Grow PA: Statewide Strategies to Get Connected (Recording and Resources)

Grow PA is a statewide initiative led by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia that convenes people and organizations throughout Pennsylvania to advance a modern growth agenda.

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Program Agenda

Recording of Program
Access Passcode: Venango_1.14

Participants in this discussion included:
Dana S. Kubiak, Senior Portfolio Advisor for F.N.B. Wealth Management
Donna Oberlander, PA State Representative
Sascha Meinrath, Palmer Chair in Telecommunications at Penn State
Jill Foys, Executive Director at the Northwest Commission
Albert “Chip” Abramovic, Venango County Commissioner
Susan Williams, President at the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce
Pictured below from left to right:


Resources

Grow PA Website

Article of Interest (Faculty member’s research shows broadband disconnect for many in Pennsylvania)

United States of Broadband Speed Map

Broadband Map (Provided by Harry Crissy)

National Telecommunications and Information Administration Broadband Funding Database

FCC Auction to Bring Broadband to Over 10 Million Rural Americans

WorkStats: Research & Historical Data

Kiplinger’s Economic Outlook for All 50 States, 2020


Upcoming Grow PA Event:
Grow PA: Higher Ed’s Role in the Future of Work
January 26th from 10:30-11:30AM | Via Zoom
Register here:  https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIlf-qhrz4rHNV5U56eUlEL_g2f5NPz8pVW

Find upcoming Grow PA events here.


Follow-up article from Susan Williams, Venango Chamber President & CEO:

The Venango Chamber recently partnered with Grow PA to host a gathering focused on
“Statewide Strategies to Get Connected” to discuss regional and statewide strategies for expanding broadband access.

There was little need to state the obvious: Pennsylvania continues to have large areas of the state with little or no access to broadband. Rural counties without access often have many homes that, even if served by a provider, do not have acceptable speeds of transmission. There also appears to be pricing disparity between communities.

Grow PA brings leaders from across the state together to discuss regional and statewide strategies for expanding broadband access. The virtual gathering on January 14, moderated by Chamber President Susan Williams, included an economic overview by Dana Kubiak, Vice President and Senior Portfolio Advisor at F.N.B. Wealth Management; an update of regional broadband efforts by Jill Foy, Executive Director at Northwest Commission and Venango County Commissioner Chip Abramovic; and legislative updates by Donna Oberlander, PA State Representative.

Each speaker demonstrated that there are tremendous resources of time, attention, and funding tapped for broadband expansion. But is it enough? The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the most underserved communities and the need to speed up the pace developing robust networks and connecting every home and business.

Also included in the Grow PA Gathering was Sascha Meinrath, Palmer Chair in Telecommunications at Penn State. Sascha offered suggestions for improving Pennsylvania’s broadband infrastructure, including using data that he and others have been collecting about gaps in services. He also stressed the importance of collaboration across communities and regions, sharing that internet providers do not stop and start at county borders. Sascha remarked that conversations like this Grow PA gathering are a great step forward.

Early feedback from many of the over 100 attendees suggested there is a real interest from legislators, educators, and chambers of commerce in continuing the conversation and developing partnership towards broadband advancement.