Study shows Penn State New Kensington contributes about $28.7 million to A-K Valley’s economy |
Valley News Dispatch

Study shows Penn State New Kensington contributes about $28.7 million to A-K Valley’s economy

Tom Davidson
A sign near the entrance to the Penn State New Kensington entrance along Route 780 in Upper Burrell.

In terms of dollars and cents, Penn State New Kensington contributed $28.7 million to the Pennsylvania economy and supported just under 400 jobs during the 2017 fiscal year, according to a study.

But those numbers don’t begin to reflect the campus’ role in the Alle-Kiski Valley, according to Chancellor Kevin Snider.

“I think the numbers reflect the tip of the iceberg,” Snider said. “We’re part of a much larger partnership that’s getting ready for a new age (in the region).”

New Kensington Mayor Tom Guzzo agreed. He’s a Penn State graduate and said he has long had a good working relationship with Snider and the campus.

“They are very open and inclusive with the city, as we are with them,” Guzzo said.

The study, released Feb. 26 by Penn State, focused on measuring the university’s impact in Pennsylvania, where overall the university contributes more than $11.6 billion to the economy.

Many of the students who attend PSNK, located in Upper Burrell, are from the Alle-Kiski Valley and are getting a degree so they can better their lives here, Snider said.

In addition to allowing many students to begin their college studies close to home, they can transfer to the main campus at University Park after two years.

Penn State New Kensington aims to be a “partner in the community” to revitalize the area, Snider said.

“We really take that seriously,” he said. “Our efforts in New Kensington are to help revitalize the city and to do that in a way that is a model for other communities and benefits the region around us.”

The relationship between the city and the college helps both entities, Guzzo said.

“It has really been valuable,” Guzzo said.

The study was done by Penn State to measure its impact in Pennsylvania, according to a news release. It focused on quantifying the direct and extended economic impact of the university’s 24 campuses.

Other impacts of the Penn State New Kensington’s presence include its involvement in revitalization projects in downtown New Kensington through its Corridor of Innovation facade improvement program in partnership with the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, the campus-led New Kensington community sustainability program and The Corner innovation hub that helps business start-ups in the city.

“It’s really our investment in the future that really has us excited,” Snider said.

Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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