Gov. Wolf Announces $2 million in State Funding for ‘Innovation Squared’ Expansion in Wilkes-Barre

first_img October 14, 2016 Innovation,  Jobs That Pay,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today joined Senator John Yudichak and Representative Eddie Day Pashinski to announce a $2 million state grant for the expansion of a technology innovation project in Downtown Wilkes-Barre. ‘Innovation Squared’ is a four-pronged initiative to create an innovation district for the region, and will create and retain 200 full-time jobs.“Great work has already been done to improve the safety of and capitalize on the assets of the Square here in Wilkes-Barre, but this particular site remains outdated,” Governor Wolf said. “The renovation will make the center of Downtown Wilkes-Barre a focal point for a vibrant and active community, while creating good paying jobs that will attract talent to the area.”“These state funds will further advance the vision of Innovation Squared in transforming downtown Wilkes-Barre into a technology hub that will retain our talented college graduates, attract tech entrepreneurs and grow new businesses,” Sen. Yudichak said. “I am grateful for Governor Wolf’s support of this vital project which brings our academic, business and community leaders, along with our entrepreneurs together to make Wilkes-Barre a successful Innovation District.”The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) funds will allow the project — a joint venture between the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, the City of Wilkes-Barre, the Diamond City Partnership, and other business and high education community leaders — to expand at its current site, 40 Public Square, and move forward in several areas:Pepperjam Retention/Expansion of the Innovation Center: In June 2015, Pepperjam (formerly eBay Enterprise Marketing) announced its intention to make the Innovation Center in Downtown Wilkes-Barre its corporate headquarters through 2021. The project features the retention of 75 employees in the area, and the creation of 125 new jobs at the Innovation Center.New Incubator Development: To ensure start-ups and technology firms have the necessary space to grow, Innovation Squared features the acquisition and renovation of the former First National Bank building on Public Square to house new and recently formed start-up companies.Wilkes-Barre THINK Center: This 6,000 square-foot technology workshop and multi-media center is located in the lower level of the Innovation Center. The THINK Center provides local professionals, businesses, and colleges and universities access to shared workshops for research and development; private conference rooms for training, presentations and virtual meetings; and a multi-service center to be utilized for virtual board meetings, podcasts, lectures, technology competitions, and mentorship activities. The center also features a co-working space focused on providing entrepreneurs the facilities and services they need to advance their concepts to the incubation stage.Wilkes-Barre Connect Initiative: Wilkes-Barre Connect is an entrepreneurial ecosystem that ensures start-ups and existing businesses have access to the providers, services, and facilities they need to grow in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The initiative aims to spur business and job creation, retention, expansion, and business attraction through the support services, including mentoring, training, networking, technical assistance, access to capital, and facilities. The Wilkes-Barre Connect Initiative serves as the necessary service-based component of the Innovation Squared Project – and will be housed within the Innovation Center Technology Workshop.“I would like to sincerely thank Gov. Wolf for awarding this important RCAP grant to our highly successful Innovation Squared Economic Development Project,” Rep. Pashinski said. “This RCAP award will retain 75 excellent paying jobs, create 125 new ones, and secure a dual entrepreneurial ecosystem and mentorship program for downtown Wilkes-Barre.”“Today provides validation for our Innovation Squared strategy – an effort brought forth by our academic, business and government partners to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem in downtown Wilkes-Barre,” said Joseph Boylan, vice president Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce. “Launching just 16 months ago, Innovation Squared has already featured the retention and expansion of 200 jobs at Pepperjam, the creation of a 6,000 square foot multi-media and technology center called the Wilkes-Barre THINK Center, and launch of Wilkes-Barre Connect. These components have paved the way for today’s announcement  – a commitment from Governor Wolf and the commonwealth to help bring a new incubator online in downtown Wilkes-Barre.”Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Gov. Wolf Announces $2 million in State Funding for ‘Innovation Squared’ Expansion in Wilkes-Barrecenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

