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History of Penn Commercial

When it comes to your future, you want an education you can count on. At Penn Commercial Business/Technical School, you’ll embark on a learning experience that has stood the test of time. We opened our doors more than 95 years ago, something few career colleges can claim. And throughout our history, with all the changes that have taken place around us, our mission has always been the same—to position students for career success. We have helped thousands of students build their futures and enjoy careers they can be proud of.

Our Beginnings

The doors at Penn Commercial officially opened in 1929, when the school was launched as a business school in Washington, Pennsylvania. The objective of the new institution was simple—to provide high-quality educational programming to members of the community looking to enhance their careers and provide a positive impact to the economy around them.

Our Evolution

In 1969, four decades after our founding and in response to the growing need for skilled workers in the area, the Washington Institute of Technology was founded and licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Private Licensed Trade Schools Board. The Institute started with three electronics students, and in the years to come it would offer quality training in electronics; drafting; and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. In 1979, Penn Commercial was incorporated into the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Our Growth

The popularity of our offerings and quality of our programs led to significant growth over the years. In 2001, we purchased a building in the Oak Spring Plaza in Washington, Pennsylvania—our current location—and immediately began renovating the 64,000-square-foot facility. The renovated building opened later that same year, offering current technology, various labs and classrooms, a student services center, and ample (free) parking.

Penn Commercial’s program offerings have continued to grow and evolve based on the needs of the marketplace. Our focus has always been to provide training for today’s in-demand career paths. With that in mind, we now offer career-training programs in 16 different areas.

The latest exciting enhancement to our school was the opening of Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy in May 2016. Penn Commercial’s long-standing accredited Cosmetology program was converted to the iconic hairdressing academy to bring the world-renowned curriculum to the greater Pittsburgh area. The salon inside Penn Commercial underwent extensive renovations to reopen as a new, ultra-modern, 15,000-square-foot salon built to inspire and develop top talent in the cosmetology industry.

And in 2021, Penn Commercial expanded its Medical Programs with the addition of Phlebotomy Technician. This new 12-week program meets the demand for a highly essential healthcare profession.

Our Future

Even with the many changes that we’ve experienced throughout our history, our commitment to students and providing the best possible education is as strong as it’s ever been. Our mission is to help students tap into their potential, capitalize on their strengths, and prepare for a fulfilling new career. And as we move confidently into the future, that mission will remain. Come build your future with Penn Commercial today.

Ready to take the next step?