Our Partners

Southwestern Pennsylvania has a wonderful STEM ecosystem filled with amazing organizations for school districts to work with. We at Catalyst Connection are so thankful for all our partnerships with local organizations and beyond!

ABC Create

Formed in 2014 as a way for school districts in the campus’ local region to work collaboratively to revitalize teaching and learning and to integrate STEAM skills, ABC CREATE has grown into a community of hundreds of educators from 14 school districts providing thousands of students with opportunities and preparation for a rapidly changing world.  Led and coordinated by Penn State New Kensington.

Learn more about ABC Create here.

ARM Institute

Collaboration between industry, government, and academia experts strengthens domestic manufacturing and secures the Industrial Base. The ARM Institute brings these stakeholders together to enable innovations in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), autonomy, and workforce development.

RoboticsCareer.org launched in May 2021 is a national workforce capability powered by the ARM Institute. RoboticsCareer.org connects education seekers and manufacturers with vetted robotics training programs.

Learn more about ARM Institute here.


BotsIQ is a manufacturing workforce development program of the Pittsburgh Chapter National Tooling & Machining Foundation whose goal is to provide a pathway for middle and high school students to learn about rewarding career opportunities in manufacturing.

Identifying and developing a career plan is a challenge for most students.  BotsIQ holds a pivotal position as a workforce development program that attracts smart, capable students who love to build things and solve problems — exactly the type of people that will comprise the future manufacturing workforce.

Learn more about BotsIQ here.

Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy

Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy studies how educators can use robots to teach Computer Science, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (CS-STEM). Our mission is to use the educational affordances of robotics to create CS-STEM opportunities for all learners. We fulfill our mission by developing research-based solutions that are classroom-tested and foreground CS-STEM concepts. 

Learn more about Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy here.

Carnegie Science Center

Inside the Classroom and Out, We’re Here to Support Educators! 

Looking for a special science program brought straight to your school? We can do that. Want to take advantage of unique teacher professional development opportunities? We’ve got you covered. Looking for an exciting Pittsburgh field trip that aligns with your STEM curriculum? Carnegie Science Center is the place to be!

Learn more about Carnegie Science Center here.

Center of Life

Founded in 2001 by Tim Smith, Center of Life (COL) supports the people of Hazelwood as they strive to be strong and to make their community strong. With its roots planted deeply in the community and supported by extraordinary partners, COL serves Hazelwood and its surrounding communities with rich academic out-of-school programs and outstanding experiences in music and arts. COL employs a holistic approach to community through all of its programs, believing that commitment to others is most productive when you walk with those served in their schools, homes, and families.

Learn more about COL here.


“How do we include more kids than ever in coding and robotics?”

This was the question Kelsey Derringer and Matt Chilbert asked when they formed CodedJoy in 2019. They imagined a program where learners feel welcome, experience success, and interact with a real robots from anywhere in the world.

Learn more about CodeJoy here.

Consortium for Public Education

The Consortium for Public Education is a nonprofit organization working with schools across southwestern Pennsylvania on initiatives designed to strengthen and broaden school leadership, engage community, and empower students. Our  initiatives build cross-sector partnerships that bring resources, improvements and support to public schools. We relentlessly advocate for excellence and equity in public education for all students.

Learn more about The Consortium for Public Education here.

Digital Foundry

The Digital Foundry at New Kensington is part of Penn State New Kensington and their vision is improving lives and strengthening businesses through access to digital technologies.

The Digital Foundry at New Kensington is more than a state-of-the-art facility. It is a dynamic regional hub for innovation, problem-solving, learning, and collaboration. The Digital Foundry’s commitment is to foster the growth and economic vitality of our region through education, training, and the accelerated adoption of digital/smart manufacturing technologies. They aim to bring the latest digital technologies to Southwestern Pennsylvania and Rustbelt communities, driving progress and transformation.

Learn more about Digital Foundry here.

GACC Pittsburgh Chapter

Through dual enrollment agreements, apprentices gets the On-the-Job training at the company and related instruction in the classroom or online. GACC Pittsburgh Chapter Apprentices receive nationally industry-recognized certificates, like the Manufacturing Technician Level 1 from the MSI Institute. The certification is bound with 6 college credits from Partnering Community Colleges that can later on be transferred into the Apprenticeship Program.

Learn more about GACC here.

Industrial Arts Workshop

The Industrial Arts Workshop (IAW) empowers Pittsburgh-area youth and adults at the intersection of arts, community development, and workforce readiness. Through the creative process of hands-on sculpture design and welding, students develop skills and have experiences that help prepare them for the workplace – whether that be in welding, another trade, the arts, or some other field all together. Youth and adults who complete our programs will be stronger, more resilient, and prepared for a bright future.

