Tuesday, July 6, 2010

GlobalPittsburgh Receives $68,000 from Benedum Foundation to Expand International Attraction & Retention Programs and Services Into West Virginia

GlobalPittsburgh today announced that is has received a $68,000 grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation to include the state of West Virginia in the continued expansion of its programs and services designed to attract, engage and retain internationals to the region.

The grant will allow GlobalPittsburgh, a non-profit organization formerly known as the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors, to increase the effectiveness of hosting international visitors to the region by creating a relationship between GlobalPittsburgh and West Virginia University, the two parties announced.

GlobalPittsburgh’s programs and services benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Region by making positive connections and encouraging successful partnerships between companies, organizations and individuals that lead to increased international awareness and understanding, and a wide variety of economic benefits, said Chairman and President Roger Cranville.

“This generous grant allows us to pursue one of our main goals, which is to expand the scope of our activities at GlobalPittsburgh to encompass the larger region that includes West Virginia, as well as parts of Maryland and Ohio,” Cranville said. “We look forward to growing the excellent partnership that already has formed with WVU.”

The relationship with WVU already has led to participation in recent weeks by northern West Virginia individuals and organizations in programs coordinated by GlobalPittsburgh for visitors from Kazakhstan in the field of environmental revitalization, and from China in the field of rural health care.

In order to help fund WVU’s participation in GlobalPittsburgh programs, about three-quarters of the Benedum grant has been transferred to WVU, Cranville said.

For more than 50 years, GlobalPittsburgh has forged cultural, educational and business relationships between the Greater Pittsburgh Region and the global community through citizen diplomacy – connecting people and institutions in the region with audiences around the world through a wide range of hosting, training, networking, educational and outreach programs.

GlobalPittsburgh engages international delegations, groups and individuals by creating itineraries and facilitating introductions through the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program and other international organizations in the fields of energy & environment, life sciences & medicine, education, business & technology, clean/green design, advanced manufacturing, arts & culture, government & finance, social services & law, and other areas.

A charter member of the National Council for International Visitors, based in Washington, D.C., GlobalPittsburgh welcomes individuals and families to engage in citizen diplomacy as dinner and homestay hosts, tour guides, office and event volunteers, and greeters for visiting delegations and individuals.

WVU, located in Morgantown, WV, is a public, land-grant institution and the state's flagship university. It is a Carnegie Foundation Research University with 15 colleges and schools with some 32,000 students in its 185 academic programs. For more information, go to www.wvu.edu.

The Pittsburgh-based Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation is an independent foundation established in 1944 by Michael and Sarah Benedum, natives respectively of Bridgeport and Blacksville, West Virginia. They named the Foundation in memory of their only child, Claude Worthington Benedum, who died in 1918 at age 20. The Benedums expressed the wish that grantmaking be focused in West Virginia and Southwestern Pennsylvania, their native and adopted homes.

For more information about GlobalPittsburgh, go to www.globalpittsburgh.org or contact Thomas Buell, Jr., GlobalPittsburgh VP-Communications, at 412-392-4513 or 412-720-2218, or by email at tcbuell@versopartners.com.

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