Oracle puts off decision, expansion to Centre County not in the cards for now

After months of attempting to negotiate a deal with the Oracle Corp. to set up a location in State College, state Sen. Jake Corman said Thursday the company will expand on-site rather than out-of-state due to economic reasons.

“They were looking at different sites and ultimately decided against it,” Corman said. “That’s what happens in a slow economy.”

State Rep. Kerry Benninghoff said Oracle was in the works on expanding a location outside of their headquarters in California. The company was down to a possible expansion in central Pennsylvania or Virginia, he said.

“They didn’t choose another state,” Benninghoff said. “We didn’t lose it because we didn’t offer enough.”

Corman said last fall, state representatives, local senators, the government action team and Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County were in the works together to bring Oracle to State College. The CDT was not told where in the area Oracle was looking at, but incentives were offered to help bring the company to the county.

One of those incentives was a commonwealth tax bill initiated by Benninghoff that would allow employers who hire at least 250 workers to keep 95 percent of their state income taxes, but it was not clear if Oracle would take advantage of that if they opened a location in State College.

Although Oracle will not be making the move, both Corman and Benninghoff said they are working at improving the central Pennsylvania economy.

“We’re going to do whatever we can to make Pennsylvania competitive so people don’t pass us by,” Benninghoff said. “I don’t look at it as a loss, but we’ll cast the line again and keep fishing.”

Oracle is a computer technology company that specializes in developing and marketing computer hardware systems and software products.

Oracle could not be reached for comment Thursday, nor could CBICC members.