The Center for Business & Workforce Development, dedicated Thursday on the campus of Pennsylvania College of Technology, continues the college’s tradition of responding to employers’ needs and preparing students to seek the jobs of tomorrow.
“From its very beginnings as Williamsport Technical Institute, the college has walked hand-in-hand with business and industry,” Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour said. “This building honors that tradition, helping employers stay ahead of the competition and helping our students attain the latest skills that those employers demand.”
The 31,800-square-foot building, at 1127 W. Fourth St., site of the former BiLo supermarket, is the new home to Penn College’s noncredit Workforce Development & Continuing Education operation, and to laboratories that support education in the college’s bachelor- and associate-degree electronics and computer engineering technologies majors.
The campus facility also houses several other organizations that serve workforce needs: IMC, the Williamsport/Lycoming Keystone Innovation Zone and Penn State Continuing Education at Williamsport.
“I find the word “synergy’ to be in the forefront of my thinking this afternoon,” said William J. Martin, the college’s senior vice president. “That word and all it represents excites me because of the promise it holds for our area. “Synergy’ is the value created by combining several different entities. Consider who we bring together in this building.”
The college’s WDCE offices, most recently headquartered along Reach Road in Williamsport’s West End, occupy much of the building’s northern and eastern sides.In addition to providing a variety of noncredit courses, WDCE administers WEDnetPA, the state’s largest training program for business and industry. The program, funded this year at $22 million, includes 33 institutions of higher education from across the commonwealth and provides worker training in more than 2,000 Pennsylvania companies.
WDCE also oversees other vital initiatives that impact residents across Pennsylvania and around the world, including the Plastics Manufacturing Center, the Weatherization Training Center, the Factory Built Housing Center, the AutoCAD Premier Training Center and the college’s North Campus in Wellsboro.
IMC, KIZ and Penn State Continuing Education all of which partner with Penn College to offer education and services in the local community line the west side of the building. On the campus (or south) side of the building, directly accessible via Vine Avenue, are electronics and computer engineering technologies classrooms.
“With specialized laboratories in such areas as industrial testing, laser technology, industrial processes, networking, computer maintenance and robotics, Penn College has once again raised the bar in providing state-of-the-art facilities for educating the young people of the commonwealth,” Martin said. “For those members of our faculty and staff whose contributions have made this vision a reality, I can only hope that the promise we celebrate today will pay dividends many times over for our students, the college and our community.”
Additional details on operations housed within the facility:
CENTER FOR BUSINESS & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Dedicated Aug. 9, 2007 Architect Murray Associates Architects, P.C., Harrisburg General Contractor Robert Feaster Corp., Northumberland
The new building offers laboratory space for Pennsylvania College of Technology’s bachelor- and associate-degree electronics and computer engineering technologies majors, as well as these partners that contribute to the area’s economic future:
Workforce Development & Continuing Education Over the past 10 years, WDCE has directly trained more than 60,000 individuals in skills-related short-term noncredit classes. WDCE manages more than $25 million annually in statewide workforce- and economic-development programs that impact more than 110,000 employees in more than 2,000 Pennsylvania companies. Locally, WDCE offers approximately 1,000 classes and trains more than 6,000 students each year. It also provides product-development and technology-transfer services to entrepreneurs and to industry.
IMC IMC assists small and mid-size manufacturers in the region in enhancing their competitiveness by working with them to develop and implement strategies for all facets of today’s business, including technology, manufacturing practices, marketing, product development and more. IMC has worked with more than 500 manufacturers in the region since beginning operations in 1988 and, in the past year, has completed 165 projects with 95 manufacturers, resulting in a total reported impact for the year of more than $63 million.
Keystone Innovation Zone This partnership among the IMC, Penn College, Lycoming College and other community stakeholders provides services to the “innovation sector” of the regional economy. There are currently seven KIZ companies within the geographic zone approved as part of the Williamsport/Lycoming KIZ. To date, KIZ companies have created or retained 70 employees and advisory services have been provided to 124 entrepreneurs, inventors and/or business startups. One patent has been obtained by a KIZ client, and six are currently pending.
Penn State Continuing Education at Williamsport For more than 15 years, Penn State and Penn College have partnered to combine the strengths of both institutions. Whether you are picking up graduate credits, considering a master’s degree, or looking for customized on-site training, Penn State Continuing Education at Williamsport is your connection to a Penn State education in Williamsport and the northcentral region of Pennsylvania. The center offers a range of graduate-level and professional-development courses that can be applied toward degree programs or postbaccalaureate/professional certificates.