Introduction: FCCT

Hi! I’m Gabby! I’m a senior urban studies and sustainability major at the University of Pittsburgh. This spring semester I am an intern working with the Fayette County Cultural Trust located in Connellsville Pennsylvania. The FCCT is a non-profit organization built to improve and enrich the local communities quality of life through art, history, and economic development. This semester I am personally working one two projects individually and one project as part of a team.

My first individual project is updating the communities GIS property parcel information. This GIS maps houses most of Connellsvilles property information such as assessed value, any back taxes, selling price, owner history, ect. I feel this is an important project for the community because it is important to keep track of property value as a whole. Knowing the worth of any parcel of land can change how a neighborhood works so it is essential to know how much the land is worth, who owned or owns it, and if there are any taxes due. It is also essential to know the zoning history on properties as it can allow for easy rezoning on the parcel if needed. Additionally, keeping track of different zones such as commercial, residential, and industry is needed to ensure there is a balance between the zones.

My second individual project is looking into the GAP Trail corridor for any business opportunities or other opportunities the community may want and/or need. This project’s purpose is to drawn in tourist from the GAP Trail in hopes to build up the local economy. I believe this will help the community because desired business from both trail users, off trail tourist, and local citizen alike will benefit from new and interesting shops, restaurants, venues, ect. Not only will new business bring in revenue from tourists, it could potentially entice people to move into the community, both providing economic development both organically and locally.

Lastly, the third project is a joint effort between me and my teammates who are also working as intern for the FCCT. The project is centered around an old PNC building on the main drag of town. The building has been proposed to be used as a business incubator. And my teammates and I are tasked with finding ideas and connection to make the incubator a success in the future. I feel this is a really important project for the community because it could act as a central hub for community meeting, locally owned shops, educational institution, and so much more. This entrepreneurial business incubator could be a great thing for the community providing income but also a sense of togetherness and community.

During this internship i’m looking forward to polishing up my GIS online skills and community engagement practices. I feel this internship provides a unique opportunity to help a community I have personal ties to to the best of my abilities. I am hoping to learn how to better help communities in need to be strong and resilient.

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