York College is receiving a $204,600 grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development to grow and support programs aimed at expanding the promotion of entrepreneurship throughout the region.
The Discovered in PA—Developed in PA grant received by York College will launch the Investing in a Region’s Knowledge Resources project, a piece of Gov. Tom Corbett’s Jobs 1st PA initiative. C. Alan Walker, the DCED secretary, was on campus Tuesday to present the grant during the York County Economic Alliance’s economic forum.
York College will make enhancements to its business incubator, the J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship, by adding a science lab and space for additive manufacturing — the processes used in 3-D printing — to increase capacity and job growth in the incubator, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
During his visit, Walker was able to tour the Kings Mill Depot, home of the center, and see the existing science lab — called a wet lab — and what plans officials have for the space.
The college also will strengthen student programming with classes and internships with incubator companies, as well as assist with business skill development, such as through an “elevator pitch” and regional business plan competitions.
“At any given time, we have about a dozen students interning at the incubator,” said Jeff Vermeulen, who serves as director of government relations for the college and executive director of the J.D. Brown Center. “Our incubator clients get to benefit and our students and faculty get to benefit directly from the interaction.”
Similar to “town-and-gown” projects between Franklin & Marshall College and Lancaster or Bucknell University and Lewisburg, York College hopes to use some of the grant money to entice commercial development around campus, Vermeulen said. Specifically, a portion of the grant will fund a commercial development study for the neighborhood around the college what roll the college can play in encouraging that development.
“Colleges play a part in helping to develop neighborhoods,” he said. “We’ve already been helping to renovate parts of Jackson street from the neighborhood development standpoint. Now we’re looking at the commercial development. What is the right fit for York College?”
Corbett’s Jobs 1st PA initiative was launched in 2012. The goal is to help in the state’s economic recovery by supporting projects that would create new jobs or retain current ones.