Virginia Tech Outreach Programs Director to Head Penn State’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development

September 29, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Timothy V. Franklin, Virginia Tech’s director of University Outreach Programs, Southside Virginia, has been appointed director of Penn State’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), a unit of Penn State Outreach, effective Nov. 30.

“Tim Franklin’s pioneering leadership of a Virginia Tech team and community partners to transform an economically distressed region of Virginia will be an asset to Penn State, as we expand the University’s efforts to create and retain jobs and enhance the skills of the Pennsylvania workforce,” said Penn State Outreach Vice President Craig D. Weidemann.

As director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Franklin will lead a unit that includes the Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program, Workforce Development Initiatives, Small Business Development Center, the Pennsylvania Plastics Initiative, and the Health Care Initiative. He will develop relationships with state and federal government agencies, economic and workforce development organizations, other postsecondary education institutions, as well as businesses and industries, to match Penn State resources, expertise and intellectual assets with Pennsylvania economic development, workforce education and training needs. Franklin will report to the Penn State Vice President for Outreach.

“The assets are in place to position Penn State to continue to have a broad impact on Pennsylvania,” Franklin said. “The value of what universities produce that can help communities has never been greater. I look forward to supporting additional ways for Penn State to have an even greater impact on the economy of the Commonwealth.”

Since 2001, Franklin has directed Southside University Outreach Programs at Virginia Tech, providing leadership both to programs designed to help transform the economy of Southside Virginia and to educational partnerships with colleges and universities in the region. He also is the founding executive director of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR), an independent state institution managed by Virginia Tech. Franklin collaborates with research faculty in the development and implementation of IALR research activities, including a distributed research model for technology-led economic development that is being adapted for use in other parts of Virginia and the Southeast.

The Southside Region in south central Virginia has experienced dramatic declines in tobacco farming and textile and furniture manufacturing. In response, Franklin organized and led a team that includes Virginia Tech faculty researchers and outreach staff and a wide range of community partners to foster a new economic base for Southside. The team secured more than $80 million in capital, program and operating commitments to support IALR’s research and economic development projects.

Through the institute’s Southside Initiative, Virginia Tech is redefining its land-grant mission and creating a national community-university engagement model, Franklin said. The initiative has been recognized with the South Region C. Peter Magrath/W. K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award, sponsored by the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, and is a finalist for the national Engagement Award.

At Virginia Tech, Franklin served on the Board of the Southside Business Technology Center and State Council for Higher Education in Virginia’s Strategic Planning Advisory Committee. Virginia’s governor appointed him to the Southern Technology Council of the Southern Growth Policies Board, a regional think tank associated with the Southern Governors Association. He is also involved with the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges and the University Economic Development Association. Previously, Franklin was associate vice president for Government Relations and Planning at Indiana State University.

Franklin earned his bachelor of science degree from Springfield College, his master’s degree from the University of Southern California and his doctorate from Virginia Tech.