No. 14 USC grinds out 38-10 win over Oregon State

first_imgOn Saturday, No. 14 USC jumped back into the win column after last week’s loss to Washington State, as it defeated Oregon State 38-10 on Saturday at the Coliseum.“A good win for our football team, any Pac-12 win is,” head coach Clay Helton said. “[We’re] 1-0 on the week, 5-1 on the season and looking at the game without watching the film yet, I really felt like our defense did an amazing job.” While it was an all-around strong performance for the Trojans on both sides of the ball, redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold was unable to depart from his recent turnover-prone play. In the first quarter, he fumbled the ball on his own 20-yard line in a play eerily similar to last week’s fumble against Washington State.Then with three minutes left in the first half, Darnold threw his ninth interception of the year, failing to see a linebacker float to the ball in coverage. He almost gave up the ball again in the second half, fumbling on his own 22-yard line, but tackle Toa Lobendahn recovered it on the one-yard line, narrowly avoiding a safety. Darnold had thrown nine interceptions all of last season.“I think honestly, I’m stopping the offense a little bit right now with the way I’m turning the ball over,” Darnold said. “I’ve just got to be better.” Trevon Sidney catches a pass in USC’s win over Oregon State – Matt Karatsu | Daily TrojanOutside of the turnovers, Darnold, for the most part, looked accurate and poised behind an offensive line reshaped due to injuries. On the game, he threw for 316 yards, completing 23 of 35 passes. However, one Oregon State player was less than impressed with the sophomore quarterback’s game.  “Nothing special,” said Oregon State cornerback Kyle White. “He’s a normal Pac-12 QB. I didn’t see anything special. He made his throws, made his reads. He fumbled twice. He had one picked off, should’ve been three. He’s OK.” The Trojans started off fast and furious in their return to the Coliseum after two weeks on the road. Their first drive, which featured a balanced attack between run and pass, was punctuated by a 37-yard touchdown strike from Darnold to freshman wide receiver Tyler Vaughns over the middle. Minutes into the game, Darnold completed his longest pass since Week 3 against Texas. Vaughns finished with five catches for 68 yards and a touchdown.The Trojans’ fast start was not limited to the offensive side of ball. Immediately following the touchdown drive, Oregon State quarterback Darrell Garretson threw an interception to a leaping sophomore cornerback Jack Jones placing USC deep in enemy territory. Junior running back Ronald Jones scored on a four-yard toss a few plays later, giving his team an early 14-0 advantage. With the touchdown, Jones has scored in 12 consecutive games that he’s played in. While more emphasis was placed on the passing game, Ronald Jones turned a solid day at the office. He finished with 79 yards, averaging over six yards a carry. “I’ve been practicing with those guys all week,” said Ronald Jones about the reshuffled offensive line. “I felt comfortable trusting the guys and the reads.”Christian Rector leaps to block a pass – Matt Karatsu | Daily TrojanThe home team would exit the first half with a 21-3 lead, with USC’s third touchdown coming on a 16-yard touchdown catch by junior receiver Deontay Burnett early in the second quarter. Celebrating his 20th birthday on Saturday, Burnett scored his team-leading sixth touchdown of the year.The Trojans’ offensive momentum continued into the second half. After Oregon State was forced to punt, the team efficiently and effectively drove 91 yards in just over three minutes, scoring a touchdown when Darnold found freshman tight end Josh Falo wide open on a wheel route for 30 yards. It was both Falo’s first career touchdown and first career reception.Freshman placekicker Chase McGrath added a 29-yard field goal with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter on what would be Darnold’s final drive of the game. In backup redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Fink’s first career drive, he bursted open for a 51-yard touchdown run on a read option play. After the freshman’s dynamic rush, USC fans were treated to another special moment as redshirt sophomore blind long snapper Jake Olsen once again came onto the field to snap for the extra point. As the crowd roared, Olsen once again delivered a perfect snap.Redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Fink runs for a touchdown – Matt Karatsu | Daily Trojan“Credit to old Matty Fink,” Helton said. “Matt did a wonderful job getting in there and making the most of his opportunity. I’d like to thank coach [Gary] Andersen for the class he showed for allowing us to get Jake in to perform his craft.”The Trojan defense turned in a dominant performance on Saturday afternoon. In addition to sophomore cornerback Jack Jones’ early interception, redshirt sophomore linebacker Christian Rector came up with an important fumble recovery in the third quarter, just as the Beavers were making a push for the end zone. The defensive lineman has shown a knack for finding the football; he has two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles on the season.“This guy [Rector] is becoming a superstar in the last four games,” Helton said. “[He] continues to show up in big ways as we enter the month of October here.” Overall, the defense gave up one touchdown on the afternoon, when Oregon State running back Atavis Pierce ran it in from six yards out in the fourth quarter.“I think we played pretty well,” senior safety and team captain Chris Hawkins said. “The score says we played well, the stats say we played well. I think we can get a lot better. I’m not satisfied, but I think it was a good win for us.”last_img read more