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Penn College Gets $1.4 Million for Program Expansions and Scholarships

Pennsylvania College of Technology will receive more than $1.4 million from Coterra Energy through the expansion of a state program announced on November 20 for rehabilitation and expansion of labs and teaching facilities in its electrical and architecture & sustainable design programs. The funds will also be used to provide scholarships to veterans and first responders at Camp Freedom.

Rick Siger, Secretary of Community and Economic Development, announced the approval of $36 million through the Neighborhood Assistance Program. NAP offers tax breaks to businesses that assist to the activities of charitable organizations to restore neighborhoods. The financing supports 261 projects across the state, including 34 in the central area.

Coterra Energy, Penn campus’s NAP financing partner, has supported a number of initiatives at the campus, including Penn College Dual Enrollment.

The NAP initiative will provide $666,666 for renovations/expansions to the electrical and architectural & sustainable design projects. Coterra is contributing monies in addition to the $500,000 in state tax credits. The $75,000 scholarship fund will enable the distribution of 15 one-time $5,000 scholarships to Camp Freedom veterans and first responders. The entire value of the benefit to the college is $1,408,332.

“We are most grateful to Coterra Energy for partnering with us on this significant Neighborhood Assistance Program initiative, which will allow us to enhance labs and instructional spaces — and the overall student learning experience — in two popular academic programs, while expanding enrollment capacities for each,” said Penn College President Michael J. Reed. “Additionally, we are able to provide valuable scholarship assistance to veterans and first responders — two very deserving student populations.”

“Coterra is steadfast in our commitment to workforce development and educational excellence,” said George Stark, director, external affairs. “We strive to partner with institutions that are making a positive difference in the lives of their students and communities. Pennsylvania College of Technology is a phenomenal organization that truly reflects this vision. Their mission of preparing students for meaningful careers is second to none. We are proud of our investment in their bright future.”

“The Neighborhood Assistance Program allows businesses, community members and organizations to work together to revitalize our neighborhoods and improve access to job opportunities, affordable housing, and quality education and technical training,” said state Sen. Gene Yaw, R-23, chair of the Penn College Board of Directors. “This impactful investment will provide funding to PCT’s student-focused initiatives to expand and renovate electrical labs, advance the architecture & sustainable design program, and provide vital scholarships for area veterans and first responders.”

“I am incredibly pleased to learn that Penn College is one of beneficiaries of the expanded NAP program and that once again, with support from our local energy industry leaders like Coterra and their partners, our state dollars can be stretched even further as three student-focused initiatives will now be funded,” said state Rep. Jamie Flick, R-83. “The college’s initiatives include the expansion and renovation of the electrical labs, growing the architecture & sustainable design program, and providing scholarships for veterans and first responders in partnership with Camp Freedom.”

“The enhancements to Penn College’s electrical and architecture & sustainable design programs, which have been made possible by the Neighborhood Assistance Program expansion announced yesterday, will have a positive impact on local employers and on this area’s economy,” said Williamsport Mayor Derek Slaughter. “The accompanying scholarships will benefit the significant veteran and military population residing within our region.”

The electrical department at Penn College has 225 students, making it the college’s fifth-largest program cluster. The electrical renovation will commence in February 2024, with a considerable completion date of August 31, 2024.

Existing labs will be renovated, 15 electrical construction stations will be added, the motor control lab will be expanded, 16 motor control panels will be added, and a new industrial electrical construction lab will be added. Higher ceilings, the ability to work on scissor lifts, and expanding workstations are among the new elements designed to provide a true-to-industry experience. The project also includes new equipment for the existing and expanding labs. Approximately 82% of electrical program students get hired before graduation, and graduates have a 100% placement record.

The architecture and sustainable design program currently has 102 students enrolled. The makeover will increase capacity by 39 students, double the size of studio rooms, separate teaching space from studio space, build a second jury room, and add two more computer laboratories.

As part of the accreditation process, each student will have their own studio workstation with 24/7 access. The modifications will improve student learning and boost the likelihood of NAAB (National Architectural Accreditation Board) accreditation, accelerating students toward architectural licensing and contributing to higher pay early in their careers.

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