Geneva to host education and economic development forum

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Geneva College, in partnership with the Community College of Beaver County and Penn State Beaver, will host "Building the New Beaver County Economy: Higher Education-Partners in Economic Development Forum" on Monday, November 19, 2012, from 1:30 - 3 p.m. The event will be held at regional small business incubator StartingGate′s new facility located at 2835 Darlington Road, Beaver Falls, PA 15010. The aim of the forum is to identify ways that local colleges can collaborate with local industries to assist in the economic development of the region.

"We want to discuss how we can leverage current opportunities to build an economy for the future of Beaver County," explains Geneva President Dr. Kenneth A. Smith. "We′ve already been through a boom and a bust. We want to mitigate the chance of a bust by training skilled individuals for careers, not just for jobs."

The afternoon will begin with a panel discussion moderated by Bill Flanagan, executive vice president of Corporate Relations for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. Flanagan is a veteran broadcast journalist and host of the business affairs program "Our Region′s Business," which airs on WPXI-TV, PCNC-TV, WJAC-TV (Johnstown - Altoona) and WTOV-TV (Wheeling - Steubenville).

Two groups of panelists will be featured during the discussion. One group will be comprised of leaders in higher education in Beaver County: Dr. Smith, along with President of Community College of Beaver County Dr. Joe D. Forrester and Chancellor of Penn State Beaver Dr. Gary B. Keefer. The other group will include business leaders Eaton Corporation Plant Manager Robert Griffin, Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse President and CEO John Manzetti and Heritage Valley Health System CEO Norm Mitry.

Following the panel discussion, Barbara McNees, president of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce and 1987 graduate of Geneva, will introduce keynote speaker C. Alan Walker, Pennsylvania′s Secretary for the Department of Community and Economic Development. Walker will share his remarks and then hold a question and answer session for members of the audience.

Walker will also hold a separate media Q & A at the conclusion of the forum, with a light reception immediately afterward.

StartingGate is an organization dedicated to assisting entrepreneurs, new business start-ups and existing businesses looking to expand in the Beaver and Lawrence County region. Focusing primarily on information technology, advanced manufacturing and assembly-oriented business operations, but providing services to all business sectors, StartingGate offers a full spectrum of programs such as business start-up incubator space, start-up loans and business funding guidance, and business plan development assistance. Until work is finalized on the new facility, the organization is currently located at 2750 Constitution Blvd., Beaver Falls, PA 15010.

Community College of Beaver County is an open door admissions institution in Center Township and located northeast of the city of Pittsburgh, PA. The College hosts approximately 3,000 credit students each semester and offers degree, certificate and diploma programs in the arts and sciences, aviation, business, health care, human services, education, and technology. Non-credit courses and workforce development are also available.

Penn State Beaver, located 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, currently enrolls about 800 students who commute or live on campus. Many students enroll in the "2 + 2 Program" in which they complete the first two years of one of Penn State′s 160 plus majors, then move to another Penn State location to complete their bachelor′s degree. In addition, Beaver offers five baccalaureate degrees that can be completed at the campus in administration of justice; business; communications; information sciences and technology, and psychology, and an R.N. to B.S. nursing degree completion program is available. Continuing education courses and programs are offered in business, corporate training, engineering, and healthcare along with a credit certificate in homeland security.

Geneva College is an academically rigorous, Christ-centered college of the arts, sciences and professional studies offering nearly 40 undergraduate majors, an Adult Degree Completion Program that has both campus-based and fully online options, and seven master′s degree programs. The college enrolls students from nine nations, 35 states and over 60 denominations. Geneva is a nonprofit institution established in 1848, located in Beaver Falls, PA, and affiliated with the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA). A founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU), Geneva College challenges students to serve God in all areas of society: work, family and the church.