(Posted March 16, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Carl Baxter, a Huntingdon-area businessman and president of Baxter Machine Products, and his wife, Marcia, have pledged a series of gifts to Juniata College to support the addition of an entrepreneurial studio to an expansion of the Sill Business Incubator in the Juniata Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.

"Carl and Marcia Baxter's timely and generous gift will allow JCEL take leadership of Juniata's commitment to Huntingdon's economic development," says Thomas R. Kepple, president of Juniata College. "By expanding our incubator facility, we can accommodate more local entrepreneurs while also offering increased opportunities for our students."

"Carl and Marcia Baxter's timely and generous gift will allow JCEL take leadership of Juniata's commitment to Huntingdon's economic development. By expanding our incubator facility, we can accommodate more local entrepreneurs while also offering increased

"JCEL has the potential to develop new businesses with new products and innovations to strengthen our job base and local economy," Baxter says. "In more than 40 years in Huntingdon, I have been privileged to work with some of the best mechanically-minded and inventive individuals to be found anywhere. JCEL is a resource offering opportunities to those who possess the entrepreneurial spirit to succeed."

The Baxter's gift will fund the expansion of the Bob and Eileen Sill Business Incubator and allow the College to create the Carl H. and Marcia A. Baxter Entrepreneurial Studio as part of a larger renovation of the incubator facility. The studio project has a budget of $250,000.

The studio will be on the second floor of the JCEL office complex, directly above the administrative offices. The studio will serve as a presentation space and video studio for JCEL's entrepreneurial video library.

"The response of student and community entrepreneurs to the Sill Business Incubator has been tremendous," says John Hille, executive vice president for advancement and marketing at Juniata "We're thankful that one of our community's leading entrepreneurs, Carl Baxter, has stepped forward with his wife to help make an expansion possible. Carl's entrepreneurial example and their gift will be an encouragement to future generations of entrepreneurs."

The new space will complement the ongoing renovation and expansion of JCEL's second floor incubator space, funded in part by a $200,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission and a $752,000 grant from the Economic Development Agency. The two grants, presented to the college by Rep. Bill Shuster in October 2007, funded the renovation of the former Alfarata Elementary School's second-floor classrooms into 8,570 square feet of office space designed to accommodate nine full-time business enterprises and five part-time tenants.

According to Nick Felice, executive director of JCEL, the incubator expansion project will start construction in summer 2009 with a tentative completion date of spring 2010.

"By turning a beloved former elementary school into a facility where college students can get hands-on experience and area entrepreneurs can find stability and services as they build a business, we can demonstrate that economic development can be sustainable both environmentally and economically," Kepple says.

Carl Baxter founded Baxter Machine Products in 1976, buying the existing H.W. Gerlock Co., which had manufactured machine products since the 1940s. The company specializes in precision-machined components for the transportation, industrial and textile markets. The company offers such services as designing machine parts to customer specifications and then machining those parts in orders of any quantity up to 100,000.

Carl Baxter sold his company in 2008 and will retire as president in May 2009. He is a resident of Huntingdon. The company was originally located on 1701 Penn St. in Huntingdon until the company outgrew the facility and moved to the former Bonney Forge Co. plant, located on Allegheny Street, in 1997.

The Baxters previously donated to Juniata in 2001 the original Baxter Co. manufacturing and office facility. The 14,000-square-foot facility, officially renamed the Baxter Building, currently houses the office, labs and storage for Science in Motion, Juniata's science education outreach program.

The Baxters donated the building to Juniata as a special gift arrangement that allowed Juniata to purchase the building for a significant discount from its appraised value. The building was originally constructed for the National Youth Administration as a youth training facility in 1938. It later served as the vocational arts building at Huntingdon Area High School.

The Baxters have four daughters, Natalie, Suzanne, Christina and Mary, who is a 2001 Juniata graduate.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.