By Roberto Torres
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf made a pretty low-key visit to Pennovation yesterday.
Though it wasn’t confirmed until last minute, the governor stopped by the University of Pennsylvania Grays Ferry research hub to host a discussion on budget initiatives that will, per Wolf’s press team, “support a new way for Pennsylvania’s economy through job creation and increased university partnerships and workforce training.”
At the discussion, Wolf stumped for initiatives within his budget proposal. Namely:
- An apprenticeship grant program funded with “revenue recovered from companies that fail to live up to previous commitments made when they received state assistance.”
- A $5 million investment in a manufacturing training-to-career grant program to partner with technical programs and community colleges.
- Setting up a “one-stop shop” at the Department of Community and Economic Development for the business community to interact with for centralized licensing processes.
These initiatives are part of Wolf’s 2017-2018 budget proposal which — if approved by state legislators — will kick in July 1.
But the folks at Penn weren’t going to let Wolf walk away without a tour of the place. The governor did the rounds around the center’s research areas and got to hear from some of the founders of startups housed there. Per his staff, he was particularly interested in COSY and BioBots.
“I was profoundly impressed by the level of skill, passion and ingenuity at Pennovation,” Wolf told Technical.ly in an emailed statement. “These are the types of innovators and entrepreneurs that will drive the economic growth of the future. What we want to do is make sure we also encourage them to stay here and apply the skills and knowledge they learned here to Pennsylvania.”