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Pennsylvania State Archives

RG-31
Records of the DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE



The Department of Commerce was created in 1939 to promote the development of business, industry, and commerce in the State. Under the original commerce legislation, the Pennsylvania State Publicity Commission was abolished and its function of attracting tourists to the Commonwealth was transferred to the Department as the Bureau of Travel Development and Business Services. The State Planning Board also became an administrative board within the Department where it remained until 1955. In 1968 the Bureau of Statistics of the Department of Internal Affairs (RG-14) was assigned to the Department along with administrative responsibilities for the newly created Bicentennial Commission.

The Department of Commerce promoted the administration's economic development strategy, seeking to diversify the Commonwealth's economic base. This involved: aiding traditional industries; stimulating the start-up and growth of small businesses; recruiting new industries, especially in advanced technology fields; and promoting tourism and international trade. It served industry and community development organizations by administering federal and state aid programs and by providing statistical information and technical assistance. These functions were intended to create and retain jobs in the Commonwealth. Urban planning and redevelopment functions were transferred to the Department of Community Affairs (RG-34) in 1966.

On February 4, 1987 Governor Robert P. Casey signed an executive order creating the Pennsylvania Economic Development Partnership (EDP), which was responsible for directing the Commonwealth's economic development strategy and coordinating programs and initiatives to create and retain jobs. This public-private partnership was chaired by the Governor and included representatives from the Pennsylvania business, labor, education, and government communities. The partnership administered the majority of established economic development programs through the Department of Commerce until Governor Casey left office in 1995.

In June 1996, under Act 58 (P.L. 403), the Department of Commerce and the Department of Community Affairs were abolished and their functions merged to form the Department of Community and Economic Development (RG-71).

Pennsylvania Economic Development Partnership (1987-1995)

Executive Offices

Office of the Secretary

Office of the Executive Deputy Secretary (1989-1991)

Office of the Deputy Secretary for Administration (1993-1996)

Office of the Deputy Secretary for Policy, Planning, Administration, and Program Management (1989-1991)

Office of the Deputy Secretary for Program Operations (1993-1996)

Bureau of Community Development

Records of this Bureau and its divisions are filed and described with the records of its successors in Records of the Department of Community Affairs (RG-34).

Bureau of Domestic and International Commerce (1982-1986)

Division of International Commerce

Bureau of Film Promotion (1980-1981)

Bureau of International Commerce (1976-1981, 1987-1988)

Bureau of Minority Business Development (1972-1996)

Bureau of Small Business and Appalachian Development (1992-1995)

Bureau of Statistics, Research, and Planning (1972-1986)

Statistics Division

Bureau of Travel Development (1965-1986)

Technical Assistance Division

Bureau of Vacation and Travel Development (1959-1964)

Office of Administration (1987-1993)

Office of Communications (1987-1991)

Press Bureau

Office of International Trade (1993-1996)

Office of Regional and Community Initiatives (1989-1992)

Governor's Response Team (1987-1996)

Press Office (1978-1987, 1995-1996)

Sub-Agencies, Boards, and Commissions

Bicentennial Commission (1968-1977)

Pennsylvania Aeronautics Commission (1943-1953)

Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA) (1984-1995)

Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) (1956-)

Pennsylvania Minority Business Development Authority (PMBDA)

State Planning Board (1939-1955)


Last processing update: 1/13/2014, acc. #6324


PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Finding Aids for Collections Land Records