Strickland honored for contributions

Published by Tracie Mauriello on .

Pittsburgher William E. Strickland Jr., a community leader who helps teens through the arts, was honored in Washington today for his contributions to social entrepreneurship.

Mr. Strickland is known for promoting the arts as a reward for keeping kids in school and then training students for jobs at Manchester Bidwell Corp.

“We express our gratitude for Bill Strickland’s commitment to provide those Americans most in need with an environment they can thrive in and a future they can take pride in,” Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., said in a floor speech today to commemorate Black History Month.

In 1969 Mr. Strickland founded the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild which later merged with Bidwell Training Center to form Manchester Bidwell, which gets funding from local employers to train people for specific job openings.

“The use of art to change students’ attitudes is at the heart of my vision of education,” Mr. Strickland wrote on his website. “I see a connection between the creativity instilled by a love of the arts and the skills needed for business success.”

Mr. Strickland, 65, has lectured at Harvard University, served on the National Endowment of the Arts board and founded the MCG Jazz subscription service. He also was named a Macarthur fellow. 

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