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StartingGate is new Champion in Action in Pittsburgh

Agency receives $25,000 grant, volunteer and promotional support

PITTSBURGH (January 19, 2011) -  Citizens Bank and WPXI-TV today named StartingGate as their first quarter Champion in Action® in the category of economic development. StartingGate, which is dedicated to facilitating entrepreneurial development and job creation/retention in Beaver and surrounding counties in southwestern Pennsylvania, will receive a $25,000 grant from the Citizens Bank Foundation, and extensive volunteer and promotional support from Citizens Bank, WPXI-TV and Pittsburgh Cares.
“Citizens Bank is pleased to join WPXI-TV in naming StartingGate as our newest Champion in Action,” said Ralph J. Papa, Chairman of Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. “Under the leadership of Executive Director Doug Campbell, this tremendous organization offers a full spectrum of start-up programs and services to help entrepreneurs and businesses launch new business opportunities.”
“As an organization committed to the community, WPXI-TV is proud to partner with Citizens Bank to honor StartingGate,” said Ray Carter, WPXI-TV’s general manager. “WPXI-TV congratulates StartingGate on the excellent work it does to help businesses grow throughout our region.”
Through Champions in Action, Citizens Bank and WPXI-TV recognize and support nonprofit organizations for the contributions these groups make to communities in the Pittsburgh region. A new Champion in Action is selected each quarter among a range of social service areas.
As a Champion in Action, StartingGate will receive:

  • $25,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from the Citizens Bank Foundation.
  • Media coverage from WPXI-TV, including public service announcements and TV profile.
  • Volunteer support from Pittsburgh Cares and Citizens and WPXI-TV employees.
  • Extensive public relations support.
  • Promotional support, highlighting the organization in all Citizens Bank branches.
  • Exposure on both Citizens Bank and WPXI-TV Web sites.

What makes StartingGate a Champion in Action?

  • Founded in 1984, StartingGate has supported the growth of more than 3,565 small businesses resulting in more than 1,745 new full-time jobs created and 786 jobs retained. In FY2008/2009, StartingGate created 21 full-time jobs and worked with regional small-business owners during the economic downturn to retain approximately 51 full-time jobs key to their businesses.
  • Through the Keystone Innovation Zone program, StartingGate worked with regional entrepreneurs to form six new companies, five of which are located in the existing Progress Center for Business.
  • StartingGate is expanding its business incubator infrastructure with construction of a new 75,000 sq. ft. Proving Grounds business Incubator, which will support approximately 35 construction/trade related jobs, retain 50 to 55 full-time jobs and create 70 to 85 new full-time jobs. With a mission to support and accelerate entrepreneurial and small business growth, 15 to 20 new business start-ups and growing small businesses focusing in high-growth industries will be supported in the new facility.

“StartingGate helps businesses compete and flourish in the economy of the future,” said StartingGate Executive Director Doug Campbell. “Our programs, in combination with our incubator, are tailored to entrepreneurs and small start-ups to improve their success."

In addition to StartingGate, the following organizations have been selected as Champions in Action since the program was introduced in western Pennsylvania in 2004: Wilkinsburg Community Ministry, Aliquippa Alliance for Unity and Development, Beginning with Books, The Neighborhood Academy, HEARTH, Human Services Center Corporation, Washington Community Arts and Cultural Center, Rainbow Kitchen Community Services, Sojourner House MOMS, Little Sisters of the Poor, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, Health Hope Network, YouthPlaces, the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, Oakland Planning and Development Corporation, Family Tyes, and NeighborWorks®, Paul Laurence Dunbar Community Center, Light of Life Rescue Mission, Dress for Success, POWER, Project for Freedom, Providence Connections, RiverQuest, and Society for Contemporary Craft.

To learn more please contact StartingGate at StartingGate, 2750 Constitution Blvd., Beaver Falls, PA 15010 or visit www.starting-gate.com.

About Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania
Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania is a state-chartered bank with dual headquarters in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. It has 385 branches and 959 ATMs throughout Pennsylvania. It also operates 15 retail branches and 104 ATMs in southern New Jersey and a commercial loan office in Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $136 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I.

Citizens Financial Group, through its subsidiaries, has more than 1,500 branches and approximately 3,800 ATMs, and approximately 22,600 employees. CFG’s two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. CFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in about 40 states. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc).

About WPXI
WPXI-TV is a Cox Television station in the Pittsburgh television market. Cox Television includes 15 television stations, three national television sales representation firms, a television production company, and a Washington, D.C. news office. Cox Television is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, Inc., based in Atlanta. WPXI-TV’s website is wpxi.com.

About Pittsburgh Cares
Pittsburgh Cares, founded in 1992, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing community engagement through volunteerism and enhancing the impact of regional service partners. In 2006-07, Pittsburgh Cares coordinated more than 950 volunteer projects. Pittsburgh Cares volunteer network has provided more than 44,500 hours of service over the past year and with an average of 217 new volunteers per month, our impact continues to grow stronger. Pittsburgh Cares coordinates three specialized programs: Youth Engaged in Service (YES), Campus Cares, and Business Cares. YES is an outreach program that connects youths under 18 year of age to volunteer opportunities. Campus Cares works with the local college community including Greek Life, student organizations, individual students, and faculty/staff to connect them to a wide variety of volunteer and service-learning opportunities. Business Cares coordinates employee volunteer programming for small, mid-size and large companies in Greater Pittsburgh through customized contracts. For more information on Pittsburgh Cares, please log onto www.pittsburghcares.org or call 1-412-471-2114.