On Thurs., June 4, the Private Industry Council and guests joined together to celebrate the ribbon cutting and grand opening of its new state-of-the-art learning and workforce development center in Lemont Furnace, Pa.
The 23,500 sq. ft. utilitarian structure, which is situated on a 5.56 acre property, includes five Head Start classrooms, an Early Head Start socialization area, an indoor children’s physical activity center, adult learner classrooms and a computer lab, PA CareerLink Fayette, and office space.
PIC President & CEO Tim Yurcisin welcomed the guests and talked about the exciting features of the building. He stressed that among the many advantages of the new building, the best one of all is that a parent can drop their child off at Head Start, walk upstairs and learn job skills that will make them competitive in the jobs market. Then, a number of special guests and federal, state and local politicians spoke including:
- Erin Molchany, Director, Southwest Office of Pennsylvania Governor Wolf
- Gary Reed, Rural Development Coordinator, USDA Rural Development Agency
- John Frick, Jr., Regional Manager, Office of U.S. Senator Pat Toomey
- Louis Lazzaro, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy
- Pennsylvania State Sen. Patrick Stefano, 32nd Legislative District
- Pennsylvania State Rep. Timothy S. Mahoney, 51st Legislative District
- Pennsylvania State Rep. Ryan Warner, 52nd Legislative District
- Pennsylvania State Rep. and PIC board member R. Ted Harhai, 58th Legislative District
- Fayette County Commissioners Vince Zapotosky and Angela Zimmerlink
- Bill Thompson, Executive Director, Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment Board
- Rose Ziglear, Head Start/Early Head Start parent
There was also a rose planting ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Head Start. This was at the suggestion of the national Office of Head Start since on May 18, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson announced Project Head Start from the White House Rose Garden. On that historic day he made a commitment to open a window of opportunity for our nation’s most at-risk children and their families.