Johnstown, PA Oct. 19, 2023 — Pittsburgh Gateways Corporation (PGC) has been awarded $1,500,000 by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to renovate and restore the historic “Jupiter” building on Central Park in downtown Johnstown, PA. The transformed “Pitt-Johnstown Future Works” at 430 Main Street will be home to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown’s (UPJ) new center for advanced manufacturing, engineering, and automation. With UPJ as the anchor tenant, additional space will be available to complimentary organizations focused on advanced learning, entrepreneurship & jobs training.

“This grant will support Pitt-Johnstown’s educational programming downtown, contribute to local workforce development, boost entrepreneurial innovation, and accelerate the on-going transformation of our region,” stated UPJ President Jem Spectar.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the strong upward momentum in Johnstown,” said Robert Meeder, Chairman of Pittsburgh Gateways; “With these ARC Power funds in place UPJ and Pittsburgh Gateways qualify to leverage and accept additional private and State funds to meet all education and workforce objectives. It’s a great day for the city’s future.” The project has also received support from Vision Together 2025, the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, the 1889 Foundation and the Richard King Mellon Foundation. In addition, the Polacek family of JWF Industries provided a $1 million donation.

This award is part of a recently announced nearly $54 million package supporting 64 projects in 217 coal-impacted counties through ARC’s POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative, which directs federal resources to economic diversification projects in Appalachian communities affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries.

“From workforce training and agriculture, to downtown development and broadband expansion, the projects receiving grants in this round of POWER funding show that the future of Appalachia’s coal-impacted communities is economically diverse and innovative,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “Projects like these are resulting in life-changing transformations, which in turn, not only provides new economic opportunities, but brings a renewed sense of hope and purpose across our Appalachian Region.”

Including today’s award package, ARC has invested over $420 million in 507 projects impacting 365 coal-impacted counties since POWER was established in 2015. ARC’s investments have helped create or retain over 53,000 jobs and prepare over 142,000 workers and students for new opportunities in entrepreneurship, broadband, tourism, and other growing industries.

About Pittsburgh Gateways Corporation (PGC)

Pittsburgh Gateways Corporation (PGC) is an economic development organization whose mission is to provide strategic planning, development and direct management assistance to communities, community-based economic development organizations, research, and academic institutions, and private entities seeking to accelerate technology-based businesses. Central to this mission, is their goal to combat community deterioration in the City of Pittsburgh, economically underserved areas of Pennsylvania, and beyond. The Energy Innovation Center, located in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, is developed, owned, and operated by PGC. Pittsburgh Gateways Corporation is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information, visit:

About the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)

The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development partnership entity of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.

For more information contact:

Sharon Place