It’s always good to impress well-placed people who might be able to help a fledgling effort, and that happened this week as momentum continues to build for the Challenger Learning Center that is proposed for Indiana County.
Congressman Bill Shuster, whose 9th District includes all of Indiana County, met with Challenger representatives this week at a manufacturing showcase hosted by H&W Global, an industrial coating services company in Blairsville. The group demonstrated for Shuster how the Challenger center will aid in the development of the manufacturing skills employers will be seeking in their workers.
The showcase was sponsored by the Indiana County Manufacturing Consortium, which has been an early supporter of Challenger. The school district-led Challenger group is actively seeking financial support from foundations and corporations for building the center, which will be located on ten acres of the grounds at the Indiana County Technology Center.
The Challenger Learning Center would serve 22 counties in western Pennsylvania. It’s affiliated with NASA and based on the mission control model that NASA uses for the space program. Construction and first-year operating costs for the center are estimated at $3 million.