Southwestern Pennsylvania Urban Revitalization Project (SPUR)
In September 2011, the federal government awarded $1.95M to a group of local organizations that applied for the Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Grant Competition. This investment will be used in the course of two years and its goal is to connect residents from underserved communities—particularly the Hill District—with the local energy and health care industry clusters. This will be accomplished by focusing programs and activities on predominantly African-American communities that have, to date, not benefited from the resurgence of Pittsburgh through its notable clusters.
The overarching objectives of the project are:
- Accelerate the formation of new high-growth businesses and growth of existing businesses; accelerate the creation of high-wage jobs;
- Advance the commercialization of research, including federally-funded research;
- Support the deployment of new processes, new technologies, and new products to grow sales and create jobs; enhance the capacity of small businesses in the cluster, including small and disadvantaged businesses;
- Increase exports and business interaction with international buyers and suppliers;
- Develop the skilled workforce needed to support growing clusters;
- Ensure diverse workforce participation in clusters through outreach, training, and creation of career pathways.
This project is funded by different federal agencies and led by local organizations with the support of a larger collaborative. Please see below the organizational structure of this project:
Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Grant - $1.95M
Applicant: Pittsburgh Central Keystone innovation Zone (PCKIZ) - Administrator of EDA funds ($817,500). Working with the PCKIZ on its economic development efforts are: the Hill CDC, the Hill House EDC, Innovation Works and Duquesne University SBDC.
Applicant: Hill House Association - Administrator of ETA funds ($991,895) Working with the Hill House Association on its workforce training efforts are: the Community College of Allegheny County and the Hill CDC.
Applicant: University of Pittsburgh Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence (IEE) - Administrator of SBA funds ($150,000). Working with the IEE is the Duquesne University SBDC.