Penguins And BPG Announce Opening of Lower Hill First Source Employment Opportunity Center in the Historic Hill House
The Pittsburgh Penguins and development partner The Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG) are pleased to announce the opening of a Lower Hill First Source Employment Opportunity Center in the heart of Hill District, blocks away from the 28-acre Lower Hill redevelopment. The mission of the First Source Center is to provide a central location for residents to obtain better access to job opportunities, career training, and pathways to construction, professional and service-related employment in connection with the Lower Hill redevelopment, as well as more broadly with other employers across the City and region.
The First Source Center will be located on the first floor of the historic Hill House, located at 1835 Centre Avenue, in space leased from E Properties and Development, the owner and manager of the property. The build-out construction for the space is being completed by Massaro in a partnership with TD Construction, a Hill District-based minority contracting firm owned by Derrick Tillman and Darnell Dinkins.
Delivering upon the commitment by the development team under the Community Collaboration and Implementation Plan (CCIP) relating to the Lower Hill redevelopment, the grand opening for the First Source Center is planned for mid-May.
The Penguins and BPG recruited a group of founding partners to launch and operate the First Source Center, including PJ Dick, Massaro, and Mascaro construction companies, Partner4 Work, PA CareerLink, the Builders Guild of Western PA, and the A. Phillip Randolph Institute.
Programming at the First Source Center will assist residents seeking job opportunities, career training, career exploration, resume building and other workforce development services. Job readiness support including transportation assistance, record expungement, pardon assistance, and referrals to social and pro bono legal services will also be available at the First Source Center.
“We are excited to help bring job opportunities to residents in the heart of the Hill District,” said Dorin Dickerson, Director of Development with the Pittsburgh Penguins and formerly with Mascaro construction. “The opening of the First Source Center is timed with our advancement of redevelopment on the Lower Hill, which will bring thousands of construction jobs and thousands more permanent jobs to the city and the Hill District community,” said Dickerson.
The Penguins and BPG are coordinating a comprehensive outreach effort to fully inform residents from the Hill District and across the city and region of all employment opportunities on the Lower Hill redevelopment.
Lower Hill Redevelopment Minority Workforce Plan Receives Unanimous Approval Today from City's Equal Opportunity Review Commission
The Pittsburgh Penguins and development partner The Buccini / Pollin Group (“Buccini/Pollin”) announced that their Minority and Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) participation plan for the Lower Hill redevelopment project was approved unanimously today by the City’s independent Equal Opportunity Review Commission (EORC).
Chuck Durham, Business Diversity Manager for the Mayor’s office, notified the Urban Redevelopment Authority in a letter this afternoon that “the Commission voted to approve the plan as presented.”
“This is a historic day for the Lower Hill redevelopment project because it is the first independent confirmation that we are achieving our goals for M/WBE participation, as we have committed under the Community Collaboration and Implementation Plan (CCIP),” said David Morehouse, President and CEO of the Penguins. “Our team reached out to hundreds of M/WBE contractors, and we have already achieved almost 42% participation for minority and women-owned businesses. We now have a detailed plan approved by the independent EORC for advancing to achieve our overall M/WBE goals for the Lower Hill development.”
In his opening remarks to the EORC, Boris Kaplan, Senior Vice President of Development at Buccini Pollin, noted that the project will be “both a well-timed and much-needed economic lift to local contractors, suppliers and consultants and also a new model for inclusive procurement and equitable reinvestment for public and private development across the City.”
Bomani Howze, Vice President of Development at Buccini Pollin and a resident of the Hill District, outlined how the entire Lower Hill development team has been focused on maximizing opportunities for Black and women-owned businesses. “At a time when the Hill District and our entire city is recovering from the pandemic, we are building a bridge from the Lower Hill to generate wealth in the community and invest tens of millions of dollars of construction and operations phase contracts for Black and women-owned businesses.”
Joining Kaplan and Howze at today’s presentation were Janai Smith, the project’s M/WBE inclusion consultant and Managing Director of Pittsburgh-based eHoldings, and Justin Hough, Project Director for PJ Dick, the construction manager.
Contractors and Consultants Interested in MWBE contracting opportunities, please contact:
Janai Smith, Managing Director of Pittsburgh-based eHoldings