A couple of initiatives that I’ve been helping with thus far for Community Outreach are very interesting and I think demonstrate clearly the Penguins stated desire to assist the local community.  One is the Diversity Supplier program and the other is First Source Hiring plan.  I have participated in organizational meetings and provided summaries for several discussions regarding these programs.  During these conversations the Director of Community Outreach, Kim Wood, has conveyed to various staff members the purpose of these programs.

The Diversity Supplier plan is an effort by the Penguins to engage and utilize minority-owned and female-owned businesses (MBE/WBE).  The Penguins organization obviously uses all kinds of different suppliers for various products and promotional items.  Banners, business cards, “rally towels” and even electrical work are all things that the team needs from time to time.  The Penguins would like to when possible utilize MBE/WBE’s. 

The First Source Hiring Center is a facility in the Hill District that attempts to help Hill residents (and others from outside the Hill) find employment.  When Consol Energy Center (CEC) was being constructed the Penguins created a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), a contract, that they entered into with the Hill District (the neighborhood directly adjacent to the CEC).  Among other things the CBA stipulates that the Penguins will give strong preference towards hiring individuals from the Hill District whenever possible. 

It is necessary that the Director of Community Outreach convey these initiatives to Penguins staff internally and to other partners of the organization such as the companies that provide security for Consol Energy Center, the concession stand staffer for the arena and even the management of the restaurant that is located inside the CEC.

I have assisted the Director with creation of spreadsheet that will allow us to easily track hiring numbers from these various arms of the organization.  This will give the Penguins data that they can share with the local community to demonstrate that the team is following through on its stated intentions in regards to the CBA.

I’ve also spent a great deal of time through my first week and a half working on a database that contains information for many local Pittsburgh officials.  This database is an important resource for the Penguins.  It helps ensure that lines of communication are open and available with important individuals, elected politicians and otherwise, on the local, state and federal level of government.

My Microsoft Excel skills have come in handy!  I have used them extensively in my obligations to both Government Affairs and Community Outreach.  Creating databases, sorting information and formatting easy-to-use lists using Excel is something that I am very good at and I’m very glad that I’ve been able to use those skills early on with the Penguins.

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