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SSTI recognizes outstanding initiatives driving regional prosperity

Washington, D.C. – From teaching high school students in rural western Kentucky how to become entrepreneurs to connecting entrepreneurs with a worldwide network of partners in a virtual hub, organizations are finding innovative ways to build regional prosperity. Four outstanding examples were recognized today by SSTI, a national organization working to strengthen initiatives to create a better future through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. SSTI’s Creating a Better Future Awards celebrates outstanding economic development initiatives from across the country in a variety of categories.

“It’s important that we recognize the good work that is being done throughout the country and showcase the successful programs that others can emulate,” said SSTI’s president and CEO, Dan Berglund. “These initiatives are creating the environments that make it possible for innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive.”

Administration R&D memo emphasizes basic science

The White House Office of Management and Budget released a memorandum on R&D priorities that directs agencies to prioritize basic science and lower costs in their FY 2019 budget requests. R&D investments should be made in military superiority, security, prosperity, energy dominance and health. The memo repeatedly encourages officials to identify, and divest of, research areas where industry is ready to make their own investments toward commercial development.

Future digital workforce needs outlined

Recognizing the growing need for a skilled workforce in the increasingly digital manufacturing sector, a new report from the public-private effort of DMDII and ManpowerGroup aims to capture the changing technology and business interactions, and the job roles that are having an impact on the sector. The year-long body of work attempts to answer, among other questions, how workforce roles and job structures flex to accelerate the succession of a transforming global economy.

Making the case for manufacturing

In a recent report from The Century Foundation, assumptions about the value of a renewed commitment to manufacturing are examined and its importance to the nation’s economic future are reviewed. In Why Manufacturing Jobs Are Worth Saving, the authors review the current status of manufacturing activity, dive into regional data on the role of manufacturing in the economic recovery of communities, and take a look at the quality of the jobs and workforce challenges facing the industry. 

Creating tomorrow’s STEM leaders in AZ schools

Arizona schools are taking a different approach to developing the next generation of STEM workers and leaders with the Chief Science Officer position, now in 120 schools across the state. The students, from grades six to 12, are elected by their peers and participate in training events where they learn about STEM activities and careers and can advocate for STEM education in their schools.

While U.S. Startups Barometer remains bullish on VC market, concerns exist about startup pipeline

Bloomberg’s U.S. Startups Barometer for August 21, 2017 highlights an environment ripe for startups to attract venture capital (VC). The weekly index tracks the overall health of the business environment for private technology companies based in the U.S. Driven by the number of VC financing deals, the barometer set a new record high for the second consecutive week with a nearly 65 percent increase from last year’s index score.

SBA FAST Awardees to support technology-based businesses

The U.S. Small Business Administration has granted 16 organizations up to $125,000 each and five organizations up to $200,000 in FY 2017 as part of the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program.

Philanthropies target anchor institutions to support place-based prosperity

Numerous foundations are investing in and partnering with anchor institutions to support inclusive and equitable community and economic development, according to a new report from the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Community. The report, Anchored in Place: How Funders Are Helping Anchor Institutions Strengthen Local Economies, stems from a study by the Anchor Institutions Funders’ Group (AIFG), a working group established by the Funders’ Network. The report also includes case studies on how funders are working with anchor intuitions in Albuquerque, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

IN governor launches ‘Next Level Jobs’ initiative

Indiana Gov. Gary Holcomb announced two new workforce development grants program as part of the state’s Next Level Jobs initiative. Through this new initiative, the state will commit more than $20 million over the next two years to help state residents find careers in high-demand, high-wage jobs as quickly as possible.

GA, UT see level funding for TBED initiatives

SSTI’s analysis of approved FY2018 state budgets continues with a review of action by the Georgia and Utah legislatures. Stability is the word for both states with level funding for the Georgia Research Alliance, Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, and Utah’s USTAR program. The Georgia legislature did approve the governor’s proposal to increase funding for scholarship programs by $50 million.

Georgia

State policies help revitalize U.S. manufacturing sector

More can be done at the state level to encourage growth in U.S. manufacturing, according to a recent presentation by Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). In the presentation, held earlier this month at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) summer meeting, Atkinson suggested that there is a role for state policymakers to address each of the four T’s related to sound manufacturing policy: trade, tax, technology, and talent.

Startup survey reveals faster growth, higher risk

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that startup firms (small businesses that were five-years-old or younger and had full- or part-time employees in 2016) were twice as likely to be adding jobs and growing revenues but more likely to be higher credit risk than mature firms. The 2016 Small Business Credit Survey: Report on Startup Firms provides an in-depth look at the financing and credit experiences of the startups.

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