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US Commerce Secretary tours ASU Skysong

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Arizona State University’s Skysong Innovation Center got a visitor from Washington on Wednesday.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker toured the center to see how entrepreneurial opportunities are being developed there.

She was impressed with what she saw and said that Skysong was more than just a building.

“This is a whole process and support system to bring innovators, businesses, the university and the local community college system (together),” Pritzker said. “That’s something that I want to say that I really want to see them continue to expand.”

She also noted that Skysong is involved in projects as far away as Malaysia.

“Skysong is extraordinary in the sense of not only the breadth of its activity, (but) the amount of support of ASU, the incredible engagement of the local business community and also its incredible ability to work overseas,” she said.

Pritzker’s visit comes one week after President Barack Obama announced $600 million in competitive grants to spur creation of training and apprenticeship programs.

“Eighty-seven percent of people who go through an apprenticeship program get good jobs,” said Pritzker.

She said that more apprenticeship programs are needed.