Diversity Initiatives

Apprentice Operating Engineer Program

As a result of collaboration with the Hill CDC and the Development Review Panel, the University of Pittsburgh in partnership with the Community Engagement Center in the Hill District, welcome members from the Hill District community to our Apprentice Operating Engineer Program!

The University of Pittsburgh Apprentice Operating Engineer program is positioned to develop and build the skills of workers and prepare them for a career as highly skilled building maintenance mechanics.

The apprenticeship model combines on the job training with related classroom-based instruction with the goal of building skills, all while earning a wage and university benefits as outlined in the Collective Bargain Agreement (CBA) between the University and Union.  As an apprentice Operating Engineer candidates will receive forty-eight (48) months or 8,320 hours of on-the-job training covering all aspects of the duties of a University of Pittsburgh Stationary Engineer.

Apprentice Operating Engineers are required to attend and successfully complete a minimum of eight (8) core classes, one every six (6) months, each lasting 16 weeks.  At the successful completion of the apprenticeship program candidates will be eligible to work as a Licensed Journeyman Stationary Engineer.

What is an Operating Engineer?

Operating Engineers are responsible for safe operation and maintenance of a wide range of equipment related to the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment.  This equipment could include air-handlers, boilers, chillers, and associated building automation controls.

Mentor-Protégé Program

Goal: Provide incentive for contractors committed to developing minority contractors.

Growing Minority Construction Firms – In the past we’ve tried to find minority firms for our projects, but now our focus has shifted to growing minority firms in the area.  Our main effort in this vein is the Mentor-Protégé Program which is focused on growing robust/vibrant/competitive minority construction firms.

  • The teams (both mentor and protégé) have committed to the University to conduct a robust construction management training program that is required to be completed to remain qualified as a Mentor-Protégé team
  • Part of these regular meetings and trainings is to ensure Protégé teams do not over-extend themselves
  • To maximize these efforts, we incentivize those truly committed to the program.  We have 10 Mentor-Protégé teams selected

Improving Job-Site Opportunities

Goal: Increase MBE/WBE and labor participation (professional and construction) on construction projects and facilities services contracts

Providing Real Job Opportunities - We are working with all our contracting partners to promote job opportunities on our projects and have begun tracking the diversity of our contractor workforce. 

  • An example is our Chilled Water Project, where we have 39% M/WBE participation 
    • This means 39% of the projects construction spend is going into the hands of local minority firms in the next 18 months
  • Additionally, on this project we expect 10% on-site minority labor participation, creating real jobs

Community Outreach

Goal:  Become an active leader working with communities to address underrepresentation

We are working with the First Source Center in Hill District, CEC Hill District Apprenticeship, and partnering on Chilled Water Project

  • In an outreach and networking effort coupled with a learning opportunity, we are working with UPMC and Turner to host a 3-month Construction Management Training course that also focuses on networking with local established contractors for partnering opportunities
  • We also recently committed to doubling our MBE participation rates by next year, as well as committing to tracking and growing our on-site labor participation 
    • To do this, we are canvassing the area and local institutions to find minority contractors that would be interested in doing business with Pitt