Tuesday, February 24, 2015

GlobalPittsburgh Partner Cultural Vistas Seeking Mentors for Environmental Advocacy Program in Cambodia April 22-25; All Expenses Paid

GlobalPittsburgh partner Cultural Vistas in Washington, D.C., is recruiting 12 young professionals age 26-35 from the United States to act as leader mentors in a program on environmental advocacy for emerging leaders from Asian countries in Siem Reap, Cambodia, April 22-25, 2015.

All travel and lodging for the Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative Generation Earth: Environmental Advocacy Responsibility and Teamwork Workshop will be covered by a grant provided by the U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh (all travel arrangements will be made by Cultural Vistas), as well as a daily meal allowance. Leader mentors will be eligible to receive a small stipend for participating in the workshop.

Selected participants will mentor a group of young leaders from each of the 10 ASEAN member nations (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) and the United States, and also deliver a session on an aspect of environmental advocacy during the workshop and during virtual preparation exercises (March 25-April 20).

Participants must be able to travel to Cambodia for the entire workshop (arriving in Siem Reap on Tuesday, April 24 and departing on Sunday, April 26).

Southeast Asian and American leader mentors will be paired up, and asked to guide small teams of participants in developing action plans to address an environmental challenge or take advantage of an environmental opportunity in Southeast Asia.

Applicants must be able to offer an engaging session that profiles innovative responses to environmental challenges in water/wetland management, cultural heritage and preservation, sustainable agriculture, natural resource management (including forestry), or biodiversity to 18-25 year old Young Southeast Asian Leaders, or which provide examples of entrepreneurial responses to such areas as fund raising/resource development/grant writing, project management, volunteer recruitment and management, or partnership development.

The deadline for applications is March 9, and the application be found at https://fs2.formsite.com/AIPT10400/form101/index.html.

Please direct any questions to yseali@culturalvistas.org, or contact Aaron Eisenberg at 212-497-3517 or Dan Ewert at 443-539-0527. READ FULL ARTICLE

Sunday, February 22, 2015

GlobalPittsburgh Seeking Host Families for Japanese Pharmacy Students March 6-16, Compensation Provided

GlobalPittsburgh is urgently searching for host families that we need for a program for a group of pharmacy students from Kobe Gakuin University in Japan who will be participating in an exchange with Duquesne University from March 6-16.

The students will be placed in pairs with one student speaking better English than the other so that, collectively, they may communicate more effectively with their hosts. We ask that each student have her own bed; they may share a bedroom or have separate rooms. It is not appropriate to have a student sleeping in a family room or living room on a sofa (where people may walk through). It is okay if the students share a bathroom with each other and/or other members of the family.

We have a total of eight female students yet to be placed with host families (out of a total of 18 students). The students, who are between the ages of 18 and 23, will be using bus passes to go to and from their classes and activities.

The students will be practicing their English while they are in the city. We are able to provide participating hosts with $150 per student to help offset their expenses for food, etc. Hosts are asked to include the students in their weekend activities, provide breakfasts and dinners on weekdays and also lunches on weekends.

GlobalPittsburgh will provide hosts with information about the students' allergies. We have letters to prospective hosts from the students. We ask the hosts to guide their guests to a bus stop location where they may take a bus to the Duquesne campus or to the downtown area where they may then walk to campus.

If you are interested in hosting the Japanese medical students please contact Gail Shrott, Director of the GlobalPittsburgh International Leaders Program, at 412-392-4513 or gshrott@globalpittsburgh.org. The students in Japan are eager to learn the names of hosts so they can correspond with them in advance of their arrival in Pittsburgh on March 6.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Two Paths - One Dream: Lavender Wachira and May Lebo

Congratulations to our friends May and Lavender of MayLav Cleaners! Their immigrant success story was selected as the winning entry for the Pittsburgh region by the WE Global Network - and is published in a new book of 11 inspiring stories of successful immigrant entrepreneurs from across the Rust Belt. This is their story.

