How we operate

VP_How-We-Operate

Vibrant Pittsburgh is an organization that believes a more diverse and talented workforce means a more vibrant future for the Pittsburgh region. 

How do we Promote and Attract Talent?

Place-based marketing and branding efforts

  • Worked with three corporate partners to develop a video highlighting diversity and inclusion opportunities in Pittsburgh’s energy sector.
  • Concluded in early 2011 an energy pilot program, called Diversity in Energy Program (DIEP). Lessons learned from this pilot project enabled VP to create a promotion and attraction effort that brings the region’s employers together to work as a collective and showcase a broader range of job opportunities and employer brands (including the energy sector opportunities);
  • Established relationships with regional and national multicultural STEM-related student organizations, alumni associations, and diverse professional associations to foster awareness of regional job opportunities and talent attraction initiatives; and
  • Convened collaborations with the region’s local civic, economic development and business associations and hosted unique events (like the Diversity Dinnerviews with Pittsburgh Technology Council and the Western Pennsylvania Diversity Initiative) designed to promote the region’s job and lifestyle opportunities.
  • Amassed a following of diverse talent interested in the region’s job opportunities using social media, speaking engagements, articles, conferences, regional and national outreach. VP has created a database with over 600 diverse candidates in STEM fields and a growing number of candidates in other disciplines from around the region and the country.

Market-based talent attraction and outreach efforts:

  • To facilitate diverse talent attraction efforts, Vibrant Pittsburgh is promoting the region and its opportunities to diverse professionals outside of the region. To implement this strategy, VP has researched and analyzed demographics and employment data for a number of potential target markets. Together with the HR Leadership Council and Vibrant Inclusion Council (described below), VP has identified a set of high-priority target cities where our promotion and outreach efforts will be implemented in the coming year. VP has already begun working with 70 community-based Affinity Groups on the promotion of our region’s employer brands and regional job boards – like the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance’s imaginepittsburgh.com site and the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s pghcareerconnector.com site.

How do we work to Retain and Include diverse talent?

Retention and Inclusion efforts:

  • Through programming and a variety of collaborative events and activities, Vibrant Pittsburgh is engaging employers and diverse civic, professional, government, and faith-based organizations to create the support networks that diverse newcomers and their trailing families need to flourish in the region.
  • To date, the Welcome Center has served over 1900 people. VP has also provided seed funding to launch an Immigration Law Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Law, to serve immigrants and internationals. In its first 10 months of operations, the Immigration Law Clinic has provided support to over 100 cases assisting nationals from over 40 countries. This represents more than 1,500 hours of pro-bono legal services for clients that could not afford the costly fees of law firms.
  • In mid-August 2011, VP launched the New Arrivals Bridge program, a collaboration between Vibrant Pittsburgh and Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. Over a period of five months the program introduces a diverse cohort of 23 newcomers to the region’s unique history and culture, and foster networks and bonds among participants and the region’s diverse array of leadership. The program will conclude with a celebration in December, 2011.
  • In collaboration with the Allegheny County Department of Human Services Immigrants and Internationals Advisory Council, Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board, Catholic Charities, and Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Vibrant Pittsburgh is partnering on the Refugee Career Mentoring Program (RCMP). This six month-long program matched 10 trained mentors to 10 highly skilled Iraqi refugees to guide and advise them as they pursue professional opportunities in the region. Mentors and mentees meet for monthly skills-based trainings where diverse industry leaders and employers share insights on creating career paths and fostering a diverse workplace.

Some examples of collaborative events Vibrant Pittsburgh has held are:

