History - Westmoreland County Community College

Proud Past, Ambitious Future

In 1967, the school directors of Westmoreland County studied the possibility of starting a community college in the county. After local surveys proved favorable, the Westmoreland County Board of Commissioners agreed to sponsor the college and named a board of trustees.

Following approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Westmoreland County Community College was founded in March 1970.

The first Westmoreland students wanted their own campus to call home.

College History - The first Westmoreland students wanted their own campus to call home.

The college purchased the Westinghouse semiconductor plant in 1971.

College History - The college purchased the Westinghouse semiconductor plant in 1971.

The class of 1972 was the first to graduate from Westmoreland.

College History - The class of 1972 was the first to graduate from Westmoreland.

Animals from a nearby farm often wandered onto the campus in the early days.

College History - Animals from a nearby farm often wandered onto the campus in the early days.

Animals from a nearby farm often wandered onto the campus in the early days.

College History - Animals from a nearby farm often wandered onto the campus in the early days.

An early sign (and logo!) at the Youngwood campus.

College History - An early sign (and logo!) at the Youngwood campus.

An early computer class.

College History - An early computer class.

The college marquee in 1991.

College History - The college marquee in 1991.

The construction of Science Hall.

College History - The construction of Science Hall.

Constructing the iconic pavilion in 1995.

College History - Constructing the iconic pavilion in 1995.

Students using the library, 1989.

College History - Students using the library, 1989.

Founders Hall and the pavilion, late 1990s.

College History - Founders Hall and the pavilion, late 1990s.

On February 1, 1971, the college conducted its first nine evening classes for 259 students in rented classrooms at Jeannette High School.

Without a permanent home, the college was limited to offering only evening classes. Following a search for a suitable building, the Westinghouse Corporation offered to sell its semiconductor plant in Youngwood to serve as a permanent campus for the college.

In the fall of 1972, the college moved to its present site, in the building now known as Founders Hall. Day classes were offered for the first time and close to 1,500 students enrolled. A major renovation of Founders Hall, known as the Student Achievement Center, will be completed in 2020.

The first permanent facility constructed for Westmoreland, Commissioners Hall, was completed in June 1990.

Science Hall opened to students in June 1994. A state-of-the art addition, the Science Innovation Center, was added in August 2018.

Science Innovation CenterThe college dedicated the Business and Industry Center in March 2000 after it was purchased from neighbor Powerex.

The college has grown beyond the Youngwood campus by establishing education centers in Murrysville, Indiana, Latrobe, New Kensington and Uniontown.

The Public Safety Training Center opened in South Huntingdon Township in October 2003 to serve as a training ground for the region’s firefighters, police officers and emergency service personnel.

In 2014, the college opened the 73,500-square-foot Advanced Technology Center at RIDC-Westmoreland in Mt. Pleasant, which offers credit programs, continuing education and contract training for industrial technology and manufacturing occupations.

The state-of-the-art ATC includes study and gathering space for studentsToday, as Westmoreland plans to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the college enrolls more than 5,000 students and offers more than 100 programs of study at eight locations.