HARRISBURG, Pa. (ErieNewsNow) - After two terms in office, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is reflecting on his years in public service. From an unprecedented health crisis and criticism over lockdowns, to historic budget surpluses and praise over fiscal responsibility- it's hard to find a dull moment during his time as governor. 

ErieNewsNow State Capitol Correspondent, Brendan Scanland, sat down with the outgoing Democratic governor to recap his time leading the Commonwealth in an ErieNewsNow three-part special interview.

Part 2: 

Brendan: A lot has changed, you talk about sort of playing politics and trying to satisfy both parties. Are parties more polarized now than they were when you first took office?  

Gov. Wolf: I mean, I think there's a statistic you can look at how often do members of, say, the General Assembly vote along party lines and how often do they not. And so that partisanship index has increased and probably has increased since I've been here. But I don't think for the most part, anybody in this building has lost the understanding that we've got to get things done. And so we have been able to debate, argue, disagree, but ultimately, we've come up with agreements on most important things like budgets.  

Brendan: I feel like some people, maybe younger adults, teenagers may not be entirely familiar with your business background before becoming governor. How has that experience sort of helped you navigate the halls of Harrisburg, like you were just talking about, working with both sides, both parties, to really do what's best for Pennsylvania?  

Gov. Wolf: Well, yeah, that's a great question. I think a lot of people assume that if you were a CEO in a business, that you could just flick a switch and people salute. It doesn't work that way. You have to convince, persuade in business. And so when I came here, I think I had a pretty good preparation for doing the things I had to do here. I was selling my policy. Sometimes people bought it, sometimes they didn't. And if you if you weren't able to convince, you had to pick yourself up and go back and try again or learn maybe from what the other folks were telling you. And that's the way ideally things are supposed to work. That's the way it worked for me in the private sector. And that's the way they have worked over the last eight years here in Harrisburg.  

Brendan: Economic growth, business growth, obviously big priorities for you. What else can cities, like say, Erie or my home city of Scranton, do to really stop- either mitigate or prevent- population loss and really focus on economic growth over the next couple of decades?  

Gov. Wolf: One of the great freshwater ports in the world is Erie, Pennsylvania, and I think the community there is really moving ahead. It's a really interesting thing, and everybody I know who lives there really loves, loves Erie. So it's one of the best kept secrets. We probably ought to do a better job of connecting Erie with the rest of Pennsylvania. And I think that's something that's coming. 

Brendan: Rural areas too, you know across the northern tier, obviously, where agriculture plays a big role. It seems like many folks, especially younger generations, are sort of moving out of some of those more rural areas into more urban areas. What can be done in the future to help really protect some of those rural communities?  

Gov. Wolf: Well, one of the things is broadband. If you go up to the northern tier, cell phone coverage is spotty and broadband is, in fact, in some places nonexistent. So the infrastructure dollars coming in, Pennsylvania actually moved quicker than I think just about any other state to create a bipartisan broadband authority. And they're already working with Penn State to develop our own census. This is where the need is. So we want to move really quickly. So recognize that we can't have places where you don't have broadband. People aren't going to want to live there. Businesses aren't going to work there. And then you mentioned agriculture. One of the issues in agriculture is family farming succession. It turns out Pennsylvania has, I think, the youngest on average age of farmers in the United States. It's our biggest industry. We have some unusual opportunities here. There is no other place than Pennsylvania that can supply the restaurants in the biggest markets in the world: New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Washington. There's no other place that is smack dab in the middle of all that. Pennsylvania agriculture is. And so I think there are some real opportunities here. And I've been working with a number of different firms and farm organizations to move Pennsylvania agriculture forward. I was a peace corps volunteer and actually an agriculture extension worker. So I think I'm the first and only agriculture extension worker ever to be governor of Pennsylvania. So I recognize how important a contributor agriculture can be to a community and how important it especially is for Pennsylvania.