The Department of Commerce was created in 1939 to promote the development of business, industry and commerce in the state. Under the enabling legislation, the Pennsylvania State Publicity Commission was abolished and its function of attracting tourists to the Commonwealth was transferred to the Department of Commerce, while the State Planning Board was made an administrative board within the department and remained there until 1955. In 1968, the Department of Internal Affairs’ Bureau of Statistics was assigned to the Department of Commerce, along with administrative responsibilities for the newly created Bicentennial Commission.

The Department of Commerce served industry and various community industrial development organizations by administering and coordinating federal and state aid programs, and by making available pertinent technical and statistical information. Agency urban planning and redevelopment functions were transferred to the Department of Community Affairs in 1966. In 1996, the Departments of Commerce and Community Affairs were merged to create the Department of Community and Economic Development.


Secretary’s Subject File, 1973-1977. (10 cartons) Arranged chronologically by date of document.

Non-Discrimination Clause for State Contract Files. Contains correspondence, executive orders, regulations, agreements, and other forms of documentation with reference to the "non-discrimination clause" for state contracts. A memorandum dated January 6, 1972 and addressed to "Heads of all Administrative Departments, Independent Administrative Boards and Commissions and Other State Agencies under the Governor’s Jurisdiction" states that "all Commonwealth contracts must include anti-discrimination clauses which not only prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, ancestry or national origin, but also prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sex or age." Also included are copies of the non-discrimination clause.

Charitable Foundations Files. These files contain guidelines for foundations that were interested in applying for state grants for site development programs. Such grants were designed to promote such varied programs as education; health; civil and cultural development; the welfare of children, youth, the handicapped, and the aged; historic preservation; and urban affairs with special emphasis on projects originating in the Pittsburgh area. One foundation documented is the Ford Foundation. It stated that its "interests included community development addressing the following: intergroup relations; conflict resolution; social, economic and educational opportunity for minority groups; housing; social and economic resources and other initiatives.


Subject File, 1975-1983. (18 cubic feet) {unprocessed} Contains loan applications, business summaries, notes, technical assistance documentation, correspondence, insurance information, income tax returns, credit information, and financial information, with reference to African American businesses such as the Unity Broadcasting Company, WCXJ Radio, Pittsburgh.

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