TechConnectWV Recognized by National Chamber Foundation
TechConnectWV’s efforts to align existing resources and leverage assets are paying off, and are also being recognized! A June 11, 2012 post (listed below) from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s National Chamber Foundation recognizes TechConnectWV, along with INNOVA and MATRIC, for assisting in the growth of the state’s STEM workforce.
“West Virginia has invested in critical hard and soft infrastructure to foster research and development initiatives focused on job creation and higher paying jobs. The state’s initiatives aimed at increasing the skills required in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related employment are coupled with a cohesive approach to delivering the infrastructure required to accommodate this growth – including broadband connectivity and business and industrial parks. In sum, the state has developed forward-looking programs and infrastructure to address the workforce and skills needs of the 21st century.”
“West Virginia has established a number of programs and nonprofits designed to attract and build jobs in science and technology. The StartUP West Virginia program, administered by TechConnectWV, offers grants to new technology entrepreneurs to aid them through the startup process. Companies can use the funds to access services including commercialization support and prototyping. More substantial support is provided through the state’s INNOVA Commercialization Group, offering small businesses and entrepreneurs up to $250,000 of seed investment to help get their products to market. The group also offers professional services and equipment loans designed to support nascent technology companies with growth potential. The state’s Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research and Innovation Center (MATRIC) is home to dozens of research scientists and technicians working with public, private, and educational-sector partners to conduct advanced research with commercial potential. Building on the state’s history of petrochemical innovation, the center specializes in chemical and environmental technologies.
“Efforts to grow the state’s science and technology economy may be paying off. West Virginia’s STEM workforce has grown 3.9% since 2007, more than five times the national rate.”