University of Pittsburgh
March 2, 2015

Report on Racial Diversity Within Regional Labor Force to Be Released March 5

Workforce Diversity Indicators Initiative will unveil a plan to raise awareness and improve minority inclusion
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—African American, Asian, and Hispanic workers hold just 11 percent of the jobs in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, a significantly lower percentage than American cities of comparable population and size. The lack of diversity in Southwestern Pennsylvania’s labor force diminishes the region’s appeal to companies looking to expand as well as to professionals who would otherwise consider relocating within the area. 

These are some of the key findings in the soon-to-be released report Behind the Times: The Limited Role of Minorities in the Greater Pittsburgh Workforce by the Workforce Diversity Indicators Initiative, a coalition of area organizations convened to examine workforce diversity in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The Initiative, led by Vibrant Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Today, includes the University of Pittsburgh’s University Center for Social and Urban Research and its Center on Race and Social Problems within the School of Social Work.

The report as well as a plan to raise awareness and increase levels of minority inclusion will be released at 9:30 a.m. March 5 in Ballroom A of the University Club, 123 University Pl., Oakland. 

Taking part in a panel to discuss the report’s findings and objectives of the proposed initiative will be Rich Fitzgerald, chief executive of Allegheny County; Douglas Heuck, director of Pittsburgh Today; Melanie Harrington, president and CEO of Vibrant Pittsburgh; Gabriella Gonzalez, a sociologist with the RAND Corporation; Vera Krekanova Krofcheck, director of strategy and research for the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board; and James Futrell, vice president for market research and analysis at Pittsburgh Regional Alliance. The event’s audience will include local business leaders as well as policy makers and officials from community organizations and foundations within the region. 

This is the first of a continuing series of reports by the Workforce Diversity Indicators Initiative that will examine diversity issues in Southwestern Pennsylvania’s labor force.