Fifteen years ago the Centre Region was thriving. Penn State was growing. Private companies like Raytheon, Murata, C-COR and Corning were major employers. There was balance between the private economic sector and the university.
Fast forward to 2013. Each of those companies has either left this area or significantly cut its workforce. The region is economically healthy, but it relies too strongly on the economic impact of Penn State.
Two years ago a group of local entrepreneurs decided to bring back balance. Their vision, called 3B33, aims to increase annual private economic revenue to $3 billion by 2033. Work on this audacious goal has already begun. Entrepreneurial growth is happening thanks to groups like Ben Franklin, New Leaf and CBICC. Penn State President Eric Barron’s commitment of $30 million for economic development is a game changer.
We are poised to build upon the success of the past two years, working in partnership with Barron and the university to drive positive growth in this area. By building on the research strengths and talent pool of Penn State, in partnership with our region’s strong base of talented, passionate citizens, we can have an impact that will not only maintain Happy Valley, but strengthen it through a balanced economic position.
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The writer is CEO of Videon Central.