Wolf Administration Highlights Continued Investments in Businesses and Workers During Grand Opening of the Digital Foundry at New Kensington

New Kensington, PA – Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Acting Secretary Neil Weaver today joined Penn State University officials and community leaders in Westmoreland County to help cut the ribbon on the Digital Foundry at New Kensington, a hands-on digital technology demonstration and learning lab.

“The Wolf Administration understands that technology constantly evolves, and will continue investing in entrepreneurs and talented workers so that they stay right here in Pennsylvania,” said Acting Sec. Weaver. “The Digital Foundry at New Kensington brings together business, academia, and communities with a singular focus of building the workforce in the digital space. We are thrilled to have had a hand in this bold and innovative project.”

The Digital Foundry at New Kensington is a state-of-the-art facility that will serve as a regional hub for innovation, creative thinking, problem solving, learning, and collaboration. Southwestern Pennsylvania can expect to see economic support and growth through education and training in digital and smart manufacturing technologies provided by the lab.

“In 2017, we, along with our partners the Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland and the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation, were able to establish one of the University’s first Invent Penn State innovation hubs to foster small business development and entrepreneurship,” said Kevin Snider, chancellor of Penn State New Kensington. “It also attracted the attention of large companies such as Siemens, Arconic and Kennametal, where we learned that our business and industry partners were working in a different environment and needed a technologically-aware workforce that possessed many of the traits of an entrepreneur. As an educational institution, we quickly realized that our students also needed skills to help them navigate a working life that will be dominated by technology and change, regardless of the industry or field. These conversations would lay the groundwork for what would become the Digital Foundry at New Kensington, along with our collaborative model for future-readiness that we call, Nextovation.”

Last August, Governor Tom Wolf announced nearly $200,000 in funding towards the project through the Manufacturing Training-to-Career (MTTC) program. Under the Wolf Administration, nearly $16.6 million has been invested in MTTC programs that help companies identify and train a skilled workforce, engage youth or those with barriers in awareness building activities of career opportunities in manufacturing, and or advance capacity for local regional manufacturers.

For more information on economic development programs, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Penny Ickes, DCED, dcedpress@pa.gov

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