Public-private partnership of government, business and nonprofit organizations formed to reach out to Latinos looking for opportunity.
Initiative launches officially on June 22 with legendary salsa band, El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico’s, first-ever Pittsburgh performance.
June 16, 2014 (PITTSBURGH) – Pittsburgh, the “City of Bridges,” is building bridges to Puerto Rico and to Latinos living in the United States through “¡Hola Pittsburgh!” – a year-long talent attraction initiative* that launches the weekend of June 21-22 with a special emphasis on professionals relocating from Puerto Rico. Organized by a partnership of government, business and nonprofit organizations and chaired by the Greater Pittsburgh Metropolitan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, ¡Hola Pittsburgh! seeks to improve the diversity and inclusiveness of the Pittsburgh region to sustain its population, economic prosperity and quality of life.
The kickoff of the initiative features a performance by the legendary salsa band, El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, as part of the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival presented by Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. The concert will be the capstone of a VIP weekend in Pittsburgh for San Juan resident Daniel Torres, winner of an “¡Hola Pittsburgh!“- sponsored trip for two to Pittsburgh, promoted in Puerto Rico by VisitPITTSBURGH, the local tourism promotion agency. ¡Hola Pittsburgh! will also encourage Pittsburghers to consider Puerto Rico when making vacation plans in the Caribbean.
Pittsburgh: Plenty of Opportunity, Not Enough People
“The Pittsburgh region’s labor force and total employment are setting all-time records,” said Bill Flanagan, co-publisher of ImaginePittsburgh.com, which is co-sponsoring the El Gran Combo concert with Fifth Third Bank. “But to meet the demand for skilled talent as the Baby Boomers retire, we’re going to need to attract more people even as we work to educate and train individuals already here.
We believe that American citizens relocating from Puerto Rico and Latinos living in other parts of the U.S. who are interested in advancing their careers and building a great life can play a big part in helping meet the demand for skilled and educated workers. ¡Hola Pittsburgh! is a strong start.”
The concert and sweepstakes emphasize an interest in welcoming Latinos to Pittsburgh – recently recognized by the Travel Channel as a top “All-American Vacation Destination” – and a place which is seeking to fill, on average, 20,000-plus open jobs listed on ImaginePittsburgh.com, a web-based gateway to live-work-play opportunities in the Pittsburgh region.
“Pittsburghers and Puerto Ricans will find they have more in common than they might imagine,” said Ron Alvarado, chair of ¡Hola Pittsburgh! and the Greater Pittsburgh Metropolitan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
“Pittsburgh is connected to Puerto Rico via the legacy of Pittsburgh Pirates baseball legend Roberto Clemente. We have a small, but growing Latino community that’s ready to welcome and to help Puerto Ricans and other Latinos find their place – professionally and personally – in Pennsylvania’s second-largest city: the urban heart of a beautiful 10-county southwestern Pennsylvania region where opportunity is plentiful.”
Raising Pittsburgh’s Profile as a Place of Opportunity for All
“This initiative is a fantastic opportunity for us to reach out to Latinos looking for new opportunity in the United States,” said Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “There are tens of thousands of jobs listed on ImaginePittsburgh.com from employers across the 10-county Pittsburgh region, and there will be more in the years to come. Allegheny County is a ‘welcoming county,’ and we look forward to rolling out the welcome mat for visitors who may consider making the county – and the Pittsburgh region – their home.”
City of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, who recently launched “Welcoming Pittsburgh,” an effort to attract international immigrants to the city, said, “Pittsburgh was built by immigrants, and we will need a new generation of immigrants to join us in building our future. I congratulate the organizers of ¡Hola Pittsburgh! on an important step toward achieving this goal.”
Latinos Have Much to Offer Pittsburgh, Culturally and Professionally. “It All Begins with a Visit.”
“The Latino community has a foothold here, and there’s plenty of room for it to grow,” said Melanie Harrington, president and CEO of Vibrant Pittsburgh, a nonprofit focused on increasing diversity in the region. “Our region must become more diverse to compete more fully in the global market, and many Latino professionals – especially those in Puerto Rico – are seeking a ‘soft landing’ in a stable economy. They have much to offer Pittsburgh culturally and professionally. It’s win-win.”
“It all begins with a visit … learning about all that Pittsburgh, a mighty, authentic, ‘small big city,’ has to offer,” said Craig Davis, president and CEO of VisitPITTSBURGH. “El Gran Combo is a golden ticket for showcasing Pittsburgh, the ‘now’ American city, to our neighbors to the south in Puerto Rico and Latinos across the country. We’re excited to welcome them to our community.”
In the first year of the initiative, ¡Hola Pittsburgh! focuses on professional Latino talent, including skilled tradespersons. For these individuals, professional opportunities are sizeable across the Pittsburgh region. Longer-term, the initiative will invite individuals of all skill sets to see Pittsburgh as a place of opportunity.
¡Hola Pittsburgh! is a partnership of The Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Latin American Cultural Union, Roberto Clemente Foundation, Pittsburgh Hispanic Development Corporation, Allegheny County, Allegheny County Airport Authority, City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its affiliates, ImaginePittsburgh.com, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, The Pittsburgh Promise, Point Park University, World Affairs Council-Pittsburgh, Vibrant Pittsburgh and VisitPITTSBURGH. The partners seek to improve the diversity and inclusiveness of the Pittsburgh region to sustain its population, economic prosperity and quality of life.
*¡Hola Pittsburgh! Unfolds in Three Phases Through March 2015:
Phase One (through June 22, 2014): Kickoff featuring El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico
On Sunday, June 22, during the JazzLive International Festival, volunteers from the Latin American Cultural Union will encourage attendees to visit the ¡Hola Pittsburgh! hospitality tent, where major employers as Giant Eagle, UPMC, BNY Mellon, Fifth Third Bank, PNC Financial Services Group and many more are being showcased. Individuals who register at the tent have the opportunity to enter to win an iPad.
Phase Two (June 23 – September 21, 2014): Roberto Clemente Day promotion
Working with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Major League Baseball,ImaginePittsburgh.com will conduct a sweepstakes in target markets within a 500-mile radius of Pittsburgh – and in Puerto Rico – for a trip to Pittsburgh for the season-closing weekend, as well as Clemente, a play based on the life of Roberto Clemente, premiering in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District on September 19, 2014.
Phase Three (September 22, 2014 – March 31, 2015): Pittsburgh in Puerto Rico
In October 2014, Vibrant Pittsburgh will organize a job and career fair in San Juan. Pittsburgh employers will travel to Puerto Rico to recruit experienced professionals for careers in the region.
The launch of ¡Hola Pittsburgh! has been made possible through the generous financial support of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development/ImaginePittsburgh.com, VisitPITTSBURGH, the Pittsburgh Area Metropolitan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, VibrantPittsburgh, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Latin American Cultural Union and thanks to the sponsorship of Fifth Third Bank, UPMC, Giant Eagle, Comcast, Fabled Table, and United Healthcare.
CONTACT: Phil Cynar, Allegheny Conference on Community Development, 412-281-4783, ext. 4573 firstname.lastname@example.org