University of Pittsburgh
December 9, 2008

University of Pittsburgh and Sustainable Pittsburgh Host Fifth Annual Regional Equitable Development Summit, Dec. 11

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Sustainable Pittsburgh, in partnership with the Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership in Pitt's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), will present the fifth annual Regional Equitable Development Summit, titled "The Employment Priority-Inclusion in the Workforce: Positioning Our Region to Prosper and Compete." The summit will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 11 in the Twentieth Century Club, 4201 Bigelow Blvd., Oakland.

Chris Benner, an associate professor of Community and Regional Development and chair of the Community Development Graduate Group at the University of California at Davis, will deliver the event's keynote address. Benner will discuss research that shows how Southwestern Pennsylvania's economic prosperity is linked to ensuring that all residents are contributing to the local community through good jobs. The findings show that inequity hampers economic growth largely because the full development and utilization of a region's most valuable asset-its people-is constrained. The research was coauthored by PolicyLink, a national research and action institute whose mission is to advance economic and social equity.

Benner is a research associate at the Keystone Research Center in Harrisburg as well as at the Industrial, Organizational, and Labour Studies Program at the University of Kwa-Zulu-Natal and the Sociology of Work Program at the University of Witwatersrand, both in South Africa. He is the author of "Work in the New Economy: Flexible Labor Markets in Silicon Valley" (Wiley Blackwell, 2002) and coauthor of "Staircases or Treadmills: Labor Market Intermediaries and Economic Opportunity in a Changing Economy" (Russell Sage Foundation Publications, 2007).

A number of the region's leaders in workforce development and diversity initiatives will be attending the summit, including Larry Davis, Donald M. Henderson Professor and dean of Pitt's School of Social Work; Candi Castleberry-Singleton, chief diversity officer of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Randy Brockington, deputy director of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services; Joseph Massaro III, president and COO of the Massaro Corporation; and Sala Udin, president and CEO of the Coro Center for Civic Leadership.

The summit is sponsored by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, and the Richard King Mellon Foundation. Admission is $10 for Sustainable Pittsburgh members and $15 for nonmembers. For more information, contact 412-258-6642 or visit

The mission of the Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership is to enhance professional and institutional ethics and accountability in public service and leadership. The Johnson Institute reflects GSPIA's 50-year commitment to producing professionals who adhere to the highest standards of ethics and public accountability.

Sustainable Pittsburgh, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, works to affect decision-making in the Pittsburgh region on integrating economic prosperity, social equity, and environmental quality, bringing sustainable solutions to communities and businesses.