Learn more about IAW here.

Intermediate Unit 1

One of the 29 Intermediate Units, Intermediate Unit 1 (IU1) was established in 1971 to serve the schools in Fayette, Greene, and Washington Counties.

Today, Intermediate Unit 1 employs over 600 people and offers 143 services and programs including:

  • Consortia purchasing
  • Staff development
  • Online classes for students and professionals
  • Technology services
  • Consulting
  • Adult Basic Education services
  • English as a Second Language services
  • Special Education services
  • Liaison services to the Pennsylvania Department of Education

Learn more about IU1 here.

JADA House International

JADA House International uplifts the Hazelwood and Greater Pittsburgh community by providing an inclusive physical space where teens, senior citizens, and families can build positive relationships within their community and strengthen their social, emotional, and spiritual lives.

Learn more about JADA House International here.

Manufacturing Futures Institute

The mission of the Manufacturing Futures Institute (MFI) at Carnegie Mellon University is to inspire, engineer, and lead technological and workforce advances for agile, intelligent, efficient, resilient, and sustainable manufacturing.

Learn more about MFI here.

New Century Careers

New Century Careers is a nonprofit manufacturer and technical skills development organization serving the Southwestern Pennsylvania region through inclusive access to technical training opportunities while helping employers find and develop technicians seeking purpose, passion and success in the workplace.

Learn more about New Century Careers here.

Pittsburgh Technology Council

FortyX80, the non-profit arm of the Pittsburgh Technology Council  provide workforce development and career opportunities to varied demographics while fueling an ongoing innovation engine in the region in which they live. Challenges facing start-ups in this region on their way to become anchor companies include funding, market reach, entrepreneur experience, and availability of talent.  To address these needs, the efforts of Fortyx80 focus on investing in the innovative ideas of Pittsburgh’s creative thinkers and that includes even our youngest minds. Fortyx80 is dedicated to supporting the entrepreneurs, workforce development, and the education efforts of our region. 

Learn more about FortyX80 here.

Private Industry Council

The Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. (PIC), is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, that operates employment, education, and training programs in southwestern Pennsylvania, with a particular emphasis in Westmoreland and Fayette counties. PIC has strategically located offices throughout Beaver, Fayette and Westmoreland counties to assist youth, adults, dislocated workers, and the economically disadvantaged in attaining educational achievement, supporting their family growth, and obtaining and retaining employment.

Learn more about PIC here.

Remake Learning Network

Remake Learning is a network that ignites engaging, relevant, and equitable learning practices in support of young people navigating rapid social and technological change.

Our network, established in 2007, is an open group of interconnected, creative, and innovative people and organizations in the greater Pittsburgh region. Our purpose is to spark and share best practices and new ideas, make it easier for neighbors and colleagues to help each other, reduce duplicative efforts in the region, and leverage resources collectively for greater impact. No one organization alone can transform teaching and learning to better serve today’s young people, so Remake Learning helps bring them together.

Learn more about Remake Learning here.

STEM Coding Lab

STEM Coding Lab provides computer science and coding education to K-8 students who would not otherwise have access to it. Working in both in-school and after-school settings, our teachers equip more than 2,000 youth with 21st Century computer skills every year.

Learn more about STEM Coding Lab here.


Tooling U-SME is the workforce development division of SME, a non-profit professional association dedicated to advancing manufacturing. We are industry leaders and advocates, working with thousands of companies, including more than half of all Fortune 500® manufacturers and over 1,000 educational institutions across the country.

Learn more about ToolingU here.

Westmoreland Fayette WIB

The Westmorland-Fayette Workforce Investment Board (WFWIB) is a business, education, and community Board that is empowered to lead workforce development activities in the Westmoreland-Fayette area.

A large initiative of the WFWIB is their WF Manufacturing Industry Partnership. This is a two-county initiative focused on growing and building the local manufacturing industry through employer-driven activities.

Learn more about the WF Manufacturing Industry Partnership here.

Women in Manufacturing - Southwestern PA Chapter

WiM’s mission is to support, promote and inspire women in manufacturing careers and the organization accomplishes this through the delivery of powerful, effective and proven resources to women in industry and the companies that employ them. 

Learn more about the WiM here.

WQED Future Jobs

WQED wants to help students and job-seekers discover new, promising career options. Their goal is to  raise awareness about workforce development that is already underway and help the economy grow as workers find fulfilling careers and thrive in the Pittsburgh region.

Learn more here.