U.S. Senator Kay Hagan today visited North Carolina State University's Small Business and Technology Development Center to learn about the school's efforts to create job-ready students and grow and support businesses. Hagan, a member of the Senate committees that oversee small business and education policy, discussed the importance of small business and investing in higher education for creating jobs and growing the state's economy.
"Small businesses are the backbone of the North Carolina economy, employing nearly half of our state's workers," said Hagan. "NC State's programs are a terrific example of how investments in higher education can help entrepreneurs get start-up companies off the ground, growing them into successful, sustainable businesses and creating jobs right here in North Carolina. I am committed to supporting our first-rate universities that prepare students to be successful and help move our economy forward."
Hagan met with entrepreneurs and officials from the university during her tour, including Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Economic Development Dr. Terri Lomax. "We are excited to have a chance to show Senator Hagan some of the many ways NC State contributes to the economic development of North Carolina," said Lomax. "Especially some of the new innovation spaces and the world's most innovative new library."
Hagan's tour included stops at:
· A facility that helps students foster new ideas and work on entrepreneurial endeavors;
· Agile Sciences, a small business founded by two NCSU faculty that has developed compounds that can disperse colonies of bacteria called biofilms and was founded by two NC State faculty; and
· Webassign, a web-based homework system founded by NC state faculty and used by more than 500,000 students at 1,500 educational institutions around the world.
Hagan also toured the James B. Hunt, Jr. Library, which opened January 2, 2013 on NC State's Centennial Campus. "We're grateful to have our United States Senator, Kay Hagan, here on campus," Governor Hunt said at the event. "She was a major force for getting funding for the library when she was in the state Senate."
The James B. Hunt, Jr. Library puts technology in the hands of students and faculty around the clock, enabling and encouraging learning, experimentation, and technology-intensive projects, while showcasing university research.