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Industry Group Adds $5,000 to College’s Lumber-Kiln Upgrade

A $5,000 matching grant toward the purchase of a new lumber-drying kiln chamber at Pennsylvania College of Technology has been provided by the Lumber Heritage Region of Pennsylvania Inc. through Community Conservation Partnerships Program funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.

The kiln project – aided financially by other related industry groups, wood products companies, and Penn College and Williamsport Area Community College alumni and friends – will augment the hands-on curriculum for students in the college’s two-year forest technology major.

On hand for delivery of a donation from the Lumber Heritage Region of Pennsylvania are (from left) Michael Wennin, former executive director; Steve Manginell, acting executive director; Elizabeth A. Biddle, Penn College’s director of corporate relations; and Erich R. Doebler, laboratory assistant for forest technology at the college’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center.
On hand for delivery of a donation from the Lumber Heritage Region of Pennsylvania are (from left) Michael Wennin, former executive director; Steve Manginell, acting executive director; Elizabeth A. Biddle, Penn College’s director of corporate relations; and Erich R. Doebler, laboratory assistant for forest technology at the college’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center.

“We are appreciative of the support from the Lumber Heritage Region. The upgraded kiln will offer our students an enhanced learning opportunity to practice lumber drying techniques used in the wood products industry,” said Brett A. Reasner, dean of transportation and natural resources technologies.

Steve Manginell, acting executive director of the Emporium-based LHR, was among those passing along the organization’s contribution during a gathering at the college’s Thompson Professional Development Center.

“The Lumber Heritage Region is excited to be part of such a great project,” he said. “The wood products industry is vital to the economy of our region, and preparing these students for future work in the industry is a must. We are happy to help such a great institution.”

The forest technology major has historically provided quality education for students at Penn College and its WACC predecessor, including the theory and practice of kiln drying, products and career opportunities.

The new chamber will provide 90 inches of inside kiln width, more than 140 square feet of interior space, two kiln carts and a combination track, as well as other features that will complement the student learning experience.

“We are grateful for the grant opportunity that the Lumber Hertiage Region provided to this project. This support helps provide forestry students with state-of-the art technology to produce a highly qualified workforce for the wood products industry,” said Elizabeth A. Biddle, the college’s director of corporate relations.

The Lumber Heritage Region is one of 12 Heritage Areas in Pennsylvania, each highlighting the commonwealth’s vital role in the nation’s development.

Those interested in contributing to the forestry program or establishing a scholarship fund for students can send a donation to the Penn College Foundation, One College Avenue, Williamsport, PA 17701; or call the Institutional Advancement Office toll-free at 866-GIVE-2-PC (866-448-3272).

For information about Penn College’s forest technology major,  call the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies at 570-327-4516.

For information about the college, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

For more information about grant-funding opportunities, faculty and staff may contact Grants & Sponsored Programs at ext. 7580 or through its Web portal.