bobble3   Read more about the content to be covered at this Summit.

8:00—8:10 a.m. Summit Opening Remarks. Colleen Larose, NERETA


8:10–8:45 a.m. William J. Holstein, Creating The Next American Economy

Holstein, a veteran business journalist and author of “The Next American Economy: Blueprint For a Real Recovery,” will offer a distillation of what he has learned in studying American technology clusters for 25 years. Much as large corporation undertakes innovation in a five-step “gate” process, Holstein applies a step-by-step approach in explaining best practices in the commercialization of technology. A state or region cannot guarantee that a technology will be successfully developed, but it can put the right ingredients in place to create the possibility.

William Holstein, Author  – New York

Job Creation Summit “event moderator”


8:45 – 9:30  –  The State of the Technology Workforce in America – Kevin Hively, Ninigrit Partners

Somewhat unique among economic development firms, NP believes the talent question is the overriding issue facing communities seeking to grow their economies. NP sees two major questions as communities’ grapple with technological change. The first is creating and attracting the right types of talent. The second is how to give current residents a shot at the emerging opportunities whether they are tech-related or becoming neighborhood entrepreneurs.

Here are just some of the topics Kevin is going to discuss with us:

  • “Innovation” isn’t enough anymore – you need to create a “destination product”
  • Talent problem is multi-dimensional – data doesn’t tell the full story
  • Economic equity now an unavoidable part of the conversation so how to talk about it and what to do about it.

Here are just some questions we will have for him:
1) How does a region best support a “technology sector/cluster”?

2)  Once they discover “what technology sector/cluster” they will support…how do they make sure they can produce a workforce that can support the industry they are focusing on?

3) What are your thoughts on the millions who will be left behind…re: inequity?  Universal Basic Income?  Energy credits? Pathways out of poverty…entrepreneurship?  Employee-owned companies?

What questions will you have for Kevin?


9:30-9:45  –  Break

9:45- 10:45 –  Developing a Talent Pipeline for Technology And Growth Sectors: Pennsylvania Highlights  – Panel Discussion –  Like many other states, Pennsylvania is trying to knit together different institutions and programs to spur technology-based economic growth. From the state government down through the nationally recognized Ben Franklin program to community colleges, the state is attempting to create winning strategies for regions hit hard by the loss of steel, coal and textile jobs.

Panel chair- Paul Raetsch, EDA (retired), Panelists

Paul Raetsch,  Northeast Region Director for the Economic Development Administration (retired) – New Jersey


Eileen Cipriani , Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry – Pennsylvania

Workforce Development is my role at the Dept of L&I. I will talk about regional strategies and interagency cooperation between DCED, PDE, L&I and other state agencies in the Workforce Development realm


Kenneth G. Okrepkie, Regional Manager, Ben Franklin Technology Partners NEP – Pennsylvania

I will be addressing two topics 1) An overview that highlights the impact Ben Franklin Technology Partners is having on the PA economy, 2) The formation and importance of TECBridge, a regional technology based economy development organization that connects our 14 institutions of higher education, our economic development entities and entrepreneurs. The TEC in TECBridge stands for Technology Entrepreneurship and Collaboration.

Pamela Shupp – Greater Reading Economic Partnership and Pennsylvania Economic Development Association

I will be talking about support for industry clusters and the connectivity between expansion of our existing clusters (through retention and attraction).  Interview with existing businesses in our targeted industry growth clusters (specifically Adv. Manufacturing and energy storage R&D) and how we use that information to align our training curriculums at the community college and CTC levels.

Jeannine Barrett – Lackawanna College School of Petroleum and Natural Gas

Our associate degrees are structured to send technicians into the energy industry.   We maintain close relationships with the producers and midstream companies in the Marcellus; they inform our curriculum decisions, partner with us to provide internships for our students, and donate current equipment for our laboratories.   To date, we have over 125 graduates working in the energy industry.   Next week another 35 will join the ranks of alumni working to produce and deliver natural gas.  I hope to represent an example of a technical talent pipeline already in effect in the Commonwealth.



