RAND Expands Early Childhood Policy Research in Pittsburgh with Gift from PNC Financial Services

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February 2, 2005

The RAND Corporation has received a $500,000 gift from The PNC Financial Services Group to establish the PNC Chair in Early Childhood Policy, which will help bring a top child policy scholar to work at RAND's Pittsburgh office, RAND President and CEO James A. Thomson announced today.

A national search will be conducted for a person to hold the chair under a five-year appointment. This addition will enhance RAND's status as a leader in studies that inform policymakers as they consider programs aimed at improving the well-being of young children.

The chair is being funded through the PNC Grow Up Great initiative. The firm's 10-year, $100 million investment in grants, advocacy, communications and volunteerism is designed to help prepare young children for school and life.

The PNC Grow Up Great initiative is the most comprehensive corporate-based school readiness program in the country. The ultimate goal of the program is to help produce stronger, smarter and healthier children, families and communities.

The PNC chair is the first major gift that RAND's Pittsburgh office has received in support of a specific policy area. The office opened in 2000.

“There is consensus that investments in quality early education will result in long-term benefits for our society and economy,” said James Rohr, chairman and CEO of PNC Financial Services Group and a member of the RAND Board of Trustees. “RAND's excellent record of producing authoritative, groundbreaking research ensures that a clearer picture of how to better promote early childhood development will emerge, and PNC is delighted to support these efforts.”

“We've made a commitment to expand our research on early childhood interventions through our Child Policy program and the Promising Practices Network,” said Barry Balmat, director of RAND's Pittsburgh office. “PNC is giving us a chance to expand our efforts further.”

The Promising Practices Network is a Web site operated by RAND that highlights programs and practices that credible research indicates are effective in improving outcomes for children, youth and families.

“The establishment of this chair will make a major contribution towards achieving RAND's goals for the growth and development of the Pittsburgh office,” Balmat added. “It is the critical first step in establishing our presence at the local, regional and national level in the area of early childhood policy — an area of growing concern and attention in Pittsburgh and throughout Pennsylvania.”

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