SEKISUI partners with Bloomsburg University to bring a Professional Experience Lab downtown

Front: Fady Smouni, Marketing Intern; Keara Hozella, Corporate Storyteller; Max Good, Office Administrator (black shirt, khakis); Dennis Kelso, appLab™ Manager
Second row: Angie Beaver, Administrative Assistant; Jeff Otter, Costing Manager
Third row: Keri Lebo, Marketing Manager; Jym Kauffman, Infused Imaging™ Manager
Back row: Dr. Bashar Hanna, President Bloomsburg University; Brooke Felker, Accounting Specialist; Kristin McVicar, Financial Controller; Kahla Manning, Customer Collaboration Specialist; Ronn Cort, COO & President

From Bloomsburg University and SEKISUI SPI

The Bloomsburg University Foundation announces that SEKISUI SPI made a $500,000 gift to construct a state-of-the-art professional experience workspace for students in downtown Bloomsburg.

“For us, it was an easy decision,” said SEKISUI President and Chief Operations Officer Ronn Cort. “We already partner with the university in campus events, panels and professional development opportunities for students. Our deeper connection to BU and the local community is part of our business strategy. We were considering building a space like this at one of our manufacturing campuses, but when we learned of BU’s plans for a Professional Experience Lab at the Greenly Center, we thought it would make perfect sense to help them build it there. This allows us to enhance our partnership with BU while also helping them to better serve students, the community and local businesses.”

Construction of the SEKISUI Professional Experience Lab (PEL), which will be located on the third floor of the Greenly Center, will begin in May. The goal is to have the space ready for returning BU students and community members to use in fall 2019, with a dedication ceremony set for September.

“We cannot thank SEKISUI enough for this tremendous gift and their continued commitment to growing their partnership with the university,” said BU President Bashar W. Hanna. “This facility will serve as a collaborative learning space for our students, faculty and community members to share ideas and experiences that will improve professional development opportunities.”

The PEL will include five individual soundproof rooms designed to provide students and community members with the opportunity to practice, record and receive feedback on professional interactions via in-person interviews along with virtual interviewing and meeting tools such as Skype and Zoom. These facilities will provide students with resources to help them train in several areas including job interviewing, virtual presentations, competitions, and conflict resolution.

The creation of the PEL is the result of discussions that began several years ago when an innovation committee comprised of BU faculty and staff, board members and community volunteers came together to share ideas on how to increase student activity in downtown Bloomsburg. The group began exploring opportunities to maximize the Greenly Center’s location in a way that could best benefit BU students and the overall Bloomsburg community.

The gift from SEKISUI brings the BU Foundation’s total amount raised in the 2018-2019 fiscal year up to more than $9M, putting the fundraising arm of the university on pace for a record-setting year of giving.

Joining BU President Bashar Hanna and Ronn Cort, SEKISUI COO and president, were employees and interns at SEKISUI who are BU graduates and current students.