Hope Center to Break Ground for Training Center

SHARON, Pa. – This Friday, the Hope Center for Arts & Technology in Sharon, Pa., will begin its renovation of an old school building, updating the structure to be used for high-school arts classes and adult middle-skills career training.

The center,  is scheduled to open in the second half of 2016.

“Our adult career training programs will enable local unemployed and underemployed people to develop skills that area employers are seeking. In other communities where this model is implemented, the results are impressive,” said Hope Center board chairman Michael Walton in a release. “We expect to see our graduates attain family sustaining careers, with many graduates transitioning away from public assistance.”

Hope Center follows the Manchester Bidwell/ National Center for Arts & Technology model, joining a network of similar schools, including locations in Cleveland and Pittsburgh. The National Center for Arts & Technology also has locations in Buffalo, N.Y., Chicago, San Francisco and a pilot program in Akko, Israel.

The Hope Center has worked with local businesses to identify training needs in the region, providing skills necessary for long-term employment, executive director Tom Roberts said.

“We are planning to offer ceramics and digital arts to youth and are pursuing state licensing to provide adult career training in the Medical Assistant field initially,” he added.

Last fall, the Hope Center launched its first classes at Penn State Shenango, offering after-school ceramics lessons to students at Farrell High School.

“I love the Hope Center’s ceramics program hosted by Penn State Shenango. I’ve learned that art is more than drawing – the instructors help us build and design projects and this made me realize I want to study engineering or technology when I graduate from high school,” said Ramone Battle, a Farrell student enrolled in the program.

Rendering: Architect’s rendering of the former school building at 115 Anson Way in Sharon, Pa..

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