$3M grant to propel Albright College Innovation Corridor

Through the work of U.S. Representative Chrissy Houlahan, Albright College has been awarded $3 million in Congressionally Funded Community Project (CFCP) funding for phase one renovations to the Leo Camp Building — the future expansion of Albright’s Total Experience Learning (TExpL) programs. The spacious building on Albright’s campus, located at 1801 N 12th Street in northeast Reading, is being redeveloped into a state-of-the-art facility optimized for experiential learning, high science and technology business incubation and community transformation.

Houlahan assembled a non-partisan, diverse panel of 15 community leaders representing Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District to review and recommend projects for funding. This grant matches the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) funding in the amount of $3,000,000, announced in late 2022.

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“We are truly grateful that our community leaders are committed to the transformation of the City of Reading and the Albright College campus,” said Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D., president and professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Albright College. “With the transformation of the Camp Building, a historic factory now under the college’s stewardship, we are bringing to life a vital component currently missing in Berks County: a biological, pharmaceutical and life science-based entrepreneurial and multi-purpose community incubator that will utilize the Total Experience Learning methodology to empower students and community entrepreneurs.”

“The Albright College incubator, to be located in the ‘Innovation Corridor’ of northeast Reading will serve to nurture emerging intellectual property and entrepreneurs of all ages,” said Fetrow. “By fostering this entrepreneurial and multi-purpose community life science incubator, we are committed to supporting the inventors and innovators of today and tomorrow, paving the way for groundbreaking discoveries and solutions.”

The renovation of the Camp Building, a former factory building in Northeast Reading, will significantly contribute to the “Innovation Corridor” of Reading, Pa. Workforce and industry development incubator spaces co-existing with TExpL educational programs within Phase 1 of the renovated facility will help to simultaneously remove barriers in education while promoting economic and intellectual property development. This unique project will allow entrepreneurs the opportunity to grow their businesses, while also allowing students and educators the ability to work on scientific industrial applications in the proof-of-concept phase.

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Currently, Berks County lacks a high science and technology based facility with state-of-the-art equipment for the incubation of intellectual property. Albright and Total Experience Learning programming in the Camp building will incubate and develop products and foster innovative ideas from middle/high school, undergraduates, educators and administrators in the college’s graduate programs, faculty and the Reading community at-large.

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Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly is an independent and locally owned digital newspaper covering the City of Reading and Berks County. Subscribe today: berksweekly.com/subscribe
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