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Sam McCullough, Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and his Economic Development Strategic Team will speak with students in the Farinon Center Limburg Theater 12:30-1:10 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15.

Seating is limited; students who want to attend should contact Career Services at x5115 or by Friday, November 9.

The officials will speak about career and internship opportunities in Pennsylvania in several fields, including financial services, engineering, information technology, non-profit, manufacturing and others. The state is launching an initiative to connect 5,000 students to internship opportunities with companies.

“One of our greatest challenges,” says McCullough, “is keeping our best and brightest young people in Pennsylvania. Between 1995 and 1997, Pennsylvania lost 20,000 college graduates.”

Core ingredients of the “Brain Gain Crusade” initiated by the Governor’s Office include connecting students early in their career development to Pennsylvania companies; remaining a location for cutting-edge technology; attracting young people to the state’s housing, recreational, cultural, and entertainment amenities; and developing curricula and educational initiatives that accelerate students’ entry into new fields and industries.

The state has allocated $10 million for the crusade, which is being used to market Pennsylvania’s communities, businesses, and quality of life on a national level. Also, state economic development officials are forming a Stay Invent the Future Internship Corps to connect talented students with growing Pennsylvania companies, and creating Regional Brain Gain grants to ignite local initiatives that address the Brain Gain issue.

McCullough was appointed Secretary of Community and Economic Development by then-Gov. Tom Ridge in May 1997. He received unanimous support from the Senate Community and Economic Development Committee and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in June.

A business and community leader for 40 years, McCullough served as chairman, president, and CEO of Meridian Bancorp Inc. until its sale in 1996. Before being named CEO of Meridian when the holding company was founded in 1983, he was CEO for American Bank and Trust Co., a predecessor to Meridian, making his total length of service as CEO 20 years.

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