PSU4PA: Penn State plays key role in downtown Altoona's rebirth

Penn State for PA (PSU4PA) tells the stories of Pennsylvania residents whose businesses, communities and lives have been transformed by Penn State teaching, research and service. For more firsthand accounts of Penn State's positive impact on the Commonwealth, visit psu4pa.psu.edu, "like" the Facebook page at facebook.com/psu4pa and follow twitter.com/psu4pa.

Like many Pennsylvania towns, Altoona has experienced its share of economic hardships. But the city's downtown is experiencing something of a "rebirth," according to Marty Marasco, president and CEO of the Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation -- and Penn State has a lot to do with it.

"There's a tremendous impact (in terms) of what they give back to the community in addition to the economic impact that they have," said Marasco. One example of Penn State's trickle-down effect is the battery-powered locomotive developed by Norfolk Southern Corporation using research conducted in Penn State's College of Engineering. "The first locomotive rolled off about 18 months ago, and it was actually built and assembled in the locomotive shops in the city of Altoona," Marasco said.

To hear Marasco's perspective on how Penn State has helped downtown Altoona come alive again, watch the PSU4PA video at /video/155091/2013/02/08/video-no-title.

Last Updated October 03, 2011