He then attended the University of Pittsburgh where as an undergraduate he founded the Manchester Craftsmen"s Guild as an after-school program to teach children pottery skill in his old neighborhood.
The company"s subsidiaries, the Manchester Craftsmen"s Guild and Bidwell Training Center, work with disadvantaged and at-risk youth through involvement with the arts and provides job training for adults, respectively. He graduated cum laude with a bachelor"s degree in American history and foreign relations in 1970. Following graduation he continued to build the Manchester Guild into an innovative nonprofit agency that uses the arts to inspire and mentor inner-city teenagers.
In 1972 he took over the Bidwell Training Center that trains displaced adults for jobs.
He has served on the boards of the National Endowment for the Arts, Mellon Financial Corporation, and the University of Pittsburgh. He has been honored by the White House, and received the Goi Peace Award in 2011.
Strickland, Bill (with Vince Rause) (2007). New York: Currency Books of Random House.
In the face of uncertainty: 25 top leaders speak out on challenge, change, and the future of American business, Martha I. Finney, AMACOM Division American Management Association 2002.