A $1.2 million federal grant announced Sept. 29 for the University of Pittsburgh at Titusville’s Education and Training Hub is an investment in the future success of northwestern Pennsylvania, officials said.
U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia made the announcement at Erie High School. The grant was made through the Workforce Opportunities for Rural Communities program, in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Delta Regional Authority. The program supports communities hard-hit by economic transition with local and regional workforce development.
Catherine Koverola, president of Pitt-Bradford and Pitt-Titusville, said the grant will fund a manufacturing assistance center and a medical assistant program at Pitt-Titusville. A nursing program is already in place.
“We are very grateful to Secretary Scalia and the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration for recognizing the great need that exists in this six-county region,” Koverola said. “To help this area flourish, we need a facility that will offer the kind of training needed to enable people to fill current and future manufacturing jobs and health care positions that provide sustaining wages.”
She added: “This grant is an investment into the future growth and development—as well as the future health—of this region.”
Pitt-Titusville has been the beating heart of the Oil Region for nearly 60 years, Koverola said. During that time, residents looked for it to provide the academic programs that people needed to build successful lives of purpose.
In consultation with the business community, and with the help of Manchester Bidwell Corporation’s Workforce and Opportunity Center and the University’s Manufacturing Assistance Center, Pitt-Titusville has transitioned into a model that will inject innovation and invigoration into the region to help lead the region’s economic rebirth.
Koverola said the Education and Training Hub is a transformational project that will reduce the effects of structural poverty in northwestern Pennsylvania by creating a healthy community ecosystem. The Hub will train the region’s residents in the skills required to participate in the local economy, attain meaningful work and engage in civic life, thereby increasing the social capital of the community.