New Partnership Aims to Get More North Siders to Work

Mar 21, 2013

Northside Works! combines two workforce development entities. The NSLC facility, equipped with computer stations, will go from part-time to full-time.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

The North Side Leadership Conference (NSLC) and North Shore Community Alliance (NCA) are combining to improve services for North Side residents seeking employment.

The two entities both previously offered workforce development services. NSLC has a location convenient to all bus lines on the North Side and existing computer stations.

“NCA has a more robust workforce program with many more services than what the Conference offers,” said NSLC Board Member Gloria Rayman. “So by combining our resources, we can offer so much more to all of our neighbors.”

The so-called Northside Works! partnership will allow the NSLC location to go from part-time to full-time, and overall allow for stronger outreach services and workforce development. The goal is to get North Side residents into living-wage jobs.

“We have a tremendous workforce development partnership with companies that you may be familiar with – River’s Casino, UPMC; we’ve done some work with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in terms of a GED program," said Carol Washington, executive director of the NorthShore Community Alliance. "All of our partners aren’t so large. We work with smaller partners as well.”

Prior to the partnership launch, which happened about a month ago, the NSLC was seeing about 75 people a month. That number has jumped to nearly 100 a month, even before the partnership was made public.

Northside Works! officials said the effort will go a long way in helping boost neighborhoods in the North Side.

“If people are working then people have money to spend in our business districts," said Mark Fatla, executive director of Northside Leadership Conference. "They have an opportunity to own a home; they have an opportunity to build a family. This is a fundamental strategy in terms of neighborhood revitalization.”

Funding for the first year of Northside Works! is being provided by a grant from the Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development.