New PA Gov Corbett chooses Barry Schoch for Sec Transportation - called insider (PERSONNEL)
By Peter Samuel
The new governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett, is nominating Barry Schoch, 50, one of ten vice presidents at engineering firm McCormick Taylor as secretary of transportation - the person who usually has a balance of power on the board of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. Schoch is regarded as the consummate state capital insider, but a person who has an apparently unblemished ethics record - a rare combination, we understand.
A leading figure in the Harrisburg office of the Philadelphia-based company Schoch has been heavily involved in consulting and management work for the Pennsylvania Turnpike and PennDOT for 15 years - most of the time since he got his degree in civil engineering from Penn State University in Philadelphia.
In Harrisburg he has also had key industry advocacy roles as president of the state Highway Information Association and chairman of the consulting transportation engineers council.
In naming him governor-elect Corbett stressed Schoch's experience in Harrisburg and his knowledge of PennDOT.
Corbett was quoted today in a press statement as saying of his nominee for secretary transportation that he "possesses a strong understanding of PennDOT policies, procedures and partners and will provide a wealth of transportation expertise to the administration."
For his part Schoch called PennDOT "a great organization" and said he was "pleased to be joining it."
The company website says Schoch's areas of expertise are: "Highway Engineering, Transportation Planning, (and) Public Involvement."
The Turnpike is listed first among Schoch's clients followed by the central district of PennDOT and Delaware DOT. McCormick Taylor was lead consultant to the Turnpike in studies on tolling I-80 and earned over $20m for that work. It is also involved with Wilbur Smith Associates in upcoming work on a transition to all-electronic tolling of the Turnpike proper.
The company, founded in 1946, has five offices in Pennsylvania and one office in each of the neighboring states of Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Ohio.
Schoch's nomination requires confirmation by the state senate but this seems to be little more than a formality given that the Governor's Republican Party has a clear majority and Schoch is apparently a non-controversial figure.