Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan announced a $1.5 million Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant to support the expansion of Ben Franklin TechVentures2®.
The City of Bethlehem advocated for this grant with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Ben Franklin TechVentures2 will improve Ben Franklin’s ability to provide resources, workspace, and hands-on support to early-stage technology companies, and generate new jobs during the economic recovery. Vice President Joe Biden joined in the celebration of the groundbreaking of Ben Franklin TechVentures2 on April 15th.
Ben Franklin TechVentures2 will be a 47,000 square-foot expansion to the original Ben Franklin TechVentures business technology incubator/post-incubator facility. Located on Lehigh University’s Mountaintop campus, it will include wet labs, office/meeting space, and parking to accommodate 260. The addition will be a certified “Leadership Energy and Environmental Design, LEED, building,” and will have a photovoltaic solar array on its rooftop and the latest energy management and light-harvesting technologies.
Creating New Jobs in PA
This new facility will create as many as 200 sustainable, highly paid technology jobs and retain 100 more jobs at new, start-up companies in its first three years. It will also provide job and internship opportunities for up to 20 university students each year. Twenty-three early-stage firms, employing 118 people, are currently located in Ben Franklin TechVentures. Since 1983, the Ben Franklin Business Incubator and TechVentures have graduated 44 successful companies, creating more than 4,500 jobs. The Ben Franklin Business Incubator was named National Business Incubator of the Year by the National Business Incubation Association in 2001.
“A cornerstone of the American economic recovery will be the creation and retention of high-value, sustainable jobs in technology sectors,” said R. Chadwick Paul, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania. “Like its predecessors, Ben Franklin TechVentures2 will be a job-creation factory that will accelerate our region’s economic growth.”