October 18, 2011

Rockefeller, Manchin, Rahall Say Techconnect WV Funding Will Help Lay the Foundation for High-Paying Jobs in West Virginia

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, along with Congressman Nick Rahall, (all D-WV) today announced that TechConnectWV has received $250,000 in funding through the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) that will help to diversify West Virginia’s economy, and create high-wage jobs. TechConnectWV’s proposal is aimed at heightening the need for technology-based economic development and providing direct assistance to startup firms and entrepreneurs – soft infrastructure development that will complement ongoing work at the new West Virginia Regional Technology Park in South Charleston. 

Rockefeller wrote a letter of support to EDA earlier this year for TechConnectWV to receive this funding.

“Since its formation, TechConnectWV has been instrumental in expanding access to capital by working to increase collaborations between large corporations and startups,” said Rockefeller. “The company has been successful at promoting West Virginia’s regional industry clusters, and funding received from this grant will help TechConnectWV lead West Virginia in developing a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that produces high-paying jobs for our state’s workers.”

“I am so proud of TechConnectWV for making this next step toward realizing its mission of diversifying West Virginia’s economy through tech-based economic development,” Senator Manchin said. “This grant will enable TechConnectWV to work with entrepreneurs to create the next generation of small businesses  from Morgantown to Charleston down through Mercer and Raleigh counties and over to Huntington by deploying initiatives to spur innovation and entrepreneurship.  TechConnectWV’s vision for our state through its focus on advanced energy, chemicals, advanced materials, biometrics and biotech has already reaped dividends, and through this new collaboration great things will come.” 

“TechConnectWV shares EDA’s mission to create jobs and this funding builds on recent EDA job investments, like the Marshall-Concord EDA Center.  With this funding, TechConnectWV will strengthen the partnership between the public and private sectors, and higher education, connecting them with budding innovative entrepreneurs and emerging technology enterprises,” said Rahall, who is the top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee with jurisdiction over the EDA.   

Background on TechConnectWV:

TechConnectWV is a non-profit coalition with broad representation from private industry, the public sector, and higher education.  TechConnectWV works to enhance awareness, spur collaboration, and raise the discussion of issues surrounding technology-based economic development.  Its goals are to diversify the state’s economy, promote economic prosperity, and create high-paying jobs.  For more information, visit www.techconnectwv.com.

Background on EDA:

EDA was established to generate jobs, help retain existing jobs, and stimulate industrial and commercial growth in economically distressed areas of the United States. EDA assistance is available to rural and urban areas of the nation experiencing high unemployment, low income, or other severe economic distress.