Area overview

Today, more than 25,000 people live in Hazleton, while approximately 250,000 families and 850,000 people of working age live within a 30-mile radius known as the Greater Hazleton Area.

cityhallThey benefit from the quality of life and wealth of opportunity that make the Greater Hazleton Area so attractive to people and businesses from all around the world.

For an overview of our region's workforce and labor statistics, download the Community Profile from the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commmerce.

Commitments to the arts, education, recreation and health care, plus the lowest crime rate in the state and an affordable cost of living make Hazleton a wonderful place to call home. And, since the Greater Hazleton Area is located at the foothills of the Pocono Mountains, the region is also a popular vacation destination that offers year-round recreation for young and old alike.

It's the Greater Hazleton Area's excellent quality of life that makes the area so attractive to people and businesses from all around the world.

Golfing, fishing, hunting, hiking, biking, movies and wonderful restaurants... you name it and you'll likely find it around Hazleton.

And you'll see that many of Northeast Pennsylvania's best attractions are located within minutes of our city!

funfestPlease take a few minutes to browse this page, which contains a wealth of information not only about Greater Hazleton, but also about the Poconos, as well as Pennsylvania.

If you love to golf, the area has more than a dozen options, including public and private facilities.

In the mood for a sporting event? At the brand new Northeastern Pennsylvania Arena and Convention Center, you can catch the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins slapping some ice in an ice hockey shootout.

And there's the Red Barons, a AAA farm club Phillies' baseball team which is home at the Lackawanna County Stadium.

Pennsylvania is also home to several major sports franchises, such as the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles football teams, Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies baseball teams and the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers hockey teams.

Hazleton is also known for its proximity to Interstates 80 and 81, which places you within a couple hours of New York City and Philadelphia. Want to catch a Broadway show? Maybe hit Fifth Avenue for a shopping adventure? Or maybe you've never seen the Liberty Bell up close. Well, now you can.

If you have children, they'll be able to attend one of the most advanced school districts in the state. The Hazleton Area School District is unique in offering Early Intervention services designed to help children between the ages of three and five develop their potential while, at the same time, providing support for their families.

In 1995, the Hazleton Area School District began a progressive plan, known as Project 2000, aimed at closing older schools, transforming the best of them with extensive renovations, and, if needed, building new schools.

Many of the district's schools are equipped with state-of-the-art security systems that require visitors to ring a buzzer to be allowed inside. All school personnel wear photo identification badges, further enhancing safety.

The school district has also taken a proactive approach to emergency preparedness, working with police, fire and government officials to make sure everyone knows how to respond to a crisis.

Yet it is reassuring to know that there has never been an incident endangering the lives of our children in the Hazleton Area School District.

Other educational opportunities exist in the Hazleton Area, both private and parochial. MMI Preparatory School in Freeland is one of the most highly recognized private schools and is currently accepting students in grades 6 through 12. Bishop Hafey Junior-Senior High School is Hazleton's largest Catholic school, with grades 7 through 12, located just across from Hazleton Area High School.

Parochial grade schools in Hazleton include Holy Spirit Academy, Holy Trinity Elementary School, Immanuel Christian School and St. Stanislaus School.

Upon graduation, students have several excellent opportunities for post-secondary education... starting just a few minutes outside the City of Hazleton at Penn State Hazleton.

Penn_State_Hazleton_Administration_Bldg_with_Nittany_LionSince the 1950s, Penn State University has had a Hazleton campus. Recently, the Hazleton campus started offering four-year degrees in selected fields, such as business administration and information sciences and technology. Still, many area students attend Penn State Hazleton for the first two years of their college career, then move on to the main campus at University Park, which is less than two hours to the east in State College, Centre County, to finish their degree.

Luzerne County Community College recently opened a branch campus in the Broad Street Business Exchange in downtown Hazleton, offering associate's degrees, while Lackawanna Junior College is also in downtown Hazleton.

When you or a loved one needs expert medical care, your options couldn't be better. The Greater Hazleton Health Alliance is comprised of two cutting-edge health facilities: Hazleton General Hospital and the Hazleton-St. Joseph Medical Center. The Dessen Center is a state-of-the-art MRI facility located about two minutes outside the City limits. It features two units -- a conventional enclosed unit and a new open-magnet, or nonclaustrophobic, machine.

The area’s only hospital-based home health care agency, Hi-Tech Home Care, sees patients in their homes throughout the Greater Hazleton Area on a daily basis. A patient Shuttle Service program was started to provide free rides to doctor offices and the hospitals; and nurses, doctors and other Alliance staff have gone into the schools to educate the district’s children on health-related topics. For patients recovering from surgery, the Alliance has established the Dr. Robert L. Gunderson Rehabilitation Center.

The Greater Hazleton Area is home to several lending institutions that can help you with your business and personal needs. Here is a list of some lending institutions that can help you get a start in the Hazleton area.

Keystone Financial 1-888-539-2255
First Federal Bank - 570-459-3700
Community Banks NA - 570-788-2220
Pioneer American Bank - 570-450-6800
Summit Bank - 570-459-4211
Citizens National Bank of Lansford - 1-888-262-2900
Pennsylvania National Bank - 570-788-0678
Mellon Bank - 1-800-MELLON-24
Corestates Bank - 570-450-2056
PNC Bank - 1-800-443-2347

Northeastern Pennsylvania, where Greater Hazleton is located, is best characterized by the Pocono Mountains, which lie mainly to the east and north. Where Pennsylvania meets New Jersey (along Interstate 80), is a tract of scenic land known as Delaware Water Gap. In 1829, the first steam locomotive, the Stourbridge Lion, made its maiden run in nearby Honesdale.