10:45- 11:30 – Nelse Grundvig,  Center on Education and Work, University of Wisconsin – Wisconsin

There is a recognized need for highly skilled workers to fill current and future job vacancies. Grundvig will discuss how those involved in economic and workforce development including training and education providers, job counselors, employees and businesses can use career ladders and lattices to ensure a highly skilled and adaptive labor force.

Nelse Grundvig works as researcher for Wisconsin’s Center on Education and Work, home of the career information system, CareerLocker.

Prior to this position, Grundvig served as a Policy Initiatives Advisor for the Department of Workforce Development and the Labor Market Information (LMI) Director for the state of Wisconsin, where he was involved in implementing data systems and creating performance measures for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. He served on several committees and policy councils for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

He has overseen labor research for the states of North Carolina and North Dakota. As the principal trainer for the LMI Institute, he taught researchers, analysts, economists, counselors and administrators to do program evaluation, needs analysis, report on economic conditions and projections of labor supply and demand. Grundvig has been involved in federal and state interagency and interdisciplinary collaborations creating pragmatic solutions when measuring, analyzing or reporting on a wide spectrum of issues concerning education, training and the changing needs of employers.

His research experiences include building survey instruments using a variety of delivery systems to gather the needed information, qualitative analysis and systemic reviews, mathematical modeling demographics and program evaluation. He is a recipient of the Charles Benefield award, an award for advancing both the art and science of labor market information using his background in sociology, economics and psychology.


 11:30 – 12:30 – Lunch  


12:30- 1:15 – Chuck Vollmer, Author and Founder of Jobenomics – Maryland


The Jobenomics Model. Vollmer is on a crusade to create 20 million jobs over the course of a decade. His non-profit Jobenomics creates alliances and partnerships with cities and regions in association with other non-profits. The target audiences for job creation are at the bottom of America’s social-economic pyramid—veterans, minorities, women and young people under the age of 21. In these remarks, he’ll zero in on a project in Erie, Pa., to create 3,500 jobs in five years through combination of four programs, including hydroponic farming. He believes his approach can be replicated and scaled anywhere.


1:15 – 2:00-   Laurence Gottlieb- President and CEO Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation

How The Hudson Valley Region Creates Both High-Tech and Low-Tech Clusters. A conversation with Laurence P. Gottlieb, president and CEO of the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation. He has helped create or nurture clusters in biotechnology, food and beverages, and three-dimensional (3D) printing in New York’s Hudson River Valley, among others. He argues that the human factor is critical to all. Economic developers must encourage the development of classes at universities and community colleges that create the right skills sets and must create what he calls “a center of gravity” where all the participants in a cluster meet each other face-to-face.


2:00-3:00- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Resources for Workforce Development – Thomas Wellington, Community Economic Development Lead in USDA-Rural Development State Office in PA

Thomas will review several programs available through the USDA that address Job Creation.

3:00 – 4:30 – TEAM TRAINING – Paul Raetsch,  Thomas Wellington and Colleen LaRose –  Will explain three different approaches local teams can take to organizing and implementing their local plans.  This will be an interactive session.

Thomas will walk us through the “Stronger Economies Together” Program offered by the USDA and will advise us on funding available for community planning.

Paul will walk us through “Comprehensive Economic Development Strategic Planning” that is offered through the EDA.

Colleen will walk us through the attached workbook and discuss the merits of “cluster initiatives.”

Cake will be served during this portion of the day to keep you and your team motivated!! 


   Supporting Entrepreneurs and Business Growth


Thursday, June 15th

Morning coffee provided (hotel guests get free full breakfast).

8:00 – 8:05 – Bill Holstein – Morning  opening remarks

8:05 -8:45 – Making Everyone an Innovator:  Start Ups and Scale Ups – Erik R. Pages, President of EntreWorks Consulting – Virginia

Regions can and should embrace an inclusive approach to entrepreneurship that supports all kinds of entrepreneurs–from home-based micro enterprises to potential high-growth firms. Regions need a balanced approach in supporting both start-ups and “scale-ups.”

