NEW PHILADELPHIA -- Kent State University at Tuscarawas and the Tuscarawas County Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) celebrated a milestone June 4 with the groundbreaking ceremony for the Tolloty Technology Incubator, the gateway facility to the Tuscarawas Regional Technology Park on Tech Park Drive in New Philadelphia. The CIC will manage the facility in partnership with Kent State Tuscarawas, which owns the facility.

Addressing the crowd of more than 100 people were: Dr. Gregg L. Andrews, dean and Chief Administrative Officer of Kent State University at Tuscarawas; Dallas Gerber, Field representative for U.S. Congressman Bob Gibbs; Jason Wilson, director of the Governor's Office of Appalachia; Tim Ross, Eastern Ohio Regional liaison for Governor John R. Kasich; Ohio State representative of the 98th District Al Landis; Bill Harding, president of the CIC, Blair Hillyer, a CIC board member; Tuscarawas County Commissioner Dr. Kerry Metzger; Mike Taylor, mayor of the City of New Philadelphia; and Attorney Frank Rose, chairman of Tuscarawas County University District Board of Trustees.

"As envisioned, the Tolloty Technology Incubator will cultivate and nurture technology-based entrepreneurship and stimulate the regional economy through new business development, business expansion and creation of high-tech, high-skill jobs," said Andrews. "The incubator is an outgrowth of the CIC's Knowledge Based Economic Development. And its resources and services will support the development of a wide range of technology-based companies. By nurturing innovative ideas into ongoing business enterprises, the incubator can spawn the growth of new technology based businesses in our county, as well as new product development, product improvement and innovation for existing businesses."

According to Andrews, the technology incubator will also provide academic opportunities for Kent State Tuscarawas students, especially engineering and business majors through internship and co-op opportunities as a forum for them to investigate and launch their own enterprises and eventually graduate to new facilities within the Tuscarawas Regional Technology Park.

Designed by Poggemeyer Design Group, of Bowling Green, the $5.4 million Tolloty Technology Incubator is being constructed by General Contractor Jeffrey Carr Construction, Inc., of Massillon. The two-story, 25,000-square-foot facility features wet labs fully equipped for scientific research and testing, offices, a conference room, training room, reception area, flex space, a computer network operating center for servers, data storage and network operations, and shipping and receiving area with a loading dock. Construction, which began in April, is expected to be completed in approximately one year.

The technology incubator was named in honor of Eugene (Gene) Tolloty of Uhrichsville.

"The CIC wanted to honor the memory of Gene Tolloty for his many years of service to the CIC and Tuscarawas County when the organization began developing the business/technology incubator project many years ago," said Bill Harding, president of the CIC. "The CIC's partnership with Kent State Tuscarawas has helped us to realize this vision. It is rewarding to see the construction of the Tolloty Technology Incubator underway."

The CIC and the Kent State Tuscarawas Small Business Development Center will be the first two client companies in the incubator, which will provide space, services and business support to nearly 70 people when fully occupied.

"Now that the Tolloty Technology Incubator construction has begun, we can begin to seek business and research entrepreneurs to occupy the incubator facilities," said Gary Little, executive director of the CIC. "We will be seeking entrepreneurs, researchers and developers starting or expanding businesses in the science, technology, engineering and other high tech fields. We are looking forward to the completion of this state-of-the-art facility that will be electric with the energy of creative minds developing new computer applications; conducting research and testing in the wet lab; and partnerships and collaborations between companies and researchers in the incubator and faculty and students at Kent State Tuscarawas," continued Little.

The Kent State Tuscarawas Small Business Development Center provides a variety of important resources including small business development consulting, and financial and business plan assistance services that will be available and convenient for any company in the facility.

The university can also support new businesses with the services located on the campus. "Kent State Tuscarawas is positioned to foster innovative entrepreneurship through the Tuscarawas Regional Technology Accelerator; our Reeves Foundation Center for Advanced Technology and Workforce Development for research, prototyping and new equipment training; our engineering and research faculty; and access to our university library, which is also a Federal Depository Library," added Andrews. "While there are 56 such libraries in Ohio, Kent State Tuscarawas is the only regional campus in Ohio to hold this prestigious designation."

Funding agencies for the incubator include the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration and the Ohio Job Ready Site Program.

The speaking portion of the ceremony was held under a tent in the parking lot of Buckeye Career Center, and the actual ceremonial groundbreaking was held on the adjacent construction site on Tech Park Drive. Massillon Construction and Supply assisted by breaking ground with their trackhoe, followed by a release of 400 blue and gold balloons.