ERIE, Pa. — Penn State Behrend was recognized with the Commitment to Erie Award for large organizations Sept. 19 during an awards ceremony at the Bayfront Convention Center. The awards, given annually by the Erie Times-News, honor businesses and nonprofits for the commitments that they make to the Erie region in the form of jobs, service to constituents, and economic and social impact.
“Erie and its well-being are extremely important to us, and that makes this award especially meaningful to us,” said Ralph Ford, chancellor of Penn State Behrend. “The success of the region and that of Penn State Behrend go hand in hand.”
The award for large businesses was the final award presented during the evening and is given to a company or organization that has more than 50 employees. Penn State Behrend currently employs more than 800 faculty and staff members and enrolls more than 5,000 students studying on campus and online in Behrend programs offered through Penn State World Campus.
In its award submission, Penn State Behrend’s nominator wrote, “Penn State Behrend is committed to building upon Erie’s strengths and shepherding the region’s shift to an emerging technology-driven, knowledge-based economy.” The nomination cited Behrend’s work to create an innovation ecosystem, referencing Innovation Commons, the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Center and Knowledge Park, among other efforts.
The nomination resonated with both the Times-News and the Commitment to Erie judges. In an op-ed that ran following the awards ceremony, the Erie Times-News Editorial Board wrote, “Not just a font of academic excellence in the region, Behrend has become a vital economic development anchor through the work done at its Knowledge Park. It grounds local efforts to grow advanced manufacturing and a new economy based on innovation.”
A complete list of Commitment to Erie award winners can be found at the Erie Times-News website.