SEDA-COG recently assisted the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology (CPI) with an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant that was awarded in the amount of $497,760.

CPI is located in Centre County and serves a region that encompasses a 45-mile radius. According to their website, “founded in 1969, CPI was built to meet the career and technical needs of high school students in the Bald Eagle Area, Bellefonte Area, Penns Valley Area, and State College School Districts. Additionally, over 1,300 adult learners annually receive training to upgrade their current skills, learn new skills, or make a career change to better their quality of life.”

The ARC Funds will be used to purchase equipment to support the CPI Health Science Building Project. The new training facility, when complete, will create 1,095 direct jobs within the healthcare industries. The equipment will include surgery tables; training kits and stations; exam tables; EMS passenger responder electric vehicle and charging station; ultrasound equipment; stretchers and traction tables. The training facility will allow CPI to expand its healthcare educational programming to train the workforce in the region to meet the unmet demands for skilled workforce.

“We are very excited and pleased to have worked with SEDA-COG to secure ARC grant funding to support equipment in the Health Sciences Buildings and for our existing healthcare programs” said Todd Taylor, Vice President of Post-Secondary Education for CPI. “ARC grant funding will help us provide students throughout central Pennsylvania with highly technical training leading to careers in the high-growth healthcare employment sector,” said Taylor. The new facility will increase CPI’s capacity to 800 students. It is anticipated that 374 students will graduate on an annual basis and will immediately become employed within the healthcare industries.

The nation continues to be confronted with unmet demands for a trained workforce. Covid-19 has placed a greater demand on all industries. Prior to Covid-19, the United States was already facing a huge shortage in skilled, licensed healthcare workers. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the U.S. will need to hire more than 2.3 million healthcare workers by 2025 to take care of our aging population. More specifically, the United States will be short 446,300 home health aides, 98,700 medical and lab technicians, 95,000 nursing assistants, and 29,400 nurse practitioners in 2025.

SEDA-COG’s Betsy Lockwood, Director of Project Development and Grants, applied for this grant on behalf of the Institute.

On the grant’s benefits, Lockwood said, “The ARC investment in this project will enable healthcare facilities to secure a trained workforce to fill their unmet needs. It will also expand and strengthen community systems (education, healthcare, housing, childcare, and others) that help our community members obtain a job, stay on the job, and advance a long, financially sustaining career pathway.”

Delta Development Group, Inc. aided with the preparation of the grant. To date, Delta has assisted CPI with the original market study to determine the need for new post-secondary training programs, and secured over $14.5 million in federal and state grant/loan funding for the actual construction of the Health Sciences Building.

SEDA-COG is a community and economic development agency in Lewisburg and is one of seven Local Development Districts in Pennsylvania. SEDA-COG enhances the quality of life and economic advantage for residents and businesses in the 11 central Pennsylvania counties through its vital partnerships and initiatives.