We are May Lebo & Lavender Wachira, and we are the faces behind MayLav Elite Cleaning, a residential, commercial, post-construction and party/event cleaning company.

May was raised in a small farm town called Kitale, also known as the granary of Kenya because of the large-scale maize/corn farming they do. Lavender was raised in Nairobi, Kenya’s Capital - we like to describe it as mini New York.

May left Kenya in 2004 to pursue a degree in communications at Point Park University in Pittsburgh PA. She enjoyed the experience that a new city brought and was happy to start a new life here. Lavender was working in Kenya for a few years after her undergraduate degree and decided to pursue an MBA to further her career, and incidentally picked Point Park University.

We met on campus in 2009, and a friendship sparked instantly. May had also decided to pursue her master’s degree and we continued to forge our friendship in class.

After graduating we sought employment in order to experience working in corporate America. We worked for two years and that gave us the experience, capital and confidence needed to start our own business.

We live in two different parts of Pittsburgh, Lavender in the West End and May the East End, which is good because it has allowed us to understand and anticipate the needs in the neighborhoods we reside in.

The Day...
A typical MayLav Day would probably start at 5 a.m. with us messaging each other back and forth over ideas that we may have. We brainstorm over them, knock some of them off but keep the ones that are more feasible. We then discuss jobs, walk-through appointments, pick up times, or meet up times and which crew member is available. Then probably complain about the cold. See, we grew up in a country with only two seasons: rainy and dry season. Several years of being in Pittsburgh and we are yet to get used to the chill.

The Job…
At the job site, the first thing we do is carry the equipment and supplies in and then assign floors or rooms if necessary. For the next three to four hours our interaction is minimal as everyone is busy, except of course, for the occasional approval or disapproval of a song choice. We like to play music as we work. Something about music, the right tempo and energy gives us drive and keeps our spirits up as we work. When we are done cleaning we do a final walk-through and make sure everything is sparkling and that we haven’t left anything out of place.

After the Job…
We head home, change out of our uniform into business casual attire, and visit a potential client at their site for a prescheduled walk-through to establish a quote. A walk-through is usually our first in-person contact with the client and as such we aspire to make the best first impression. The walk-through lasts about 15 to 30 minutes. One thing we hope our client can take away from meeting us is our authenticity, which is seen through our personalities and references. During the walkthrough we take the opportunity to learn about the client’s needs and tailor the quote to suit their budget and expectations.

Small Business Support…
In order to support small businesses we make a conscious effort to hold our after-walk-through meeting at a startup or small business coffee shop or restaurant. We then draft a formal cleaning proposal that is sent to the client.

Happy hour…
In the evenings we either meet up with a mentor or attend a networking event. We have learned that our business is very personal and word of mouth is the main avenue for attaining new business. We try to attend many events, meet other business owners in our field, and have memberships in different networking groups.

We have noticed that our accents act as a perfect icebreaker and this gives those we interact with an opportunity to get to know us better. “Do I hear an accent?” or “Where are you from originally?” or “Why Pittsburgh?” are common questions posed to us. We welcome these questions as they give us a chance to tell our story, and this helps build a better rapport between the client and us.

We take pride in our work because we are building what we like to call “our empire” and our mission is to provide excellent products and services while inspiring others. We want to live our lives by example and that’s why we work side by side with our employees and are open to suggestions they may have to improve our services.

We attribute our hard work and desire to deliver the best in what we do to our upbringing. Our parents, through example, instilled in us diligence, honesty, and accountability, which have proved invaluable while running a business.

