Above: NCA Executive Director Carol Washington and NSLC Workforce Development Development Assistant Sheryl Smith.

by Kelsey Shea

The Northside Leadership Conference and the North Shore Community Alliance are joining forces to help Northsiders find sustainable jobs in a new program aptly titled Northside Works!.

The two Northside nonprofits have been working separately for years to connect neighbors with jobs, collaborating only occasionally.

Northside Works! is the first formal partnership formed between the two agencies and looks to draw on the strengths of each program to place neighbors in jobs that can support families and the hyper local economy.

“Good, sustainable jobs are the foundation of neighborhood revitalization,” said Mark Fatla, executive director of the NSLC. “If people are working, then people have money to spend in our business districts…They have an opportunity to own a home. They have an opportunity to build a family.”

NCA Executive Director Carol Washington called the program a “wonderful blend of two services,” and noted that agencies like the NCA and NSLC working together is what makes the Northside different.

Northside Works! looks to capitalize on the accessibility NSLC’s pre-existing Neighborhood Employment Center computer station in the centrally located Allegheny Center building and incorporate it with NCA’s more robust workforce development program that offers services like career assessment and job skills training.

The initiative was announced this week after a month-long soft launch that Sheryl Smith, NSLC workforce development assistant, said is already drawing more Northsiders to the program. The NSLC has served about 25 more people a month than they did before the program, bringing their total monthly number up to 100 job seekers served.

The Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood development will fund the first year of the project.

Talia Piazza, PPND program coordinator, explained that collaborations between multiple community development groups “is exactly what we’re looking to fund.”

To get involved with Northside Works! contact Sheryl Smith at the NSLC or call 412-322-7400.