DUBOIS, Pa. — Brad Lashinsky has been appointed as the program director for the entrepreneurship and innovation hub at Penn State DuBois, part of the Invent Penn State initiative. Lashinsky's appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2019. He also will serve as a lecturer in business at the DuBois campus.
Invent Penn State was launched in 2015, with the University awarding seed grants to help fund the establishment of innovation hubs and entrepreneurship centers in communities statewide. The effort is designed to bolster entrepreneurship and economic development in communities surrounding Penn State campuses, with Penn State DuBois becoming one of 21 hubs for innovation across the state.
Plans for the Penn State DuBois innovation hub include a focus on manufacturing industries that already have a strong foothold in the area's economy, which are poised for growth. Working together with industry partners, Invent Penn State aims to help companies within these industries innovate new technologies and processes, expand their business opportunities, and create growth and increased job opportunities in the area workforce. To realize these goals, Lashinsky will collaborate with businesses, economic development and workforce development organizations, local governments, and entrepreneurs.
Plans are in place to base the DuBois innovation hub in a new, off-campus facility known as the LaunchBox. The DuBois LaunchBox and Innovation Collaborative is a partnership focused on supporting manufacturing competitiveness and workforce needs, growing and attracting talented entrepreneurs and innovators, and creating new high‐knowledge, high‐technology businesses for the region. Penn State DuBois will facilitate partnerships with and between businesses, education, industry, and economic and community development stakeholders to form a functional ecosystem for providing facilities and programming for industrial research and development, P‐20 STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) educational and professional programming, business and community development, and workforce training and development for regional industries.
“My vision for the LaunchBox is the creation of a collaborative environment in which education is working in conjunction with our region's economic resource partners to foster entrepreneurship and innovation,” Lashinsky said. “Through this effort, the partnership would contribute toward creating a healthy, sustainable economy where the region is viewed by all as a great place to live, work and play.”
“We are delighted that Brad has joined us to further develop the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem on our campus and for our community and region,” Penn State DuBois Chancellor M. Scott McBride said of Lashinsky’s appointment. “With his success as a collaborative leader in economic development, he has the talent and skills to build our new LaunchBox and Innovation Collaborative program.”
Lashinsky comes to Penn State DuBois from the Jefferson County Development Council (JCDC), where he has served as director since January 2012. The JCDC specializes in financial lending, commercial real estate, project development, grant administration, and business incubator systems. In 2015, JCDC was selected as the Non-Profit Business of the Year by the Brookville Area Chamber of Commerce for the work completed on various community and economic development projects in the area. Most recently, in 2017 it was selected for the Economic Development Partner of Year Award through the Pennsylvania Economic Development Association for rehabilitation of a previously blighted hotel property along Interstate 80. Additionally, JCDC developed and currently facilitates the Jefferson County Resource Partnership, which is a collection of professionals who comprise the economic development delivery system in the county and who focus on aiding businesses in all stages of business development and growth.
Lashinsky holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology/criminology from Colorado State University-Pueblo and a master’s degree in community and economic development from Penn State. He serves on several boards throughout Jefferson County and the surrounding region, including the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission, Workforce Solutions for North Central PA, the Jefferson County Planning Commission, and the Jeff Tech Advisory Board. He resides near Reynoldsville with his wife, Holli, and two daughters, Laken and Kendall.