CLICK HERE for the online version of this story and all of the winners. READ FULL ARTICLE

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

La Roche College Offering Global Development and Humanitarian Aid Training Program in June

La Roche College in Pittsburgh will offer a set of training programs in June for those considering or starting careers in global development and humanitarian aid.
Partnering with RedR UK, one of the world’s premier training organizations, La Roche’s Global Development and Humanitarian Aid Training Program will develop these core competencies:
  • Understanding human rights and humanitarian contexts, principles and law
  • Working collaboratively to achieve results
  • Ensuring safety and security under conditions of pressure and change
Training programs and dates:
  • June 1-5, 2015: Essentials of Humanitarian Aid Training focuses on the key competencies in the field and includes case studies and emergency response simulations. 
  •  June 1-12, 2015: A comprehensive training that incorporates the Essentials of Humanitarian Aid Training plus training in specialized areas such as project management, international guidelines for action, and focus areas of humanitarian aid. Movie forums, guest lectures, team activities and visits to humanitarian aid organizations in Pittsburgh are included in this extended version of training. 

Costs of courses:
  • Tuition for week one is $1,000 
  • Room and board on campus is $200 (Arrival: Sunday June 1; Departure: Saturday, June 6)
  • Total cost: $1,200
  • Tuition for both weeks is $1,200
  • Room and board on campus is $300 (Arrival: Sunday June 1; Departure: Saturday, June 13)
  • Total cost: $1,500
  • You can receive undergraduate or graduate credits for this course. If you are interested contact us to request more information.
For more information please contact Charlotte Reed, assistant director of global engagement, at 412-536-1215 or charlotte.reed@laroche.edu. READ FULL ARTICLE

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

GlobalPittsburgh Seeks Proposals to Update Website

GlobalPittsburgh Website
February 11, 2015

1. Summary and Background

The Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors (PCIV), a non-profit organization doing business as GlobalPittsburgh, is currently accepting proposals to develop, design, launch and host a new website to replace its current website at www.globalpittsburgh.org. The existing GlobalPittsburgh website was developed and launched in 2011.

CLICK HERE to download the RFP.

In an effort to elevate awareness of GlobalPittsburgh and thereby increase revenue, membership and community involvement via its website, GlobalPittsburgh has determined that a new platform and format are needed which are more user-friendly and allow for improved interaction by current followers and potential members at the individual, organizational and corporate levels.
Our current website isn’t optimized for mobile platforms and is not sufficiently functional to achieve our revenue and membership goals. With confusing layout and messages/information, it isn’t easy to find what one needs within three clicks. Also, we only converse in English. As a result, the website isn’t drawing the interest we had hoped. We need to rethink our digital strategy, starting with the web site, but also looking at all digital aspects from branding, messaging and promoting our website. Our website, ultimately, should reflect our mission statement and clear brand message.

The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to solicit proposals from various web developers, conduct a fair and extensive evaluation based on criteria listed herein, and select the candidate which best represents the GlobalPittsburgh’s new direction.

GlobalPittsburgh brings together globally minded people in the Pittsburgh region through membership activities and hosting programs. Formed in 1959 as the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors, we promote the concept of citizen diplomacy, which means, "the concept that every global citizen has the right, even the responsibility, to engage across cultures and create shared understanding through meaningful person-to-person interactions."

As a 54-year member of the Washington, D.C.-based Global Ties U.S. (formerly NCIV), we are the U.S. State Department’s designated regional service provider for the International Visitor Leadership Program and other government-sponsored international exchange programs. 

GlobalPittsburgh now has a network of more than 500 members (including individuals, universities and corporations), volunteers, and citizen diplomats who ensure that visiting leaders, international newcomers and globally minded residents are connected and benefit from our promise to find friends, find jobs, find customers and find students.
GlobalPittsburgh currently operates three main programs:

International Leaders Program - Hosting global delegations
Tailored professional itineraries for emerging leaders in the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitors Leadership Program, other federally funded programs, and fee-based programming for international leaders sponsored by their governments, businesses or other institutions. These itineraries are designed to promote ongoing linkages between the international participants and the Pittsburgh regional leaders with whom they meet.

GlobalPittsburghCONNECTMembership program connecting internationals and local community
Providing homestays, hospitality dinners with American families, and a year-round series of events to acculturate and welcome international students, professionals, ESL students, researchers, scholars and their families to the Greater Pittsburgh Region. Local globally minded individuals, companies and organizations may become part of the GlobalPittsburghCONNECT, which includes invitations to member activities, hosting and homestay opportunities, and a wide range of other benefits and advantages. Memberships are available at $50 per year for individuals and households, $40 for undergraduate students.

