The United Way of Mercer County’s fourth annual Economic Summit on Early Childhood Investment is set for Thursday at Case Elementary School, 36 Case Ave.
The summit is a forum for area business leaders to better understand that high-quality early-learning programs mean economic development benefits for the region.
Mercer County business, civic and educational leaders will participate.
Registration and a continental breakfast will begin at 8 a.m., with the program beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the school’s multipurpose room.
Nancy Lukasko, United Way’s Success By 6 liaison, will introduce the speakers.
They include state Rep. Mark Longietti of Farrell, D-17th; Randy Seitz, executive director of Penn Northwest Development Corp.; and Dr. William Gathers, Mercer Area School District superintendent, who will present a five-year study synopsis titled “Dispelling the ‘Fade Out’ Myth.” The study followed pre-kindergarten students who participated in Success by 6’s summer program through their Pennsylvania Scholastic Assessment scores several years later.
Keynote speaker is Dr. Barbara Minzenberg, deputy secretary for the Office of Child Development and Early Learning. She will present “The Link between Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, Early Childhood and Global Competitiveness.”
United Way will honor Quaker Steak & Lube, Highmark subsidiary Keystone Health Plan West, and Synergy Comp Insurance Co. for outstanding EITC contributions toward early-education scholarships. The EITC provides companies with a 75 percent tax credit for donations to a nonprofit scholarship or educational improvement organization. The credit increases to 90 percent if the company commits to two years.
To register for the summit or for information on the tax-credit program, call the United Way at 724-981-1884.