Laurel Highlands Workforce & Opportunity Center-Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

At Covington our primary focus has been meeting our clients’ financial goals and secondarily to make a difference in our community. Meeting our clients’ financial goals has enabled us to participate in a number of community efforts for the betterment of the human experience. On November 11th, 2022, I had the privilege of hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony at the newly established Laurel Highlands Workforce & Opportunity Center celebrating the Center’s successful operations and its first class of cohorts studying to become Medical Assistants. The Center is located at 310 Donahoe Road, Greensburg, PA 15601. Feel free to visit the website at for more information.

Patrick Wallace (middle) cuts the ribbon at the Laurel Highlands Workforce & Opportunity Center ribbon cutting ceremony. 

The mission at the Center is to benefit our community by removing barriers whether its structural poverty, individuals who are under employed or unemployed, or in transition of employment. To achieve the mission, we adopted the educational and job training tenants of the Manchester Bidwell Corporation and its core philosophy that it is possible for our neighborhoods to become healthy community ecosystems. I have had the benefit of observing the founder of Bidwell, Bill Strickland, for over thirty years successfully changing lives and communities. He just celebrated his fiftieth year of operations at his center on the North Shore of Pittsburgh. His magic sauce of approaching businesses to determine their employment needs and creating a customized curriculum specific to their needs has connected the disadvantaged to employment opportunities. The more I observed of Bill’s and his teams’ efforts, the more I desired to join his movement and see that our community of Westmoreland County benefit from such a logical approach.  During our lives Bill and I have benefited, as I am sure many of you have, from mentors who connected to us, loved us, recognized us, directed us, guided us, promoted us, comforted us in times of need, opened doors for us to reach our full potential and to reach our own dreams. All to the benefit of our communities. Unfortunately, in our society too many have not had such mentoring and consequently have been disenfranchised from accomplishing much. It has been said that “The American experiment can only last as long as its citizens protect it.” That protection comes not only from connecting within our own families, but to all individuals in the community.

Bill Strickland remotely connects into the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

Our focus is to connect to individuals that have barriers that preclude them from job training opportunities that can position themselves for success in life. We want to remove every obstacle so that they can participate in opportunities this Center can provide and position themselves in a good paying job that simultaneously addresses the community employment needs. Doing so will go a long way to protecting our communities and the American experiment that has, despite our short comings, created the best standard of living the world has ever seen. As a community we must come together so that we may protect our communities from further decline. There are too many barriers, including our own personal biases, that continue to impact so many and preclude them from a productive independent life.  

Patrick Wallace addresses the attendees of the LHWOC Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

It is with profound appreciation that I thank you for your support of Covington, which has allowed us to help facilitate this important community effort. I also would like to thank Bill Strickland for inspiring us to create this new center and for my wife, Dr. Kim Dickert-Wallace, along with my late father in-law, Dick Dickert, who taught me that it is possible to change the world one life at a time. Feel free to contact Executive Director Greg Daigle at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to volunteer or contribute to its operations.

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Covington Investment Advisors, Inc.
301 E. Main Street
Ligonier, PA 15658
Phone: 724-238-0151
Fax: 724-238-0148

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