The University of Pittsburgh Johnstown will be receiving some help from Pennsylvania government officials to complete their new chemical engineering facilities.
Governor Tom Wolf, Senator John Wozniak, Representative Bryan Barbin and University President, Jem Spectar, announced on Friday, September 2, 2016, that Pennsylvania will provide a $2 million dollar grant to UPJ for their new chemical engineering program.
The goal of the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant is “to produce an additional 125 graduates a year, including 40 chemical engineers who will be qualified to work in the petrochemical industry in the region,” the Governor’s office states.
“In order to create new opportunities for students, they must have the tools necessary to compete in a worldwide economy,” Senator Wozniak said.
“With projects like the Cracker Plant in Beaver County, we expect the chemical engineering field to be in high demand as that plant helps to build industries like plastics over the coming years…My administration is committed to creating more jobs that pay and in order to do so, we must ensure that companies growing and expanding here can find local workers that they need. This expansion at Pitt Johnstown will help us meet their needs and bring more jobs to this region,” Governor Wolf said.
The funds will be used to implement high-tech work spaces, purchase new equipment for engineering labs, and improve infrastructure within the department.
According to Governor Wolf’s office, the grant “is critical to supporting the increased demand for professional engineers in the expanding natural gas industry in Western Pennsylvania related to the development of the Marcellus Shale reserves. This is especially important as the new ethane cracker plant being built by Shell Chemical Appalachia and the new businesses that will be generated to support the plant.”