CHARLES J. BETTERS
If you ask Chuck Betters to describe himself, he will tell you he’s “just a plumber from Aliquippa”. That, only in part, may be true, but Charles J. Betters is so much more than that. Today, he controls one of the most successful and lucrative business, construction, and real estate empires in America.
Through hard work, savvy, and his keen attention to detail, Mr. Betters parlayed his family’s plumbing and heating supply business into a conglomerate. He has built residential and commercial developments throughout southwestern Pennsylvania and made a name for himself in major cities across the nation while renovating public housing projects.
His most recent local creations include Bridgewater Crossing, an apartment and condominium community at the point where the Beaver River flows into the Ohio River in the heart of Beaver County. A new upscale restaurant is planned for the site. Mr. Betters also just completed a multi-million dollar renovation and expansion of The Willows, a conference and events center and hotel near Midland which also includes an upscale dining facility. He continues to purchase brownfield sites along the Ohio River in Ohio and West Virginia where he razes and recycles the materials from abandoned industrial facilities, cleans and purifies the land, and makes it all usable again.
As hard-nosed as he is in business, Chuck Betters is sensitive and caring when it comes to the children in his community; so much so that he donated the land to and drove the construction of the ultramodern Midland Innovation + Technology Charter School. His namesake Charles J. Betters Innovation Facility contains nine cutting-edge classrooms, three instructional labs, a cafeteria, and administrative offices on a site that he himself reclamated and brought to above residential standards on what was gritty industrial property where the Crucible Steel Company of America employed thousands of hardworking laborers for nearly a century. Today, a place that no one thought could be used for anything other than heavy industry is now educationally fertile land for students desiring an unparalleled Career Technical Education (CTE) experience. He has an even grander vision for the future use of the properties adjoining MITCS and the entire eastern side of the Borough of Midland.
Mr. Betters’ expertise in turning grit to gold comes honestly. Decades ago, he purchased hundreds of acres of what used to be the sprawling Jones & Laughlin Steel plant in Aliquippa where 14,000 were once employed and transformed it into a clean and productive site that is currently home to several businesses and clean industries, including the headquarters of his own Bet-Tech Construction and C.J. Betters Enterprises.
He embraces his Lebanese heritage; his grandparents migrated to Aliquippa with 18 children. His father, grandfather, and 15 uncles worked at the J&L plant; property Mr. Betters now owns. He started learning carpentry at age 13 and by 15 he could plumb his own house, working for his father Joseph after school. While attending high school, a local contractor for whom Mr. Betters worked lent him $2,100 for materials so he could get started on his own. He completed his first major construction project, an apartment complex in Center Township, Beaver County when he was just 20. He, with the assistance of his brothers, ultimately purchased the plumbing company from his father.
Through his inspirational story, it is his spirit and unrelenting drive that Chuck Betters wants to imbue to the students of MITCS. He graciously and generously lent his money, his ingenuity, and his good name so that children from across southwestern Pennsylvania would have a chance to be educated, focused, poised for the future, and job-ready the day they graduate from Midland Innovation + Technology Charter School.