HOMETOWN, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A large investment is expected to create dozens of new job openings in Schuylkill County.

Governor Shapiro announced Wednesday an agreement between the Commonwealth and EMD Electronics, the electronics arm of Merck, to invest $300 million to expand its semiconductor facility in Hometown.

With the expansion, the 96,500-square-foot facility will become the largest integrated specialty gas facility in the world.

Governor Shapiro says there will be 68 permanent union jobs brought to the area because of the investment.

“That’s hundreds of jobs that EMD supports, hundreds of workers, and hundreds of families that will support the local economy, raise their kids here, go to school here, attend church services, go to the local diners, and believe in this part of our commonwealth,” said Governor Shapiro.

In addition to the expansion, EMD Electronics received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development with several grants awarded to them.

“The kind of work you are doing here today and the work you will do when this incredible facility expands is going to help power the world. It’s going to help put answers in people’s pockets. It’s going to help a new fleet and it’s going to help us in so many ways we haven’t even imagined,” Governor Shapiro added.

Jeff White, President of EMD Electronics is glad to be working with Governor Shapiro on this expansion.

“We provide long-term family-supporting jobs and the skills needed to do those jobs is a partnership activity so really appreciate that help,” White explained.

Those interested in exploring career opportunities at EMD Electronics can find more information online.