In Scranton, about 45 minutes to the north, you can steam into the history of railroading at the Steamtown National Historic Site, or dig deep into our coal mining past at the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum. At the Lackawanna Coal Mine, you can even go 300 feet below ground to see what work is like for coal miners. You can also visit the old Scranton Iron Furnaces, which is now a cool, tree-lined park.

About a half hour south is Pottsville, home of Yuengling Brewery, the oldest in the nation. The brewery offers free tours.

While driving around the area, you will undoubtedly discover that golf is a favorite pastime in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Thirty-five challenging courses dot our countryside.

Numerous lakes and streams provide great fishing opportunities... just ask at any local fishing shop.

raftingIf you're feeling adventurous, it's just a 30-minute drive to Jim Thorpe, an historic little town that is also home to some of the best whitewater rafting in the East. Try Jim Thorpe River Adventures or Pocono Whitewater Adventures (also offering hiking, biking and paintball games).

There's more excitement at the Pocono International Raceway, where the NASCAR Winston Cup Series races twice each summer. And Pocono Downs near Wilkes-Barre offers live harness racing.

The Downs at Hazleton features off-track betting on horse racing contests from around the country.

In the winter months, thirteen ski areas turn the Pocono Mountains into a winter wonderland. Montage Mountain, Camelback Ski Resort and the Big Two Resorts (Big Boulder and Jack Frost) are some of the larger ski areas in the Poconos.

In the summer, Montage Mountain sports a huge concert series with big-name acts. And now with the opening of the new arena in Wilkes-Barre, more and more big name acts are coming to the area.

Each fall, the Pocono Mountains come alive in a blaze of glorious colors: Norway maples and tulip poplars don varying shades of yellow; the black gums appear in maroon; sassafras, birch and sugar maples cover the orange spectrum. But the star of the show is the flamboyant red maple, with its brilliant scarlet foliage.

To the south, you will find some of Pennsylvania's more historical landmarks.

The Hershey/Dutch Country region is about one hour to the south by car and has plenty to offer.

hersheyFirst and foremost is Hershey, Pennsylvania, home to Hershey Chocolate and Hersheypark which offers 55 rides and six roller coasters, as well as 72 holes of golf, world-famous gardens, a nearby chocolate museum and zoo.

Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown is the area's other large amusement park, featuring a 210-foot steel roller coaster.

Knoebel's Amusement Resort in Elysburg provides old-fashioned family park fun, with one of the nation's most highly-regarded wooden coasters. It is also one of the largest free admission parks in the country.

Drive through the countryside and you'll see the Amish and Mennonites still comfortable in their old ways, traveling in horse-drawn buggies and raising barns by hand.

Another hour to the south, you can visit the Gettysburg Battlefield and reflect on Abraham Lincoln's brief, but powerful address.

If you're hungry for knowledge, consider our vast collection of museums. In Lancaster, there's the Landis Valley Museum, the largest Pennsylvania German museum in the United States. And the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, complete with tireless steam locomotives and plush Pullman sleepers. Meanwhile, on display in York, you'll find relics of firefighters at the Fire Museum; classic timepieces at the Watch & Clock Museum; and Native American artifacts at the Indian Steps Museum.

Just over an hour's drive south of Hazleton is the city of Reading (pronounced red-ding).

Reading is famous for the more than 300 factory outlets it boasts, earning it the nickname of "Outlet Capital of the World." Lancaster, which is just a short drive away, has 120 outlets of its own.

If you are into antiques, visit Adamstown, "America's Antique Capital," where there are dealers by the hundreds throughout the countryside.

Drive down to Philadelphia and you will enter one of the nation's most historic cities and walk the same streets that Benjamin Franklin and George Washington walked. You can also see the Liberty Bell that announced the reading of the Declaration of Independence. Philadelphia's other claim to fame is the Philadelphia cheesesteak. Ask a local whether they prefer Pat's or Geneo's cheesesteaks -- then try one of each and decide for yourself.

Greater Hazleton is one of the most interesting and fun areas in which you could choose to set up a business or raise a family!



Transportation
Highways:
I-81, I-80, Route 93, Route 309

Railroads:
Norfolk Southern and Canadian Pacific, plus shortline services provided by Reading, Northern and by Luzerne County Rail Authority.

Air:
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport is about 35 miles north. Locally, the Hazleton Municipal Airport can handle most corporate jets. Another major facility, the Lehigh Valley International Airport, is 45 miles southeast. A number of smaller municipal airports are scattered around the region.

Airlines:
US Airways/US Airways Express
Northwest/Mesaba
COMAIR/Delta
Continental Express
Pan American Airways
United Airlines/United Express
Air Canada

Bus Service:
Greyhound
Susquehanna Transit Co.
Martz Trailways


 

Taxes

Corporate Net Income Tax 9.99%
(Retroactive as of 1/1/95.)
NOL Carryover $1,000,000 Dividend exclusions. ACRS. Subchapter S Election. Special Tax Credit for neighborhood assistance, economic revitalization tax credit, and homeowners mortgage assistance.

Sales Tax 6%
Selective tax. Business exemptions for manufacturing, processing,
farming, R&D, mining, printing, and sales/resale. (Includes certain business services.)

Unemployment Compensation Tax (First year rate, thereafter based on experience. Construction employers pay different rate scale.)
Employer (imposed on first $8,000 of wages for each employee)
-New Employer Contribution 3.8255%
Worker’s Compensation
Rates vary as to experience/type of business.
Capital Stock and Foreign Franchise Tax 6.49 mills
rate as of the 2002 tax year
Tax exempt activities include manufacturing, processing, R&D,
pollution control, and computer software development.

Personal Income Tax 2.8% Flat
Exemptions are gross compensation less all retirement income.
(Paid by individuals, business proprietorships, partnerships, and Pennsylvania S Corporations.)

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