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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Young Israeli Arabs and Jews, Japanese to visit Pittsburgh in bid to export adult career training/youth arts education model

Bidwell Corporation (MBC) will host a group of international delegates attending the One Young World Summit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Four of the young leaders attending the “Art for Work’s Sake” breakout session are from countries currently working to replicate the success of MBC in their own cities.

UPMC, with the help of of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, is generously sponsoring the attendance of university student/activist Narumi Ishihara and university student/journalist Ryohei Moji of Japan and Helwe Najami and Katab Uzan Inbal, education advocates from Israel.
MBC CEO and Founder William E. Strickland Jr. is no stranger to the citizens of Israel and Japan. In 2010, Strickland was awarded the Goi Peace Award by the Goi Peace Foundation of Japan. Many recipients of this honor have subsequently been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Additionally, in summer 2012, Strickland received the Pursuer of Peace award from Pittsburgh’s Rodef Shalom congregation for his work to establish a center for Arabs and Jews in northern Israel.
Strickland and MBC’s success working with disadvantaged people is long-standing. In 1968, Strickland founded Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild to provide local at-risk youth with the same student-mentor relationship he had experienced with his teacher, Frank Ross. This program has expanded to include four art studios and serves approximately 400 Pittsburgh-area students a year. Additionally, Strickland oversees the operations of Bidwell Training Center, which provides accredited and state licensed career training to 200 adults in transition each year. Together under the parent company MBC and along with social entrepreneurial initiatives like jazz concerts, orchid sales and commercial real estate, the programs create the empowering educational environment Strickland espouses as “the cure for spiritual cancer.”
Realizing the educational model could be scaled, Strickland founded the National Center for Arts & Technology to expand to other cities in the United States and abroad. Currently, five cities across the country have affiliated centers. The NCAT team is working with community leaders in Israel and Japan to establish facilities overseas.
“Hope is universal but it needs a place to blossom. I believe we have a way to do that with MBC’s educational model,” says Strickland. “I am excited to host these vibrant young world leaders. Also, I am grateful to UPMC and the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh for bringing together representatives from the countries we are trying to help by establishing centers. With friends of this caliber, we will succeed in expanding across the globe.”
“UPMC has a longstanding relationship with Manchester Bidwell Corporation. We proudly support the educational work MBC does in Pittsburgh and across the U.S. with both youth and adults. We are excited to help the organization take its next evolutionary, international step and create relationships with these One Young World delegates – relationships we hope will help successfully establish centers in both Israel and Japan,” says Scott Lammie, Chief Financial Officer, UPMC Health Plan, Senior Vice President, UPMC Insurance Services Division.
In addition to the One Young World delegates attending breakout session and meeting Strickland, MBC is also hosting a dinner for a second group of delegates the evening of October 20, 2012. This group, including representatives from Egypt to South Africa, will tour the facility and attend a 9:30 p.m. performance by GRAMMY® Award winning musician Bela Fleck as well as The Marcus Roberts Trio. Fleck and the Trio will be playing at MBC’s facility that evening as part of affiliated program MCG Jazz’s concert season.
For more information about Bill Strickland and Manchester Bidwell Corporation: