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PRESS RELEASE: Innovation District Skills Alliance, a Transformative New Program for Job Seekers and Employers, Launches in Pittsburgh Innovation District

IDSA connects high-barrier residents to living wages, lucrative opportunities, and innovative employers. 

Pittsburgh, PA, July 7, 2022 — InnovatePGH, Jewish Family and Community Services, local universities, and philanthropic partners are launching the Innovation District Skills Alliance (IDSA) this month. IDSA creates career pathways for high-barrier residents from neighborhoods surrounding Oakland, such as the Hill District, Hazelwood, and Homewood, to support inclusive growth of the Pittsburgh Innovation District.

By training participants directly in the skills needed for a selected position and providing them with supportive services, graduates of this program are connected to lucrative positions within local universities and companies.

“It is critically important that job-seekers be connected to employment within our universities which largely provide family-sustaining wages, benefits, and union opportunities that can be transformative for individuals,” said Lindsay Powell, director of workforce strategies at InnovatePGH.

Applications are now open, and anyone can apply. Each applicant will be screened for their interest in the position, ability to complete the programming and compatibility with the job credentials. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and can be found here. This inaugural cohort will hire lab care technicians within the University of Pittsburgh.

"This program is exciting for Pittsburgh. It's an opportunity for communities with barriers to access and entry into university jobs to have a pipeline into those jobs," said Becky Johnson, Director of JFCS Career Development Center. "IDSA will give people a way to bring a job back to their family and community. It will provide stability and benefits. And it's going to provide upward mobility and opportunity in terms of their career trajectory. We're excited to see how this helps these individuals and our community thrive."

Those who are selected will be placed in a small cohort of learners where they will take courses and workshops five days a week to prepare them for a specific career at a local university. Each cohort will be trained exclusively for one position which will be clearly advertised and described in the application. Current opportunities include training for lab care technicians, security guards, and security dispatchers.

The University of Pittsburgh is participating as an employer partner for the first cohort of learners, and is "excited to partner in this program to leverage new talent for the University of Pittsburgh!"

Participants are paid a stipend during their four-week training program and given additional support as needed, such as transportation stipends and child care assistance.

“We are excited to reintroduce this exciting program back to Oakland to ensure that all residents have the opportunity to be a part of the growth of our Innovation District”, said Sean C. Luther, executive director of InnovatePGH.

Website: https://www.pittsburgh-id.com/idsa

About InnovatePGH
InnovatePGH is focused on accelerating Pittsburgh’s status as a global leader in the innovation economy through programs and initiatives such as ASTRI, Avenu Workspaces, Pittsburgh Innovation District, the Innovation District Skills Alliance, and MovePGH. The InnovatePGH partnership is a next generation public-private partnership powered by a coalition of civic institutions representing the regions’ university, business, philanthropic, and government leadership.

About the Pittsburgh Innovation District
The Pittsburgh Innovation District is a dynamic, dense, connective pulse of innovation rooted in the world-class research of Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and UPMC. An integrated program of the InnovatePGH Partnership, the Innovation District unites vital research, talent, technology, and an entrepreneurial spirit with the support, culture, amenities, and capital that allow innovators to thrive.

About JFCS
Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS), was founded in 1937. Our mission is to help individuals and families through life’s changes and challenges. We do so by providing comprehensive, innovative social services and empowering people with the resources and support they need to improve their lives and regain self-sufficiency and stability. www.jfcspgh.org

About JFCS Career Development Center
JFCS Career Development Center works with our community’s jobseekers and employers to create a diverse and thriving regional workforce. Our client services focus on building job search skills for career success, offering expert guidance, proven strategies, and personal attention every step of the way. When it comes to recruiting talent or downsizing, JFCS Career Development Center partners with employers to handle their workforce needs with expertise and compassion.

Lindsay Powell
Workforce Strategies Director, InnovatePGH

Allison Reefer
Public Relations Specialist, JFCS

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