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00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f7707e000090.5 WESA's Life of Learning series focuses on learning and education activities, opportunities and challenges in the Greater Pittsburgh area.This multi-year commitment to providing learning-focused news coverage in southwestern Pennsylvania is made possible by a generous grant from the Grable Foundation.

Essential Pittsburgh: Manchester Bidwell Corporation Impresses Powers Of Art, Education & Community

The Manchester Bidwell Corporation was founded in 1968 by Bill Strickland with the intent of using the environment to shape people's lives. We’ll discover his philosophy for the creation of the guild. We’ll also speak to Chief Operating Officer of the National Center for Arts and Technology Paulo Nzambi and Vice President of Operations Kevin Jenkins on their roles within the Bidwell company.  

“You can do extraordinary things if you have the right people around you. Part of the message is…you don’t have to go to the world, you can bring the world to your neighborhood, and it’s not where you start that matters, it’s where you end up.” -Bill Strickland

Also, we'll talk about the Bidwell Training Center-- an institute of the Manchester Bidwell Corporation and home to the Manchester Craftsman's Guild, a league of youth and adults working in tandem to create a one-of-a-kind growth and learning experience. 

The Bidwell Training Center (starts at 32:31)

The Bidwell Training Center has seven adult career training majors to help prepare individuals for the work force. Valerie Njie, who oversees these career-training majors, outlines the student options and what each track affords learners. We’ll also hear from Keith Butler who instructs adults within the culinary department as he tries to make the student experience as realistic as possible.

After School Programs (starts at 23:52)

Director of Public Relations Erik Rueter will take us on a tour of the ceramics classroom during an after school session.  Head of Youth Arts Education Dave Deilly discusses how the after school program has evolved. Then, Marko Biddle a former student and current instructor, talks about his experiences in the program. Finally, we’ll hear from teaching artist Jeff Guerrero and Marty Ashby, who heads of the jazz program and Grammy award-winning recording studio.

More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be found here.