ALTOONA, Pa., Jan. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Department of Community and Economic Development Deputy Secretary Carolyn Newhouse was joined today by state Rep. Jerry Stern (R- Blair) to award a state grant for infrastructure improvements in Blair County that will enable four companies to expand and create at least 67 new jobs. "Governor Tom Corbett is committed to partnering with the private sector to grow the economy and create job opportunities for Pennsylvanians," Newhouse said. "Today's grant announcement is a great example of a successful public-private partnership that is supporting local economic development. This collaboration will help preserve hundreds of jobs and open the door for new business expansion and job creation." Newhouse announced the awarding of a $1 million Infrastructure Development Program (IDP) grant, funded under DCED's Pennsylvania First Program, to the Northern Blair County Regional Sewer Authority to repair a failed wastewater collection system in the village of Tipton and portions of Antis Township. The IDP funds will be used to repair collapsed pipe sections and structural deterioration which has created economic and environmental hazards. "This project has been a cooperative effort from the start on the part of local and state government and I applaud all those who made it possible," Stern said. "This grant funding will help improve an aging infrastructure that supports both the northern Blair County business community and local residents, resulting in improved service and curtailment of rate increases, while improving job creation opportunities." The improvements will allow companies that utilize the wastewater system to continue operating by providing a reliable sewer collection system that will not impede operations. Additionally, four companies – ORX, Kunzler & Company, DelGrosso Foods and Balfurd – will expand operations resulting in the creation of at least 67 new jobs and the retention of 355 existing positions.