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Tech Talkin' Govs, Part IV

January 26, 2011

The fourth installment of SSTI's Tech Talkin' Govs series includes excerpts from speeches delivered in Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, and Vermont. The first three installments are available in the Jan. 5, Jan. 12 and Jan. 19 issues of the Digest.

Gov. Sean Parnell, State of the State Address, Jan. 19, 2011
"That's why this year I know we can work together to enact the energy strategy that I've submitted. This comprehensive plan puts us on track to achieve the renewable energy goal we established, together, that Alaska will derive 50 percent of our electrical power from renewable sources by 2025. To get there, I'm asking you to move decisively and aggressively with me. Let's work together this year to invest at least $65 million to jump start planning, design, and permitting for the Susitna Hydro Project; provide at least $25 million for renewable energy grants ..."

Gov. Jack Markell, State of the State Address, Jan. 20, 2011
"And to drive home the message that Delaware is the best place to start and grow a business, we must promote job-creating capital investment. For businesses large or small that are willing to put Delawareans to work in a new or expanded manufacturing facility — whether it be for traditional manufacturing, or for clean energy — we will provide tax credits to support that job growth. ...

"... Manufacturing jobs have provided a ladder to economic independence for countless families and they must remain part of our economic future.

"That is why our administration is joining with the Delaware Manufacturing Association, led by Chamber of Commerce President Jim Wolfe. This partnership will build on effective past outreach to local manufacturers on topics ranging from lean manufacturing techniques to energy savings programs. Together, we will work to develop and implement new ways to expand manufacturing jobs. ...

"... The language that underpins most of the innovation that drives global growth is science, technology, engineering and math, or 'STEM.' ... And we are funding a new STEM Teacher Residency Program to attract individuals with experience in the STEM areas to the teaching profession."

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, State of the State Address, Jan. 24, 2011
"The University is also the state's think tank. ... Research programs at the University will play a big part in our economic recovery by bringing external dollars into our State and building innovative industries. The university's current research activity brings $450 million to the table. I will strongly support measures to increase that capacity.

"... Another element of our economic security is increasing our broadband capacity. Simply put, our information highway is essential to the future of our islands. We have an outstanding plan produced by the Hawaii Broadband Task Force. Now we will implement it. The potential for Hawaii to be a model state and access outside funding is before us. Our broadband initiative will parallel what we will accomplish in clean energy, and it will be key to all our economic development plans."

Gov. Rick Snyder, State of the State Address, Jan. 19, 2011
"Tonight, I will start with specifics on the topic of economic development. Simply put, job one is jobs. ...

"... The MEDC will recalibrate its efforts and become a better partner with these regional groups to enhance economic gardening, talent enhancement, and support services to companies. The MEDC staff will literally co-locate with local partners to ensure seamless delivery of services to client companies and the optimal use of tools.

"The MEDC will serve as a clearinghouse — a best practice center — and a problem solver across the state. It will continue to represent the state internationally with support from local partners.

"Second, the MEDC will become an advocate of open source economic development. This means we'll leverage successful programs and practices to benefit all regions of the state. ...

"... For startups and young businesses, we'll work with our regional partners on continuing to develop and improve our entrepreneurial networking, business acceleration services, incubators, preseed funds and entrepreneurial education will be a priority.

"We will create a statewide network of talent coordinators who are focused on connecting entrepreneurs, innovators, management talent and job seekers with established companies. Using the open source economic development model, we will follow the success of Ann Arbor Spark's talent enhancement program. ...

"... Next, we need to do a much better job with connecting our workforce development efforts with our community colleges and economic development organizations. ...

"... [T]he scope of the 21st Century jobs fund is currently restricted to a limited list of eligible industries. This isn't right. The role of government is to support success, not pick winners and losers.

"We're asking the Legislature to remove the restrictions on what fields can be supported by this fund. Agriculture, information technology, among others, would greatly benefit from this opportunity. ...

"... I'm also pleased to announce that the University Research Corridor institutions, the University of Michigan , Wayne State University , and Michigan State University , are entering into a research partnership with Procter & Gamble company. ... It's groundbreaking. It's a collaboration that will speed innovative ideas to the marketplace by simplifying the legal process communities and universities use to research projects. ...

