The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown has received $4 million in state funds for the construction of a new Nursing and Health Sciences building. Governor Edward G. Rendell made the announcement at a ceremony this afternoon in Ebensburg as part of the Commonwealth’s “Put Pennsylvania to Work” initiative. This is the largest appropriation earmarked specifically for Pitt-Johnstown in nearly 20 years.
In accepting a ceremonial check from Governor Rendell, Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar remarked, “This is a milestone day in the history of our beloved Pitt-Johnstown. We are very grateful for Governor Rendell’s support and we are deeply appreciative of his commitment to the people of Cambria County and our health care needs. The generosity of the Commonwealth will help ensure that our hopes for improved health sciences education and quality health care are realized. We are very thankful for the strong support of Representative Edward Wojnaroski and Senator John Wozniak, and all of our state legislators. We also owe a debt of gratitude to our friends and supporters in the community, particularly the members of the Greater Johnstown Regional Partnership, the Pitt-Johnstown Advisory Board, and our County Commissioners William Harris, Milan Gjurich, and P.J. Stevens.”
This funding makes it possible for Pitt-Johnstown to build upon its existing capacity and expertise in allied health care programs and nursing to develop and intensify cooperative partnerships with local health care providers. The funding received today will support Pitt-Johnstown’s plans to develop a new facility to house our health sciences programs.”
“Consistent with our recently completed strategic plan, Pitt-Johnstown is committed to responding to our communities’ needs, including through the development of programs that foster the economic and social health of the Commonwealth. It is well known that the Commonwealth is experiencing a shortage of workers in the health care area, and that such a shortage is expected to intensify. This funding, which will help position us to train nurses and other health care practitioners to meet this shortage, is particularly timely as it enables us to fulfill that strategic commitment to meet our communities’ needs. We anticipate that, over the next decade, our initiatives in health care areas will strengthen the workforce of our region,” commented President Spectar.
Pitt-Johnstown Advisory Board Chairperson Mrs. E. Jeanne Gleason, who was in attendance at today’s event, offered, “We are delighted that the Governor recognized the merit of this important initiative. This will enable Pitt-Johnstown to be on the forefront of contributing to the number of health care professionals to meet the needs of the Commonwealth.”
Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. A vital knowledge center and a foremost contributor to the area’s educational, social, cultural, and economic environment, Pitt-Johnstown offers a high quality educational experience that is purposefully designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century.