Bank executives grant $1 million

Eden Cohen, Managing Editor

Somerset Trust Co. executives have promised to donate $1 million in total consecutively in 10 years to Pitt-Johnstown’s entrepreneurship program.

The program has been named the Somerset Trust Company Entrepreneurship Program, and the lab as the Cook Family Idea Lab.

The Cook family founded the company in 1889.

The press release claims that the donation is unrestricted in its use, meaning it can be put toward anything Pitt-Johnstown administrators deem fit.

The program’s academic component, the Entrepreneur Idea Lab class, taught by professor George Glenn, may receive funds.

Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator Tammy Barbin said the class is on its third offering. In the class, students pitch investment ideas and the winner receives a $1,000 prize. Two follow-up pitches earn students $500, Barbin said.

Former student Michael Devan said he won the competition last semester with his partner Troy Schall. They pitched an automated way to grow plants and small aquatic animals together without soil, Devan said.

Devan said the class taught him the importance of understanding a target market and developing an idea based on that market.

Somerset Trust president G. Henry Cook said that this type of imagination, mixed with discipline, makes for local entrepreneurs who create jobs, according to the press release.