PTC students compete in America250PA
Congratulations to the PTC students who competed in the America250PA Direct Effect Innovation Challenge (DEIC) in October and November 2020, and, despite COVID-19, advanced through three rounds of the competition. The DEIC is a statewide competition open to all colleges and universities in Pennsylvania where students develop viable marketing campaigns for the America250PA, a six-year campaign to commemorate America’s 250th birthday and Pennsylvania’s role in its history and future.
The competition theme was “BUY PA,” and the competing schools were tasked with designing an integrated strategy to celebrate and innovate businesses in Pennsylvania. “I speak for everyone at Pittsburgh Technical College when I say how proud I am of our students who have participated in the 2020 America250PA DEIC while dealing with all of the challenges brought on by the pandemic,” said Jennifer Waldo, PTC business instructor and faculty team coordinator. “The America250 competition is a great way to showcase how creative and technically strong our students and faculty are through our great partnerships across Pennsylvania.”
For this year’s event, PTC incorporated students from its School of Design and Engineering Technology (Christian Connolly, Jeffrey Lakes, and Jordan Pitchford) and its School of Business (Kaitlyn McGrath). Together, they created and presented a concept they called “Build Up PA” that would pull the community and businesses together to support the local, regional, and state economy. “Build Up PA” centers around a ”Keystone Keychain,” a self-monitoring business-led website that provides a database for Pennsylvania businesses to help one another and share resources. Pennsylvania consumers would receive a direct mail piece with information and a keychain to encourage them to “Join the Keystone Keychain” and shop at local businesses. Other marketing channels, such as social media and in-store posters with QR codes, would help to spread the word.
In addition to each student bringing their unique skill sets to the table, a large part of this competition is working together as a team with other PTC students from other disciplines. Jeffrey commented, “Participation in this competition has opened my eyes to see the way people and other students my age think, work through tough solutions, and seek the good of the people around them.” Jordan Pitchford, Graphic Design student, also shared his perspective, “The team we’d assembled were both cooperative and outgoing throughout the entire process. We all had a say in what was and what wasn’t going to be in our final pitch.”
The PTC team and nine other teams presented their concepts at the Final “State Round” on November 18 before judges and members of the DEIC commission. Although they did not win, their campaign received high praise, including: “love the user journey,” “beautiful execution,” and “very creative concept” among other compliments.
Kaitlyn McGrath, Business student, shared, “I feel that I have gained invaluable teamwork skills, an opportunity to put the skills from my program in action, and an overall sense of accomplishment and confidence in my own professional and personal skills.” We are so proud of our students who made great strides in this competition during times that are like no other, and are thrilled to see what they gained from their experience.
For more information on our programs based in hands-on and skill-based curricula, visit https://ptcollege.edu/programs/.