8:45- 9:30 – What entrepreneurs and new businesses need – Dr. Patricia Greene, Babson University

Greene will talk about how Babson College works with all types of small businesses and small business owners around the world to help them grow their businesses. She will offer her thoughts on how institutions of higher education should teach entrepreneurship and what role they should play in local and regional economic development efforts. She has helped regions such as Kansas City, Mo., develop their innovation ecosystems and will touch on that subject as well.


 9:30- 10:15  – Entrepreneurs  Speak Out!  What Entrepreneurs Need From Their Regional Ecosystems; Michael Jones, CEO Pepperjam; Drew Kearny, CEO, Signallamp Health 

Entrepreneurs speak out. Michael Jones of Pepperjam, based in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and Drew Kearny, of Signallamp Health, based in Scranton.They will talk about how they built and sold their companies. The role of incubators, access to capital and the presence (or absence) of workers with Internet-era skills will be discussed.




Break 10:15- 10:30

10:30- 11:30 – Modernizing the role of workforce development to address the needs of the Gig economy.  Panel chair – Mary Wright, Jobs for the Future; Jeffrey Forrest, College of the Canyons/Calif. Community Colleges Chancellor’s  task force on Workforce Development; Jeff Turgeon, Central Massacusetts WIB; Linda Cruz Carnall, NE Regional Director of the EDA

The Future of Work is a phrase being used by pundits, economists, educators and employers to describe the shifting nature of employment.  But what does it mean to those whose charge is to develop the workforce?  This panel will discuss how the gig economy may affect the workplace and give some examples of what all stakeholders can do to be sure that workers have the skills needed for long-term success in the changing economy.



11:30-12:15 Alice Li , Executive Director, Center for Technology Licensing, Cornell University 

The New Face of Technology Transfer

The transfer of technology from American universities and research institutes is the primary means of generating technology-based economic growth. Once a sleepy backwater, the nation’s leading research universities have greatly expanded their technology transfer offices in an effort to make them more effective. Aside from patenting and licensing technology, these university offices now are involved in marketing, raising capital, providing resources for entrepreneurs and creating partnerships between large companies and small start-ups. What are the emerging best practices that spur regional economic growth?


12:15- 1:00 – Lunch

1:00- 1:30 –What you need to know about tax incentives – Greg Leroy, Good Jobs First 

Workforce development programs are far less costly and therefore more cost-effective than “megadeal” economic development incentive packages that often result from multi-state competitions. Companies that locate operations in a region simply because of incentives can easily pull up roots and leave. But if a skilled workforce is in place, they are much likelier to remain.

Traditional economic development relies heavily on politicians and economic development entities wooing companies from other regions by local government often offering tax breaks or other incentives to get companies to relocate to their region.  It depends largely on the community being the “low cost” alternative for companies looking to relocate.  Traditional economic development looks for “big deals”…attracting large corporations to assure long term, stable jobs.

Progressive economic development relies largely on local citizen interest growing their local economies by investing in existing companies and in helping to support the creation of new companies (entrepreneurs).  This happens through developing public-private ventures and investments in research. Progressive economic development is oriented toward the community working collaboratively to support smaller enterprises and is very fluid and adaptable to changing economic conditions.

Greg is the country’s leading authority on the use of tax incentives (and the transparency of these deals) as well as alternatives to using incentives.


1:30 – 2:00- Economic Gardening – Paul Bateson, Edward Lowe Foundation

In contrast to relocation or startup initiatives, Economic Gardening targets second-stage companies already operating in a community. It helps these existing businesses grow larger by assisting them with strategic issues and providing them with customized research. Researchers assist in core strategy, market dynamics, qualified sales leads and innovation. They use corporate databases, geographic information systems, and Web marketing tools to help these companies.


2:00-3:45 – TEAM TRAINING – Maria Meyers, Sourcelink  and Vice Provost of Economic Development, University of Missouri – Kansas City,  Director, UMKC Innovation Center – Missouri

How to create a regional ecosystem to support entrepreneurship and create jobs.