CLEARFIELD, PA – At their regular meeting on Tuesday, Clearfield County Commissioners heard a presentation from Brad Lashinsky, director of the North Central PA Launchbox. Lashinsky has asked the commissioners to partner with the Launchbox to seek out a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) POWER Initiative. The Launchbox, part of the
Invent Penn State initiative at Penn State DuBois, aims to bolster entrepreneurship and economic development in communities surrounding Penn State DuBois, as well as provide education and training to the workforce and general public. Additionally, the initiative is designed to improve quality of life for individuals in the region, with plans to offer educational programs and seminars on issues like the opioid crisis, healthcare, and more. Under this partnership, Clearfield County would not take on any financial responsibility, but will simply help to administer the
The ARC grant would be used to fund facilities, equipment, and training programs necessary to achieve the goals of the Launchbox. The amount of funding awarded by ARC would be dependent upon a match provided by Penn State DuBois based on the value of equipment and facilities that will be available for use to Launchbox clients in the maker’s space and technical
training center. That equipment includes a scanning electronic microscope, powder metal presses, computer numeric controlled lathes, and more. That value, estimated at $700,000, could result in a two-to-one match by ARC in the form of a $1,400,000 project.
“Our mission at the Launchbox is very closely aligned with the initiatives ARC has identified as priorities for their organization,” said Lashinsky. “We want to serve our region by enhancing opportunities for entrepreneurship and technical training, as well as help to educate the public about social challenges which also hinder positive growth in our communities.”
The ARC POWER Initiative is a federally funded program designed to help communities and regions affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operation, and other coal-related industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production. The program is projected to award approximately $45 million in grant funding this year.