"... To show how organizations can help one another though, once this program is up and running at the URC institutions, it will be extended to all 215 public universities across our state.

Gov. Jay Nixon, State of the State Address, Jan. 19, 2011
"We've also got to grow our economy, creating a climate where the entrepreneurial spirit can thrive. ...

" ... The feedback from our business experts is the foundation of my Compete Missouri jobs initiative. Compete Missouri is focused on providing smarter business incentives to drive job growth, and sharpening our competitive edge.

"First, we will consolidate our six current business incentives, and roll them into one. To qualify for these incentives, companies will have to provide good-paying jobs, and give their employees access to health care. For the first time, we'll give an extra bump to established Missouri companies, and offer added incentives to small business owners.

"Second, we will roll our three worker training programs into one, and align it with our Compete Missouri incentives. Worker training assistance will be available to businesses as small as Ardent Outdoors, which employs 15 people in Macon, and as large as Boeing, which employs thousands.

"Third, my budget for 2012 provides an additional $5 million for job training. That will give employers more resources to maintain a highly skilled workforce, and sharpen their competitive edge. ...

"... My budget for 2012 also includes millions of dollars for Missouri's most successful college scholarship programs ... And to improve our students' preparation for careers in science and technology, we'll give a $500 bonus to A+ and Access Missouri recipients who score well on Advanced Placement exams in math and science."

Gov. Brian Sandoval, State of the State Address, Jan. 24, 2011
"We propose to redesign the Commission on Economic Development and recommend a 50 percent increase in General Fund dollars to run it. A new entity, Nevada Jobs Unlimited. ...

"... We are also proposing a $10 million Catalyst Fund to provide much-needed resources to close deals, finance infrastructure, and spur the growth of new jobs. ...

"... Our proposal builds upon the foundation laid by the New Nevada Task Force, which was convened by the lieutenant governor last summer, and has provided new ideas for the future of our state's economic development activities. Our future lies in business sectors like technology commercialization, bioscience, renewable energy asset development, and defense sector expansion. Innovation will drive tomorrow's economy, and so it must drive our decision-making as we rebuild our economic development infrastructure.

"There's a treasure in our state that can launch this new focus on innovation: Switch, a two-million-square-foot technology ecosystem campus in Las Vegas.... Switch's vision and innovation are attracting many Fortune 1000 companies to Las Vegas, and they are bringing jobs to Nevada.

"Switch is sponsoring an incentive program called the Nevada Advanced Technology Alliance. ...

"... Let me tell you briefly about how innovation will also help drive change in broadband technology, the gaming industry, renewable energy, and the state's infrastructure needs.

"We must continue to drive investment in broadband technology that fast-tracks job growth and provides a platform for spurring innovation across our state. My budget includes $3 million to help residents of rural Nevada use broadband access to start and grow businesses, or telecommute to anywhere in the world. ...

"... Universities and community colleges must develop a more strategic focus that connects degree programs and the state's economic development efforts."

Gov. Peter Shumlin, Budget Address, Jan. 25, 2011
"We must also invest in workforce development. My budget proposes $4.8 million for fiscal 2012 to assist Vermont workers and employers with high quality job training.

"As Vermonters grow older, we must keep more young people in our state in order to have a workforce to train. Ensuring that young Vermonters pursue post-secondary education is critical to our economic future. Vermont students and families have one of the highest education debt loads in the nation. I propose a sustainable higher education income tax credit that will enable Vermont students who stay here and work here to reduce their college debt.

"Two weeks ago, I launched Connect VT, an ambitious plan to deliver broadband and cell service to every corner of Vermont. Vermont cannot succeed in creating jobs or competing in our global economy if we fail. To get this essential project done, in addition to using federal funds and private investments, I propose spending $13 million from our two-year capital budget and fully utilizing the $40 million revenue bond capacity of the Vermont Telecommunications Authority. These investments will expedite the build out of fiber optics lines and wireless networks across our state, including the most rural areas that for economic reasons are least likely to attract private providers."

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