PA-Gov: Tom Wolf Visits Pittsburgh, Discusses Manufacturing and the Budget

Tom Wolf Jill
Wolf examines a 3D printer with PieceMaker co-founder Alejandro Sklar

Today Tom Wolf visited AlphaLab, a company that provides tech startups with collaborative workspace and access to mentors, in the Larimer section of Pittsburgh.

The stop is a part of his Fresh Start tour, through which he is travelling the state in an effort to meet strong innovators and learn how their fresh ideas can lead to job creation in PA.

He spent the majority of his time at AlphaLab visiting with each of the nine startups that work in the space, asking both what Harrisburg could do to help them, and, in return, what they could do to help PA.

He chatted quietly with the members of each startup, obviously focused more on the ideas in the room than on the flashing cameras at his back.

His main focus was on PieceMaker, a company started by two Carnegie Mellon University grads that produces touch-screen kiosks with 3D printers inside that allow consumers to customize colorful plastic pieces and then turn them into keychains, necklaces, or magnets. Co-founders Alejandro Sklar and Arden Rosenblatt claim that this allows “inventory-on-demand” for toy stores.

They gave Wolf a purple plastic piece depicting the Pittsburgh skyline, suggesting he glue a magnet to the back and put it on his fridge.

He told the press that the importance of places like AlphaLab was allowing entrepreneurs to “take basic research and monetize it.”

“You want people thinking about the next big thing,” and believing that “PA is a fair place to take risks and invest talents,” he asserted.

When asked how companies started by individuals with such technical degrees can benefit the manufacturing sector, Wolf responded that “the products need to be made, they need to be delivered.” As the startups, such as LifeShell, which designs cellphone cases that protect their users from sexual assault through notification, grow, they will be able to employ Pennsylvanians.

The Budget Standoff

When faced with inevitable PA budget questions, Wolf refused, despite insistent questioning, to state whether he would veto the budget that is currently sitting on Gov. Corbett’s desk. “I’m trying to not insert myself,” he said. “If I were governor, I would hope that after four years I wouldn’t be put in that situation.”

Wolf said that he didn’t want to respond to hypotheticals, because if he were governor, he wouldn’t have been delivered a budget full of “smoke and mirrors.” He claimed he would have been involved in the budget shaping process, leading to a lack of surprises from his legislature.

He did, however, straightforwardly say that he believed that the debate over pension reform was not worth holding the budget hostage. He also claimed that he would have ensured that a 5% severance tax on Marcellus Shale drilling to support education and a reduction of expenditures through Medicaid expansion were included in the budget.

18 Responses

  1. larry I admit I aint the best spellar in the world but you know you aint got no right to say bush and chainey are great for America. you aint know what your even sayin

  2. Chris, you’re right, I don’t know what the word “milirary” means. I also don’t know what “cowerds” means either. In fact, I can’t figure out most of what you post on here because it’s incoherent.

  3. larry you don’t have no idea what the word milirary means. bush and chainey are both cowerds for not fightin for their country in the war but they had no problem sending other boys and girls to the war to get killed.

  4. Larry — According to your logic, every President of the United States is a veteran because that position is in charge of the military? That is just wrong.

    Like President of the United States, Secretary of Defense (and many DOD positions) is a civilian position supervising the military, but is not considered military. Military service (qualifying you for veteran status) has nothing to do with combat action. There are many people who hold military positions but never see combat. Also there are many civilian positions supporting or supervising aspects of the military. A veteran may serve in a civilian position, but the status of a civilian position alone does not make a person serving in it a veteran.

    Those are not opinions, they are indisputable facts.

    Serving as Secretary of Defense does not make you a veteran. Nobody who is a veteran (served in the military) thinks serving as Secretary of Defense makes you a veteran.

    Your complete misunderstanding of the military is offensive to the veteran community. By the way, I am a veteran (and one who has served two combat deployments: Iraq and Afghanistan).

  5. Larry-
    What “twist”? The National Guard of that era was a way to get out of Vietnam, not some noble calling, especially for the privileged. Papa Bush pulled strings to get Bush Jr moved up ahead in line.
    Cheney had 5 deferments.

    These guys were armchair warriors who initiated and presided over the worst military clusterf*ck in American history. They made thing worst and it’s costing over a trillion dollars.
    They can barely even travel outside the US because they are considered war criminals.

  6. Larry-
    I’m saying that Bush served in the National Guard (through string pulling from his father) to avoid/dodge combat.

    Secretary of Defense is a civilian position, and Cheney was a draft dodger.

    Cheney’s only “combat” experience was having a few too many drinks during a hunting trip and shooting his friend in the face.

  7. Chris and DD, you two are special. Chris is just not very bright and is generally unaware of facts. DD sees the facts and meticulously twists them to avoid the truth.

    Bush was a First Lieutenant in the Texas Air National Guard. Are you seriously saying that’s not military service? Really? I mean, I recognize that it’s not as bad-ass as being a combat Marine, but it’s still very much military service. Cheney was the SecDef. The frickin’ Secretary of Defense. Again, not a combat soldier, but most aren’t. But, by running the entire military, he served in the military way more than either of you.

  8. Larry-
    Bush’s daddy got him the national guard to get out of going to Vietnam. Cheney got five separate deferments to avoid going.

    The Secretary of Defense is a civilian position.
    Wikipedia:
    “Ensuring civilian control of the military, an individual may not be appointed as Secretary of Defense within seven years after relief from active duty as a commissioned officer of a regular (i.e., non-reserve) component of an armed force.”

    L. Martin-
    The government has always played a role in controlling commerce. From taxation, to zoning, to urban planning, to roads, bridges, ports, infrastructure and tariffs.

    The government has a vested interest in having citizens who are educated, or skilled laborers, or merchants, etc. to maintain the economy and preserve the general welfare of the population. The money supply/currency is controlled by the government to prevent (hopefully) inflation/depression/recession/collapse.

  9. Lary, Bush did NOT serve in the military and Chaney did NOT serve in the military.

  10. When did government get in the business of being responsible for business? Isn’t that the responsibility of the business community? The last thing I want is my tax dollars going to help business do an even better job of ripping me off by overcharging and selling me garbage.

  11. Right, great question to ask. Because serving in the military is an essential prerequisite for governing a state and reinvigorating an economy, successful skills both well learned and practiced in Iraq.

  12. Chris, Bush did serve in the military and Cheney was the Secretary of Defense (i.e., in charge of the entire military).

  13. Did anyone ask George Bush why he didn’t serve in the military? Diud anyone ask Dick Chainey why he didn’t serve in the military?

  14. Anyone ask him why he is outsourcing pa jobs to avoid paying taxes yet?

    Anyone ask him why didn’t serve in the military yet either?

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