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Skills’ move to new site will consolidate programs

Nonprofit celebrates 60th year in region

As Skills of Central Pennsylvania marks its 60th anniversary, it will soon move to a new 34,000-square-foot location in Altoona.

The move is expected to be complete by Oct. 1.

Skills will move its offices and programs from 4601 Cortland Ave., and its regional administrative office at 805 Chestnut Ave., to 5110 Sixth Ave., the same building that houses television station WTAJ.

“We’re very excited about our upcoming move and the opportunities it offers,” Rebecca Aungst, president and CEO of Skills, said in a statement. “The lease at our Cortland Avenue location was set to expire this year and our landlord was willing to work with us to help us secure a new location.”

Aungst said the new location will offer much more space, which will allow Skills to consolidate several offices and programs in Altoona.

“We will be able to function more efficiently while reducing our overall expenses, which is important to us as a not-for-profit organization,” Aungst said.

While many people know about Skills’ Blair County vocational training program for people with disabilities, Skills’ local programs also include 27 community homes, a four-bedroom respite home, an adult day program, companion services, a wide variety of employment training services, behavior support services, and a mobile psychiatric rehabilitation program for people facing mental health challenges.

Skills employs about 330 people in Blair County.

“It’s been a bit of a challenge to prepare for a move of this size in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic while also planning for how we’ll reopen programs that were temporarily closed, but our employees are definitely up to the task,” Aungst said. “We’re looking forward to our new home in Altoona as we continue to work through our 60th anniversary year. It’s certainly been one for the history books.”

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