Penn State, Wilkes-Barre
- LOCATION: Lehman, Luzerne County
- NUMBER OF MAJORS: 160
- CAMPUS SIZE (ACRES): 50
- UNDERGRAD ENROLLMENT: 728
- TOTAL ENROLLMENT: 728
- STUDENT/FACULTY RATIO: 13:1
- WEB: www.wb.psu.edu
Great Valley Technology Alliance
Created in March 2000, the Great Valley Technology Alliance (GVTA) is a regional public-private partnership designed to facilitate the development of a knowledge-based, technology-focused economy for Northeastern Pennsylvania. GVTA is an outgrowth of a Battelle Memorial Institute study, commissioned by the economic development organizations of Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, and Scranton, and funded by the Economic Development Administration, as well as the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. Its purpose was to better understand and address the structural obstacles which must be overcome in order for the region to make the transition to the 21st century economy.
The Battelle Institute report that led to the creation of the GVTA identified several critical weaknesses that if left unaddressed would continue to hamper the region’s ability to attract and retain talented people and technology-focused investment. These weaknesses include:
- Non-entrepreneurial business climate
- Lack of local financial support for entrepreneurs
- Lack of a major research-driven educational institution in the region
- Lack of networking between the region’s existing technology-based businesses and its colleges and universities
- Failure to address quality of life issues
These weaknesses serve as disincentives for the retention and attraction of talent and investment. Thus GVTA’s work plan has been focused on addressing these issues as follows:
- GVTA is currently working with the region’s colleges and universities to create the Great Valley Technology Institute, a collaboration intended to leverage existing institutional resources and maximize the region’s technology transfer activities.
- GVTA has developed an approach to financing regional entrepreneurship. GVTA has established a regional network of "Angel" investors who review business plans and invest in local start-up companies not yet ready for the infusion of venture capital.
- GVTA has established a regional forum, known as "NoTIE," which provides a venue for information technology professionals to discuss shared problems.
- GVTA has brought technology issues before educators and the community through its popular Forum series.
- GVTA encourages technology careers through events such as the Great Valley High School Computer Contest.
- GVTA promotes entrepreneurship through events such as the Great Valley Young Entrepreneur Award and its Business Plan Competition.
- GVTA has established POWER!, a group of young professionals, ages 18-40, committed to making the region a better place to live, work and play.
Working cooperatively with its partners from higher education, business and economic development, the Great Valley Technology Alliance has created a sustainable strategy for implementing and promoting its policy objectives and programming initiatives that focus on building a community with a strong entrepreneurial culture that attracts and retains talented and creative workers. The shared goals of GVTA’s initiatives will result in the development of new business and contribute to the development of the growing regional knowledge-based economy of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Learn more about the GVTA at www.greatvalleyalliance.com/.