawrence County was added to the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), the first time since 2003 that the Pittsburgh metro expanded its territory.  The Pittsburgh MSA now encompasses 10 counties, with Lawrence County representing ‘a trade epicenter with convenient access to major highways’, according to Matt Smith, Chief Growth Officer of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.

Lawrence County, Pennsylvania is located centrally on the western edge of Pennsylvania, along the border with Ohio and north of the City of Pittsburgh. Our largest municipality is the City of New Castle located in the center of Lawrence County. In addition, Lawrence County is part of the Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton Combined Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).  The MSA is ranked #22 out of 366 MSAs throughout the U.S., based on population.

Lawrence County is a great place to work and an even better place to live!  It doesn't take long to see why visitors and residents alike have made fond memories during their time here. Get to know the place we love, the place we promote and the place we call home. Lawrence County has 27 local governments and 8 independent school districts. Many of our school districts have been named to the top 10 performers on standardized tests, as well as, winning a national blue ribbon for high student achievement.  In addition, our County’s unique municipalities offer a diverse variety of lifestyle activities. For those individuals seeking adventure-packed activities like hiking and fishing, to those that boast a strong cultural influence from the arts and playhouse productions, to those that bring a simple lifestyle into the mix with their beautiful Amish countryside… Lawrence County is for you.


Besides being an outdoor paradise, Lawrence County is home to leading private employers, such as: UPMC Jameson Health System, Westminster College, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Ellwood Group, Dairy Farmers of America, Bruce & Merrilees Electric Co., Steelite International USA, Refresh Dental Group, and several others.

Business Support

The Forward Lawrence Economic Development team model is founded on the idea of partnership. Our mission is to coordinate our efforts with other public sector agencies and private sector investment to strengthen Lawrence County’s economic advancement. Forward Lawrence often partners with organizations across our county and region that engage in a variety of missions, including business financing, assistance with entrepreneurial endeavors, workforce preparedness, product development, technology support, export assistance, and many other services your business may need along the way. We work with these champions of economic growth to ensure that our existing and new clients receive all of the assistance available for their particular projects.

  • Duquesne University's Small Business Development Center (SBDC) –  Forward Lawrence partners with the SBDC to provide valuable guidance for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and established small businesses. They are designed specifically to help with all kinds of business-related activities, including direction with business structuring,  business plan development, marketing recommendations, and finance. This resource can be a huge help to people who are just starting out, or to small business owners looking to expand.
  • Access to Public Financing – Forward Lawrence and its network of partners provide access to local, state, and regional funding sources with the flexibility needed to finance your unique, business-related project. 
  • Noontime Knowledge Events – Forward Lawrence provides regularly scheduled, informal forums covering a wide range of topics related to growing your business.  Learn more about solutions to workforce issues, regulatory updates affecting your business, or the latest on public financing programs, loans, and grants.
  • Youngstown State University SCORE Chapter – Forward Lawrence collaborates with SCORE, an organization of retired business executives ready to mentor small business owners or simply individuals with a dream of becoming a business owner.
  • Forward Lawrence News – Forward Lawrence offers a monthly newsletter filled with information from new business programs and financing assistance to the latest grand opening and other business-related news and issues happening here in Lawrence County.
  • Engage! Business Visitation Program –  This program is designed to proactively address the needs of our business community.  By meeting one-on-one, Forward Lawrence staff learns what we, and our partners, can do to solve your problems. Overtime, the Engage! Program has built stronger ties with business owners and goodwill among public and private entities in the community designed to encourage our most valuable asset – you – to continue investing in our community.
  • Site Development Assistance – Let us help navigate the sometimes lengthy and unpredictable site development process.  Forward Lawrence staff often lends its expertise helping developers get through the local approval processes associated with developing or redeveloping real estate, in a more timely and efficient manner.
  • Sites and Buildings Database – Looking for a new business location?  Need to expand and your current facility is too small?  Forward Lawrence collects data on available industrial and commercial properties throughout Lawrence County to help identify the perfect site that fits your business needs.
  • Access to Public Financing – Forward Lawrence and its network of partners provide access to local, state, and regional funding sources with the flexibility needed to finance your unique, business-related project. 
  • !mpact Awards – Each year, Forward Lawrence holds an annual lunch event as our way of thanking a handful of Lawrence County businesses and individuals that make a significant, positive impact on the lives of those who live and work in Lawrence County. 
  • Lawrence County School-to-Work – Collaborate with School-to-Work, a non-profit corporation founded through a partnership between Lawrence County school districts and local employers, that promotes programs designed to ready school-age children for jobs available in our community. Events include 11th and 12th-grade Engineering Day, Educator in the Workplace program, and similar presentations and workshops to help students better understand the local career possibilities for both non-college and college-bound students.
  • Lawrence County Learning Center – this center, administered by Forward Lawrence, is one of ten (10) Community Education Councils (CEC) across the state of Pennsylvania and offers foundational classes in Math, English, and Computer Skills training provided by Adult Literacy / Lifelong Learning Choices, as well as classrooms and a computer lab that are available at no cost to businesses, organizations, and regional educators.  
  • West Central Job Partnership (WCJP) and PA CareerLink – Partner with WCJP, a non-profit organization responsible for administrating and operating job training and workforce development programs. WCJP is also the administrator for both the Pennsylvania CareerLink office of Lawrence County and co-founder of the Oh-Penn Interstate region created to enhance workforce development in a 5-county region of western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. WCJP is the grant recipient for Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funds, Employment, Advancement and Retention Network (EARN) funds, and numerous state grants, including grants from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), helping Lawrence County businesses fill their employment needs
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