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SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV -

John Golden has been hired as project manager of TechConnect West Virginia's Innovation Adoption Program, an initiative to help make small manufacturers in the state more competitive through funding and guidance for development of new products and processes.

Anne Barth, executive director of TechConnect West Virginia, said Golden will help companies improve their manufacturing processes to more efficiently produce higher quality products and/or develop new product offerings to stay ahead of the competition.

The program provides up to $20,000 in project funding to help a selected company contract for services through one of several designated centers of excellence. 

This amount of funding is capped at half of the total project costs. Funds can be used for the technology and/or new product development needs of existing manufacturers by connecting them with the prototyping, design, testing and analytical capabilities of the designated centers of excellence. 

Golden has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the state's telecommunications, electric utility and nonprofit industries.

The Innovation Adoption Program is the latest in a portfolio of business assistance and development programs that have been established by TechConnect West Virginia. 

The program is funded from a grant provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

TechConnect West Virginia is a statewide economic development organization dedicated to fostering and promoting innovation-based businesses and entrepreneurial activities across West Virginia.