SSTI Digest

The latest reporting and analysis on breakthroughs in technology-based economic development research and issues that matter most to you. To receive the SSTI Weekly Digest via email, sign up here.


Geography: Virginia

MI and VA see increases in TBED budget, while MA Gov vetoes some line items

Funding for TBED programs took a hit under Massachusetts Gov. Charles Baker, who vetoed millions of dollars in programs that the legislature had approved in the FY 2018 state budget. Michigan programs fared better with funding maintained to diversify the state’s economy and funding for entrepreneurship ecosystems getting a boost. And in Virginia, after a messy budget process addressing an addendum to its biennial budget, many innovation programs saw increases.

Universities announce investment funds for local startups

While many universities maintain startup investment funds targeted at growing university-affiliated startups, several universities are looking beyond their walls for investment opportunities that will create a return on investment (ROI), but also support economic prosperity. Through these investment funds, universities are able to make strategic investment in startups that will contribute to the future growth of their community, region and state. Massachusetts provides a recent example where MIT will invest $25 million in local startups.

State budgets reviewed for TBED initiatives: AZ, GA, IA, IN, UT, VA

SSTI has analyzed more recently released state budgets for TBED-related initiatives, and this week we present findings from our review of AZ, GA, IA, IN, UT and VA.

Tech Talkin’ Govs, Part II: CO, GA, SC, VA, WA, WY focus on tech needs, education, more

More governors delivered their state of the state addresses and this week we bring you TBED news from governors around the country. Areas of focus include tech infrastructure needs, diversifying economies, cybersecurity and education. While some governors are giving their inaugural addresses, Gov. Nikki Haley used her time to bid farewell. Following are excerpts from the past week’s addresses.

Corporate Foundations Announce Partnerships to Support Active, Hands-on STEM Education

As the school year kicks off, several corporate foundations have announced new commitments to support hands-on K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) experiences for children across the country. These new partnerships continue a trend of corporate funders bypassing funding for STEM curriculum development to focus on active learning experiences that are shown to have positive impact on STEM retention.

States Commit to Improve Economic Prosperity Through Increased Broadband Access

A month after a federal court ruled that high-speed Internet service can be defined as a utility, four states have announced commitments to expand high quality, reliable broadband services to rural areas and other underrepresented groups. Two Midwest states, Wisconsin and Minnesota, will provide funding to help support projects that improve access to broadband and spur economic prosperity.

VA Expands Registered Apprenticeships to Cybersecurity Careers

In June, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia businesses can offer registered apprenticeships to individuals in three cybersecurity occupations – Information Security Analyst; Cyber Security Analyst; and, Incident Response Analyst. The Virginia Apprenticeship Council approved the three new registered apprenticeships as well as the criteria that registered apprentices in cybersecurity must learn and demonstrate through the program for the necessary proficiency in the cybersecurity field.

Workforce Efforts in AL, TX, VA Look to Build, Maintain Talent Pipelines

While the recent Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) has some economists concerned that the U.S. economy is running out of qualified workers to fill existing openings, several states have announced workforce programs that are intended to address the skills-gap and build the talent pipeline in their respective states.

VA Gov Set to Sign Package of ED Bills Including New Research Fund

On April 20, the Virginia General Assembly sent three economic development-focused bills (HB 1343, HB 846, and HB 834) to Gov. Terry McAuliffe. The bills include the creation of a new research fund and the creation of a network of regional economic development councils. Although the bills have yet to be signed, Gov. McAuliffe has publicly supported each of them. This package of economic development initiatives was originally proposed in the governor’s economic development strategy as well as his recent budget proposal. However, it took some compromise between the governor’s original proposals and the General Assembly to reach a final package.

VA Gov Announces $20M in Workforce Funding Including Pay-For-Performance Workforce Initiative

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the creation of a pay-for-performance workforce training program that will help Virginia workers acquire the industry certifications and occupational licenses that meet the needs of key businesses in each region of the state.

17 Governors Sign Accord to Promote Clean Energy, Economic Prosperity

A bipartisan group of 17 governors signed the Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future – a joint commitment to support the deployment of renewable, cleaner and more efficient energy technologies and other solutions to make the U.S. economy more productive and resilient as well as spur job creation in member states.

PA One Step Closer to Budget Deal; HI, NM, VA Govs Outline Spending Plans

While many states have begun negotiations on budget plans for FY17 and beyond, Pennsylvania has made some progress on FY16 spending. Gov. Tom Wolf signed a partial budget that funded many agencies and programs related to economic development, but that did not include higher education funding and other operations. In the coming months, SSTI will review gubernatorial addresses and budget proposals related to economic development. This week, we highlight developments in Hawaii, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

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