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: Georgia

Manufacturing wage growth supporting Appalachian economy

Earnings for Appalachian manufacturing workers grew 3.4 percent from 2012 through 2017 to an average of $63,583. The growth is in the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Industrial Make-up of the Appalachian Region, 2002-2017, which reviews employment and wages by sector across the region. Appalachian workers overall saw earnings increase by 3.7 percent over the five years.

Tech Talkin’ Govs part 4: Opportunity Zones, workforce development, tech hubs, and more in governors plans to build economies

Governors are reaching into their toolkits to build tech-based economies, utilizing Opportunity Zones, tax credits, broadband infrastructure and workforce development initiatives among other things. This week, as we continue to review their state of the state addresses for TBED news, we see some governors still trying to reshape their states’ struggling economies while others are building on past successes and proposing new initiatives.

States’ fiscal picture improves with growing economy

The ability of states to deliver the services promised to its residents relies on their fiscal soundness. With most states beginning their fiscal year in July, SSTI has reviewed the current fiscal standing for each state and here presents a snapshot of our findings.

Most states ended their fiscal year with a surplus and continue to recover from the Great Recession, with a growing economy and job gains. However, they face continuing demands on their budgets, with expanded Medicaid payments and the growing opioid crisis confronting nearly every state. Such decisions affect the state’s ability to fund innovation efforts, from the amount of support available for higher education and STEM programs, to funding for entrepreneurship, and forging public private partnerships to strengthen innovation programming that the private sector cannot fully support.

Our analysis found that some states that rely on the energy sector to fund their spending priorities continue to struggle, while others are already factoring in anticipated revenues as a result of new Supreme Court rulings involving gaming and online sales tax collections.

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2018, part 2: AL, CO, GA, IN, KS, NE, SD, WA focus on education, workforce

SSTI’s Tech Talkin’ Govs feature returns as governors across the country roll out their state of the state addresses. We review each speech for comments relevant to the innovation economy, and bring you their words directly from their addresses. In this second installment, we present excerpts from governors in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Washington.

Workforce development and/or apprenticeship programs receive attention in all of the below excerpts. The Alabama governor said she is seeking an additional $50 million for higher education, while the Georgia governor talked about reorganizing their technical college system. In Indiana the governor is challenging the state economic development department to create thousands of new jobs and said in the first quarter the state will begin to make strategic investments to build and support more innovation and entrepreneurship through the already established $250 million Next Level Indiana Trust Fund.

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 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.

Georgia Venture Fund Raises $25M to Invest in GRA-Supported Companies

The GRA Venture Fund LLC, the private investment fund for companies originating from the Georgia Research Alliance's commercialization programs, has added another $25 million in venture capital. This latest round of funding brings the fund's total investment capital to $45 million. The fund currently has 10 portfolio companies. Combined, these 10 companies have collectively raised more than $241 million and have created over 400 jobs in the state of Georgia.

States Find New Ways to Expand Access to Higher Education

Forty-one states are spending less per student than before the 2008 recession, according to a recent study from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. As a result, more of the burden of higher education costs is being passed on to students, putting college out of reach for many. With state budgets still tight, many states are experimenting with new ways to make a college education accessible to all students.

Funding Expected To Remain Steady for GA Innovation Initiatives

Georgia lawmakers have approved a $40 billion FY16 state budget (HB 76), which is now awaiting the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal. The governor has line-item veto authority over the final document, but most appropriations related to innovation and economic development are consistent with the governor's proposed levels.

Annual Reports Highlight Tech Commercialization Successes

Three research-focused economic development organizations have released reports over the course of the last month detailing their progress in supporting economic growth, innovation, and beyond. The University of Massachusetts, the Georgia Research Alliance, and the Virginia Center for Innovative Technologies each use a different approach to measure their success and to communicate their impact to external stakeholders. The variety of releases demonstrates the range of approaches that organizations use to provide useful data in a format that attracts attention to their achievements.

TBED Ballot Issues, Bond Proposals Fare Well in Midterm Elections

In case you missed it, the midterm elections were on Tuesday, resulting in Republicans taking control of Congress, several new governors, and five states endorsing minimum wage increases.

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