Study Pittsburgh InitiativeHelping colleges, universities & English Language programs attract international students
A consortium of colleges, universities and degree programs led by GlobalPittsburgh to promote the region as a whole to attract more international students and connect them with regional businesses, cultural assets and communities. This program will be expanded in 2015 as part of the GlobalPittsburgh International Student Talent Attraction & Retention Initiative, or I-STAR, which will require expanded interactive and mobile-friendly capabilities.

2. Proposal Guidelines

Proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 16, 2015. GlobalPittsburgh intends to announce the successful contract by March 30, 2015, following a two-week period for questions and proposal clarification. An official agent or representative of the company submitting the proposal must sign all proposals.

If the organization submitting a proposal must outsource or contract any work to meet the requirements contained herein, this must be clearly stated in the proposal. Additionally, all costs included in proposals must be all-inclusive to include any outsourced or contracted work. Any proposals that call for outsourcing or contracting work must include a name and description of the organizations being contracted.

All costs must be itemized to include an explanation of all fees and costs.

Contract terms and conditions will be negotiated upon selection of the winning bidder for this RFP. All contractual terms and conditions will be subject to review by the GlobalPittsburgh Board of Directors and will include scope, budget, schedule, and other necessary items pertaining to the project.

3. Project Purpose and Description

Project Purpose:
GlobalPittsburgh’s current website was implemented in 2011, and the Board of Directors has determined that it is not totally effective in providing a thorough description of our programs and offerings in a user-friendly online environment. Additionally, the site has not been effective in attracting new members or otherwise generating revenue for the organization. GlobalPittsburgh believes that by using the latest web-based technologies and a more effective site design, we can provide our followers and potential members with more information, a user-friendlier environment, and achieve our goals of attracting new members and generating revenue.

Project Description:
GlobalPittsburgh is seeking a provider to utilize the latest web-based technology to create a website that is user-friendly, mobile responsive, simple to use, provides detailed information about our programs and offerings, and is easy to add or modify content. The site design should incorporate the latest key word search practices and maximize search ability in all current Internet search engines.

One of the main challenges that should be addressed by those submitting proposals will be the ability to guide GlobalPittsburgh in creating a website – starting with the home page and possibly using microsites – that successfully captures and conveys the varied activities of the organization to different audiences in a simple, clear and compelling fashion.
The finished website must allow GlobalPittsburgh staff to easily manipulate the layout and content in order to allow for frequent changes in the dynamic environment in which we work where programs and events constantly change. The current website uses the Drupal content management system, but bidders are not required to maintain that platform.

The website design and layout should be aesthetically pleasing, simple for users to navigate, provide descriptions of all GlobalPittsburgh programs and services, upcoming events, and contact information. The site must also be completely secure against intrusion. The site should be easily integrated with our current membership management system, Wild Apricot.

Additionally, the site should include:
·         Events calendar showing events organized by GlobalPittsburgh as well as those submitted by members and followers in an easy-to-use process
·         Password-protected members-only section for providing specialized content
·         Microsite for Study Pittsburgh Initiative including pages for member universities
·         Corporate members/sponsors page with capability to expand individual members based on membership level
·         International Community pages with interactive capability
·         Link to PayPal donation page
·         Study Pittsburgh page with list of university members
·         Ability to be translated into multiple languages in the future
·         Addition of a page showing an interactive world map indicating the home countries and cities of delegations hosted by GlobalPittsburgh

4. Project Scope

The scope of this project includes all design, development, coding, licensing, and hosting of GlobalPittsburgh’s new website. All text and copy will be provided to the selected bidder by GlobalPittsburgh’s marketing department for inclusion in the design of the new website.

