The Importance of Giving Back
We are committed to giving back to the Alle-Kiski Valley, where we live, study and work, striving to make life better for those in our community.
As part of Penn State's mission as a land grant institution, Penn State New Kensington is committed to working with and contributing to our community. Whether it's a program for our local youth and high school students, or customized seminars and workshops for businesses and industry, we are actively involved in outreach services and hosting of community events.
We also work collaboratively with workforce and economic development agencies to help to enhance our local workforce.
We Are... Active Volunteers
Our students, faculty and staff actively participate in community activities, representing the campus as individuals and in groups. Recently, we have given a hand with the following activities:
- Painting and cleaning during the United Way of Westmoreland County's "Day of Caring"
- Sorting food with the Westmoreland County Food Bank
- Participating in "Day On, Not a Day Off" activities on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- Doing environmental cleanup and cataloging books during a service-learning trip to Puerto Rico
- Building a sweat lodge and outhouse during a service-learning trip to Navajo Nation
- Sponsoring a dance at a local nursing home, organizing a local toy drive, and more.
Additional community initiatives
The new Entrepreneur Center, tentatively named AKEG (Alle-Kiski Economic Generator) is located in downtown New Kensington. When completed later this year, the center will launch a business accelerator program to attract and nurture innovation and small business development across the Alle-Kiski Valley. AKEG is the delivery vehicle for affecting change in the city of New Kensington and the region. The program is a collaboration of students, faculty and campuses working with businesses and communities across the state to improve the lives of Pennsylvanians. AKEG is funded by a $150,000 grant from Invent Penn State, an initiative that brings together Penn State’s intellectual resources, alumni, private and public businesses and investors to support the efforts.
Westmoreland Economic Development Initiative for Growth
WEDIG (Westmoreland Economic Development Initiative for Growth) is an organization representing five local townships that work together to achieve economic growth and global competitiveness through private-public partnerships. Chancellor Kevin Snider spearheaded the establishment of the group in 2009 to foster quality development in communities throughout the county. Members come from five Alle-Kiski municipalities: Allegheny Township, Arnold, Lower Burrell, New Kensington and Upper Burrell. Snider organized WEDIG into committees that deal with five issues: infrastructure; education and training; quality of life; business and investment; and health, wellness and spirituality. Penn State New Kensington students serve as interns to help each committee.
CREATE Lab Satellite Network Regional Hub
Alle-Kiski Best Practices Collaborative CREATE Lab Satellite Network Regional Hub, better known by its acronym ABC CREATE, is a campus partnership with 15 local school districts, the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, Westmoreland County Community College and Penn State Electro-Optics Center. ABC CREATE works to identify strengths, resources, and needs related to STEM education within individual districts and to share best practices and integrate technology into classrooms to prepare students for future careers. The program helps develop teacher advocates and build an educationally-focused collaborative. The program includes the school districts of Allegheny Valley, Apollo-Ridge, Armstrong, Burrell, Deer Lakes, Freeport, Fox Chapel, Franklin Regional, Highlands, Kiski Area, Leechburg, New Kensington-Arnold, Plum, Riverview and South Butler. The collaboration benefits approximately 40,000 students from kindergarten to grade 12 in the Alle-Kiski Valley. The campus was awarded a $300,000 grant from the Grable Foundation to work in concert with the school districts, government and industry to share best practices and to integrate technology into classrooms to prepare students for future careers. The program expands innovative teaching and learning through the STREAM initiative.
The Homework Hotline provides tutoring sessions for middle and high school students by telephone on evenings throughout the school year. The Penn State campuses of Berks and Schuylkill also are a part of the program. Campus students with strong math skills, such as engineering and information sciences majors, will serve as tutors, guiding students through their homework problems by focusing on the terms and processes. The inaugural program will focus on math courses that lead to calculus, such as algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. Calculus and science courses will be added as the program expands.