On Tuesday, Gov. Tom Wolf spoke at the Happy Valley LaunchBox about entrepreneurship and innovation, touching upon their impact in his 2017-2018 state budget proposal.
Wolf also highlighted higher education’s role in creating jobs and growing industry.
“Over the last two years, I have worked to increase the number of residents with college degrees and high-value industry-recognized credentials while expanding economic opportunities for residents and businesses,” Wolf said in a statement. “This budget is a new way forward for Pennsylvania and today, I am happy to highlight how government is working smarter to support our research institutions and entrepreneurs.”
Local leaders such as Penn State President Eric Barron were also present for the governor’s speech. Wolf praised Barron’s Invent Penn State initiative, which produced not only the LaunchBox, a no-cost startup accelerator, but a slew of entrepreneurship-oriented efforts since the initiative was created in 2014.
“Gov. Wolf and I share a strong commitment to promoting economic development and student career success, and I’m very pleased he could be with us to see firsthand some of the exciting developments at Penn State,” Barron said in a statement. “Invent Penn State is driving innovation and entrepreneurship across the commonwealth, and I look forward to partnering with the governor and our legislators to further its impact.”
Part of the the governor’s budget includes connecting the state’s research institutions to its Industrial Resource Centers to spur manufacturing and innovation. Other items include the creation of a new apprenticeship grant program, a $5 million investment in a manufacturing career training program with community colleges and technical programs and investing $2.5 million through the Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance program.