  • In April, Vibrant Pittsburgh partnered with the Delta Foundation and the Dignity and Respect Campaign to host the Diversity Leaders Reception, an event that brought together over 200 corporate diversity and inclusion leaders and managers and other leaders representing Pittsburgh’s diverse community-based organizations and initiatives, including the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, GLENDA, ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting), Western Pennsylvania Diversity Initiative (WPDI), Gay and Lesbian Executive Committee, J’Burgh, YWCA’s Center for Race and Gender Equity, Western Pennsylvania Supplier Diversity Council and many other organizations. Also, in attendance were foundation leaders, professional associations, members of employee resource networks and local elected officials.
  • In June, VP partnered with the Western Pennsylvania Diversity Initiative and the Pittsburgh Technology Council to promote career opportunities in the region at diverse regional conferences and through events such as Diversity Dinnerviews to connect employers and diverse technology candidates from the Pittsburgh Region. This event resulted in hires, interviews and connections for a number of the participants and included a diverse group of more than 70 candidates and numerous employers.
  • In July, Vibrant Pittsburgh partnered with UPMC, Strategic Retreats, and Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education to conduct a Trailing Partners Welcome Reception. The event was designed to create an opportunity for trailing partners who are new to the region to connect and network with people representing various employers, professional associations, and volunteer-based organizations. The newcomers were predominately the trailing partners of UPMC physician residents and fellows and Pitt faculty. As a result of their participation in this event, trailing partners obtained job interviews informational meetings with employers and connections to freelance opportunities, as well as connection to Affinity Groups and civic organizations in Pittsburgh.
  • Also in July, Vibrant Pittsburgh, the New Pittsburgh Collaborative (NPC) and Regional Internship Center (RIC) at the Coro Center for Civic Leadership hosted “Connect Pittsburgh,” a HUB event to foster connections among summer interns, young professionals, employers and diverse community groups. More than 140 employers, young professionals and interns attended this event, including US Steel Corporation, PNC Bank, Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Citizens Bank.
  • In October, VP collaborated with cityLIVE! on “Looking forward to Immigration with Rich and Raja,” a conversation between Allegheny County Executive candidates D. Raja and Rich Fitzgerald on the status of foreign-born talent and diversity in the region. The event Host Committee composed of 25 Affinity Groups and partners highlighted the strong community support for growing the regional diversity. During the public forum, with over 130 in attendance, the candidates’ recognized the value of diversity and the need for building a welcoming region, and expressed interest in engaging further on the issue of growing foreign-born talent in the region. VP also shared its “Statement of Values” which underscores the importance foreign-born and New American talent to the Greater Pittsburgh area and the urgency of growing the diversity of our region’s workforce.

How do we Elevate diverse talent?

Elevation efforts:

  • Vibrant Pittsburgh is working collaboratively with the region’s employers, community groups, educational institutions, employment centers, and workforce development organizations, to develop effective recruitment tactics that will increase the flow of local diverse candidates pursuing quality educational and developmental programs. Additionally, we are assessing the gaps and pursuing collaborations that align local diverse talent supply with regional employer skill demand. By engaging employers with growing low and mid-skill human resource needs and connecting them to an educational partner institution with adequate capacity, Vibrant Pittsburgh is developing an approach that can be scaled to address opportunities in other industries and sectors with low to mid-skill needs.
  • An example of this approach is the collaboration with the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) and the UPMC Center for Inclusion, Vibrant Pittsburgh is utilizing an existing CCAC initiative – the Young Adult Empowerment Program (YAEP) – to create a development model designed to prepare and place minorities and disadvantaged young people, age 17 to 24, in healthcare positions. An added goal of the initiative is to pair the Healthcare Pilot with the internal development program of the employer, thus reducing turnover and increasing the number of minority, entry-level workers that advance to higher level positions. Vibrant Pittsburgh’s role in this project is the convener of the collaborators and to serve as a program manager, coordinator, and monitor of outcomes to address any gaps in the process. The first class of ten YAEP Health Pilot program participants graduated in September and is currently preparing for the Nurse Aide examination. As of the time of the report, two more classes have been scheduled to commence in March and April 2012.

How do we Advocate and Educate?

Advocacy and Education efforts:

  • Vibrant Pittsburgh has partnered with the University of Pittsburgh School of Law to create a new community asset – the Immigration Law Clinic – to serve immigrants and internationals as well as the service providers who serve the region’s “New Americans”. In the first 10 months of operations, the Clinic has provided support to over 100 cases and has engaged in a number of efforts to educate the community and employers about working with immigrants and internationals and other immigration issues.
  • In 2011, Vibrant Pittsburgh engaged diverse audiences including employers, foundation leaders, policy-makers, service providers, newcomers and community members through speaking engagements that highlighted the needs of Pittsburgh’s diverse citizenry. Among groups and organizations addressed were Shell, FedEx, National Black MBAs, PPG Industries, UPMC’s Dignity and Respect Campaign, CMU Hispanic Alumni Organization, NAFSA (administrators working with international students), Grantmakers of Western PA, Greater Pittsburgh Supported Employment Association (GPSEA), AmeriCorps COMPASS, CCAC administrators, and others.
  • Vibrant Pittsburgh also created a “Statement of Values” which underscores the importance foreign-born and New American talent to the Greater Pittsburgh area and the urgency of growing the diversity of our region’s workforce. VP has announced this statement at “Looking forward to Immigration with Rich and Raja,” a collaborative event with cityLIVE! in October. The statement serves to underscore our commitment to creating a dialogue about immigration and the contributions of foreign-born talent to our regional economy.