Governor Shapiro Proposes New Investments in Innovation & STEM Education at Pittsburgh-Based Astrobotic Technology
March 01, 2023
Governor Shapiro toured the space technology company’s facility and saw Pennsylvania’s first spacecraft, which is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral in May.
Pittsburgh, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro toured Astrobotic Technology, a state-of-the-art aerospace and robotics company in Pittsburgh, to highlight Pennsylvania’s growing innovation economy and his commitment to creating jobs and spurring innovation in our Commonwealth. During the visit, Governor Shapiro pointed to Astrobotic as an example of the kind of innovation his Administration will foster across Pennsylvania, and he announced that he will call for a significant down payment in innovation and economic development in his Budget Address before the General Assembly next Tuesday.
Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal will include a 50% increase for the Manufacturing PA Innovation Program – which connects Pennsylvania’s universities with our businesses to find new solutions and spur innovation – and a 25% increase in funding for computer science and STEM education through Pennsylvania’s PA Smart Program. While at Astrobotic, Governor Shapiro also announced that the Appalachian Regional Commission, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, has awarded the Keystone Space Collaborative a $400,000 grant to grow the space industry and workforce.
“Astrobotic is an excellent example of the enormous potential we have here in Pennsylvania to innovate and lead, and we’re proud that the first commercial spacecraft to land on the moon is from Pittsburgh,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “My Administration is committed to fostering innovation, creating jobs, and spurring economic development across the Commonwealth, and that’s why I’m calling for a significant down payment in innovation and economic development in my first budget. Pennsylvania is open for business, we’re going to be a leader in the industries of the future, and my Administration is ready to make that happen.”
During the visit, Governor Shapiro was joined by Astrobotic Chief Executive Officer John Thornton and Keystone Space Collaborative Chair Justine Kasznica to see the how the Pittsburgh company is making Pennsylvania’s first spacecraft, which is scheduled to begin its journey to the moon in May.
“There’s a new kind of space race in America. Texas is signaling to invest $300M+ in their space economy this year. Florida has also consistently prioritized millions per year. Here in Pennsylvania, Astrobotic has converted $6.59 million of support into $430 million for the local economy. Imagine the opportunity for continued small business growth and job creation Pennsylvania could see if we bolstered state investment towards this burgeoning new space industry. Pittsburgh is leading America back to the Moon – and this is just the beginning,” said John Thornton, Astrobotic’s founder and CEO.
The Shapiro Administration is committed to creating transformational economic development in Pennsylvania so that companies like Astrobotic can continue to create quality high-paying jobs and make history in the process. Pennsylvania has invested more than $5 million in Astrobotic through grants and tax credits. In turn, Astrobotic has created nearly 100 new, high-paying jobs that have enabled Pennsylvania to lead America back to the moon. Since taking office, Governor Shapiro has prioritized economic growth and development through a series of Executive Orders, including one that created the Office of Transformation and Opportunity.
Governor Shapiro will share more in his Budget Address next week about how his proposals will bring workers, research institutions, industries, and government together to spur economic growth – but his visit to Astrobotic today demonstrates that Pennsylvania is already open for business and stands ready to lead in creating innovation opportunities for workers and businesses.