Burns: New employee will double as grant writer for 72nd District

Ms. Blackham offers procurement, administrative talents to municipalities

EBENSBURG, Aug. 7 – Ever-mindful of stretching state dollars for maximum impact, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, is replacing a retired employee with an experienced grant writer who will offer those services free to 72nd Legislative District municipalities.

Burns, who has made a habit of reminding municipalities to apply for state grants while offering general assistance through his legislative offices, said the addition of Brittany Blackham starting Aug. 30 takes those offerings to a new level.

“As I scoured resumes looking for the best fit, what jumped out at me was Brittany’s experience and savvy in securing and managing grants from national corporations and local foundations,” Burns said. “As a grant writer for a nonprofit, she’s skilled in all phases of the process and can readily share that expertise with our municipalities that have questions or need hands-on help.”

Burns said Blackham, who had an 80-percent success rate as a nonprofit grant writer and earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh, is replacing legislative assistant John Lushko, a district office employee who recently retired. She will also perform many of Lushko’s constituent service-related duties.

Blackham has additional experience as a writing and reading comprehension tutor for disadvantaged children, a creative writing instructor for middle school students, and in customer service at the university level, Burns said.