Thompson Announces $238,000 for Pitt-Bradford Energy Institute

March 16, 2009
Press Release

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, announced today that the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will receive $238,000 in Federal funding for their newly developed Energy Institute.  The funding is included in the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act and was requested by Thompson’s predecessor, John Peterson, who was a Member of the House Appropriations Committee.

“Energy is synonymous with Western Pennsylvania and with the ongoing development of the Marcellus Shale play, the investment in Pitt Bradford’s Energy Institute will benefit the entire region,” said Congressman GT Thompson, Vice-Chair of the Congressional Rural Caucus. “Rural Pennsylvania has seen the boom and bust of energy development in the past and with this exciting and promising opportunity, the Marcellus Shale has the potential to create thousands of good paying, family sustaining jobs, and assist in the revitalization of our rural communities.”

The funding will specifically be utilized to launch an economic development component and enhance the workforce development activities of the Energy Institute.

“We’re very thankful to Congressman Thompson for his support in securing this important Federal support for the Energy Institute at Pitt-Bradford,” stated Dr. Livingston Alexander, President of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. “An important aim of the Institute is to work closely with industrial leaders to address current and future workforce development needs in traditional and newer forms of energy.  This funding will enable us to do precisely that, while also helping us to develop a curriculum that prepares students to deal with energy challenges of the future.” 

Strategically located in the heart of rural Pennsylvania and the energy patch, Pitt-Bradford is in an ideal location to assist in the development of next generation energy sources as well as traditional fossil fuels. 

 “I was convinced the first time I spoke with Congressman Thompson that he recognized Pitt-Bradford’s location in Northwestern Pennsylvania as ideal for launching these energy-related workforce development initiatives,” continued Alexander. “Our vast service area contains huge reservoirs of oil and gas, including the enormous new reservoir of untapped natural gas in the Marcellus Shale.”   

The Energy Institute catalyzes the integration of various sources of energy-related knowledge and activity from the University of Pittsburgh system and regional industry partners to facilitate undergraduate student learning, faculty research, technical innovation, commercial advancements, workforce and economic development, and campus and community awareness of sustainable sources of energy.  

“Under Dr. Alexander’s leadership, coupled with the expertise of Dr. Joseph Perez (Interim Director of the Energy Institute), the Pitt Energy Institute is in the hands of two seasoned professionals. Their years of service to academia and the energy industry provides a solid foundation as this program takes root and the industry evolves,” concluded Thompson.