The Grand Opening of the First Source Center went beyond expectation on Tuesday evening June 8th and was attended by a substantial cross section of community members, local elected officials from the county and city, Rich Fitzgerald, Mayor Bill Peduto, Leonard Hammond (representative from Jake Wheatley's office) and City Councilman Daniel Lavelle, as well as Development Team members, Kevin Acklin, Boris Kaplan, Bomani M. Howze and Dr. Ellis. were all in attendance to mark this special occasion.
Tracey McCants-Lewis welcomed everyone and introduced emcee, Dr. Kimberly C. Ellis, who was also the last speaker from the development team. Her enthusiasm for the workforce center shown was apparent as she directed the crowd to take out their phones and save the phone number to the First Source Center. Every speaker shared this enthusiasm with inspiring and hopeful words about the historic moment, ways we will all work to rectify the past, and look forward to the many opportunities we have to “honor and repair” to “get it right, this time.”
The stage was flanked with a nice podium that had a “First Source Center” logo on the front with artwork from Charlotte and Mobutu from Moka Gallery framing the stage with two acrylic pieces that captured the essence of the A-Train and the Jazz Artists accompanying it. We also had a beautiful textile piece from Dawn Sturgess on display. After the speakers commenced festivities moved inside the walls of the historic Hill House and into the doors of the First Source Center. There we had two prints from artist, Norman Brown, on display in the front intake office and in the interview room. We have more room for art.
Tapping local talent, the event was catered by Chef Claudy’s Eminent Hospitality and he served salmon and chicken kabobs with vegetables. There were also Perrier sparkling waters and still waters, along with fruit and small bags of assorted chips. Delicious!
After the speakers spoke onstage, it started raining and we all went inside for the ribbon cutting! Lined up were the elected officials and members of the development team, with oversized and regular sized ones. Dr. Ellis did the countdown and the First Source Center was officially opened. Visitors were directed to the intake and interview office and conference rooms. They enjoyed seeing what we had to offer. PA CareerLink was very well represented at their table in the hallway and they were there to engage the public and answer questions.
Residents posted pictures on Facebook and other social media and celebrated the occasion. Some praised the event and appreciated having nice “to go” containers from the caterer.
As the rain stopped and the crowd thinned out, we began to clean up. Tracey, two members of her crew and Paul Ellis helped put the furniture back upstairs via the elevator and Tracey and Dr. Ellis were the last to leave.
On the first day following the Grand Opening, the phone calls came pouring in (there were 9 voicemails) and we had some visitors, from job seekers to potential partners—-a company needing forklift operators and Catalyst Connections, providing free training for welders, machinists and much more! An individual interested in being hired came in the morning and by the afternoon, they had a job offer!
When PJ Dick arrived on site via Theresa Giancarlo, there was a line of persons waiting to see her. The First Source Center concierge was managing the process and their schedule was packed! The First Source Center is clearly filling a need for both employers and future employees in the city of Pittsburgh!
Stay tuned for more great news!
See all the event pictures here
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