Congressman Glenn Thompson visits Penn State DuBois

Newly elected Congressman Glenn Thompson (R-5) recently visited Penn State DuBois to tour campus facilities and learn about the engineering program. Chancellor Anita McDonald also invited Thompson to meet with engineering faculty and campus staff members who are working to improve the local economy with services offered at Penn State DuBois.

Engineering Professor Craig Stringer presented an overview of the engineering program and offered examples of the goals he and his colleagues strive for in helping the area manufacturing industry grow. "We're always looking for things on the cutting edge," Stinger said. "How can we teach them the skills of today as well as the skills of tomorrow?"

The new Technology Transfer Coordinator Sally Moran explained ways the engineering program at Penn State DuBois reaches out to area industry through things like continuing education and the Tri-County Keystone Innovation Zone, which is designed to assist local business. "We want to help develop small technology-based companies here, and help existing businesses develop and grow," she said.

John Blasdell, assistant director of Continuing Education at Penn State DuBois, explained how the campus will maintain outreach to the manufacturing community.
"By offering a new four-year engineering program and training through continuing education, we'll provide a variety of opportunities for individuals and local companies to grow," he said.

Director of Continuing Education John Piccolo expanded upon this point, noting the struggles that some manufacturers in the region currently face. "The local powder metal industry is really suffering due to their direct tie with the automotive industry," Piccolo explained. "We want to try to help these companies get into new markets."

"I wasn't aware of how much these programs are really integrated into this region," said Thompson. "This is exciting."

After touring the campus engineering facilities and viewing examples of the tools and machinery in the labs, Thompson said he has faith that Penn State DuBois and the Tri-County KIZ can help manufactures pull through these tough economic times. "I feel a lot more confidence in our industries now than I did when I got here this morning," he said.

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Last Updated March 19, 2009