Business Sector Profiles

Chester County is home to a very diverse business economy.  You will find small entrepreneurial companies, to national chains & corporate headquarters and everything in between. Chester County can boast that we are within a day’s drive of 25% of the nation’s consumer buying power. Below are highlights of some of our business sectors. It will be easy to see why Chester County is the place to do business!

Chester County’s Top 50 Employers

1st Quarter 2013 Initial Data Federal and State Government Entities Aggregated

  1. VANGUARD GROUP INC
  2. QVC NETWORK INC
  3. SIEMENS MEDICAL SOLUTIONS USA, INC
  4. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
  5. COUNTY OF CHESTER
  6. GIANT FOOD STORES
  7. MAINLINE HOSPITALS
  8. THE CHESTER COUNTY HOSPITAL
  9. CHESTER COUNTY INTERMEDIATE UNIT
  10. PA STATE SYSTEM OF HIGHER EDUCATION
  11. THE DEVEREUX FOUNDATION
  12. DOWNINGTOWN AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT
  13. WEST CHESTER AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT
  14. YMCA OF BRANDYWINE VALLEY
  15. WEGMANS FOOD MARKETS INC
  16. WAL-MART ASSOCIATES INC
  17. STATE GOVERNMENT
  18. ACME MARKETS INC
  19. JOHNSON & JOHNSON PHARMACEUTIC R&D
  20. TREDYFFRIN EASTTOWN SCHOLL DISTRICT
  21. WAWA INC
  22. COATESVILLE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT
  23. COMCAST CABLEVISION CORP (PA)
  24. UNITED PARCEL SERVICE INC
  25. COMMUNICATIONS TEST DESIGN INC
  26. GEORGE KRAPF JR & SONS INC
  27. SIKORSKY GLOBAL HELICOPTERS
  28. JOHNSON MATTHEY INC
  29. IBM CORPORATION
  30. PHOENIXVILLE HOSPITAL
  31. OWEN J ROBERTS SCHOOL DISTRICT
  32. THE PYLE CORPORATION
  33. SUNGARD AVAILABILTY SERVICES
  34. COATESVILLE HOSPITAL CORPORATION
  35. ARCELORMITTAL PLATE LLC
  36. GREAT VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT
  37. SYNTHES USA PRODUCTS LLC
  38. AGORA CYBER CHARTER SCHOOL
  39. UNIONVILLE-CHADDS FORD SCHOOL DISTRICT
  40. KAOLIN MUSHROOM FARMS INC
  41. DE LAGE LANDEN OPERATIONAL SERVICES
  42. DEPUY ORTHOPAEDICS INC
  43. HERR FOODS INC
  44. AVON GROVE SCHOOL DISTRICT
  45. KENNETT CONSOLIDATED SCHOOLS
  46. ENDO PHARMACEUTICALS INC
  47. PHOENIXVILLE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT
  48. KENDAL-CROSSLANDS COMMUNITIES
  49. PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM VALLEY YMCA
  50. GENESIS HEALTHCARE LLC

*Pennsylvania State Government includes all state employment except Pennsylvania State University, SEPTA and the System of Higher Education.
Center for Workforce Information & Analysis 6/27/2011

Agriculture

Despite accelerated growth, Chester County maintains its rural feel with 1,918 farms on 168,165 acres of farmland, according to the 2002 U.S. Census of Agriculture. The county’s western portion is home to some of the state’s richest farmland. The Chester County Economic Development Council works regularly with farmers on loan programs and land use issues. Mushrooms, grown chiefly in the southern portion of the county, are the region’s chief agricultural product. Other important products include tobacco, corn, grain, dairy products, orchard crops, poultry and livestock. The area also boasts a flourishing nursery and greenhouse industry. These products all contribute to Chester County’s significant agricultural revenue of $333 million annually.

Manufacturing

Chester County’s largest industry, manufacturing jobs represent 23.1 percent of the workforce. Herr’s popular snack foods are manufactured in Nottingham. Many other manufacturers are located throughout the region as well, including Dopaco, Inc., Sunoco, Reynolds Metals and Graco Children’s Products. Other noteworthy companies in the area include SCT, Wyeth, Johnson-Mathey and CertainTeed. The county continues to be a big steel producer. One of North America’s largest manufacturers of steel plates, International Steel Group, is located here with 2,000 employees. Other steel companies in the region include Worthington Steel and Lenape Forge.

Retail Trade

The influx of people to Chester County has produced a corresponding demand for retail shopping. The retail trade is the major employer in the county making up 13.8 percent of the county’s total employment or 28,726 jobs. The county ranks 14th nationally in disposable income. As a result, the region offers proximity to more than 50 major malls as well as a wealth of alternative shopping experiences. If you seek “Main Street” shopping districts, towns like West Chester and Kennett Square are for you. If you prefer spacious shopping centers and malls, Chester County has them too. Exton Square Mall, Coventry Mall and the new Main Street at Exton, offer acres of shopping pleasure. The King of Prussia corporate and commercial center on the county’s northern edge houses the nation’s largest complex of retail stores. With the addition of open-air malls such as Whiteland Towne Center, Fairfield Place, Festival Mall and the nearby Brandywine and Ashbridge Squares in East Caln, Chester County has become a major shopping destination. The world-famous QVC headquarters, located in West Goshen Township, offers a virtual mall experience for around-the-clock shopping. From the finest in antiques and elegant home décor to car parts and electronics, Chester County offers a wealth of retail shopping adventures for any taste.

Technology/Service/Biotech

While Vanguard remains its most prominent company, word has gotten out that the region offers outstanding advantages to businesses. The northeast portion of Chester County is home to a booming corridor of high tech pharmaceutical companies. Companies like Daimler- Chrysler, General Motors, Microsoft and Exelon have found the resources and accessibility of the area make it an ideal place in which to conduct business. The county has become a hotbed for biotechnology companies like Advaxis, Inc. and Progenra, Inc., which both received Small Business Innovation Research Awards last month. Other biotech companies, such as ViroPharma, Cephalon, Centocor, CB Technologies and Environmental Compliance Services, have also realized the outstanding advantages the county offers.

Tourism

It’s not just a great place to live – it’s a great place to visit. Millions of tourists flock to Chester County every year to take advantage of its vast collection of museums, parks and historic attractions and scenery. Most of the county still retains its “horse country” feel. Last year, the Conference & Visitor Center hosted over 17,000 guests. The county’s active tourism industry is reflected in the number of its available hotel rooms, which has risen to 4,000. The average occupancy rate in 2001 was 68.7% and the average room cost was $95 per night. The southern part of the county is home to popular attractions like the lush and expansive Longwood Gardens, which drew 924,000 visitors last year. This volume is not surprising when one considers its world-class reputation as a horticultural center. Nearby is Nottingham, home of the Herr’s Foods factory, where almost 100,000 tourists a year learn how they make their popular snack foods. History buffs can learn of the important role Chester County played in our nation’s development when they visit the Brandywine Battlefield, Chester County Historical Society and Valley Forge National Parks. Those interested in more current affairs can visit the popular QVC Studio in West Chester, where they can get a unique behindthe- scenes peek at the highly successful television retail operation.