The following criteria must be met to achieve a successful project:
·         Visually and aesthetically pleasing website design
·         Hub design that is agile and mobile responsive
·         User-friendly environment that is easy to navigate
·         Consistency of design across all pages/sections of the website
·         Effective tools to migrate current web content to new website: This may include, but not limited to: tool kit and training for our staff for self transfer; offering to transfer what will be retained from the old to the new…
·         New site can be easily changed/modified easily by GlobalPittsburgh staff
·         All software and licensing requirements should be included as part of this project
·         Site should be searchable with keyword searches based on site content
·         Prominent display of GlobalPittsburgh logo throughout all pages of the website
·         Site should be compatible with all current web browsing technology and easily upgradeable
·         Ability to work closely with GlobalPittsburgh staff contact on coordination of project tasks and resources
·         Create a test or draft web environment for the development of the new site, and to have a roll-back feature allowing staff and/or contractor to roll back to a prior date if changes have been made that won’t work or are not approved by GlobalPittsburgh’s staff.
·         Web analytics capability

5. Request for Proposal and Project Timeline

Request for Proposal Timeline:
All proposals in response to this RFP are due no later than 5:00 p.m. EST March 16, 2015.
Evaluation of proposals will be conducted from March 16, 2015 until March 27, 2015. If additional information or discussions are needed with any bidders during this period, the bidder(s) will be notified.

The selection decision and notification of the winning bidder will be made no later than March 30, 2015. Upon notification, contract negotiation with the winning bidder will begin immediately. Contract negotiations will be completed by April 6, 2015.

Notifications to bidders who were not selected will be completed by March 30, 2015.

Project Timeline:
Proposals should include the expected project timeline/schedule, keeping in mind that GlobalPittsburgh would like to have the updated website live as soon as possible.

6. Budget

All proposals must include proposed costs to complete the tasks described in the project scope. Costs should be stated as one-time or non-recurring costs (NRC), or monthly recurring costs (MRC). Pricing should be listed for each of the following items in accordance with the format below:

Project Initiation and Planning          NRC     MRC
Market Research                                  NRC     MRC
Site/Database Development               NRC     MRC
Site/Database Testing                         NRC     MRC
Site/Database Deployment                 NRC     MRC
Site/Database Hosting                        NRC     MRC

NOTE: All costs and fees must be clearly described in the proposal. In addition, unless specified otherwise in this tender, the proposal should encompass all graphic and wireframe design, production, testing, content management systems, and software acquisitions necessary for development and maintenance of the website, as well as a listing of any ongoing fees related to hosting, support and software upgrades.

7. Bidder Qualifications

Bidders should provide the following items as part of their proposal for consideration:
·         Description of experience in planning, building, and hosting corporate websites
·         List of how many full time, part time, and contractor staff in your organization
·         Examples of three or more corporate websites designed and implemented by your organization
·         Testimonials from past clients on website building and hosting work
·         Anticipated resources you will assign to this project (total number, role, title, experience)
·         Full testing plan
·         Timeframe for completion of the project
·         Project management methodology

8. Proposal Evaluation Criteria

GlobalPittsburgh will evaluate all proposals based on the following criteria. To ensure consideration for this Request for Proposal, your proposal should be complete and include all of the following criteria:
·         Overall proposal suitability: proposed solution(s) must meet the scope and needs included herein and be presented in a clear and organized manner
·         Organizational Experience: Bidders will be evaluated on their experience as it pertains to the scope of this project
·         Previous work: Bidders will be evaluated on examples of their work pertaining to website design and hosting as well as client testimonials and references
·         Value and cost: Bidders will be evaluated on the cost of their solution(s) based on the work to be performed in accordance with the scope of this project
·         Technical expertise and experience: Bidders must provide descriptions and documentation of staff technical expertise and experience

9. Point of Contact

Bidders may direct clarifying questions by email at any time,  or arrange telephone conversations or meetings, and submit a digital version of their proposal in PDF format by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, March 16, 2015 to:

Thomas Buell, Jr.
Director of Development & Marketing
650 Smithfield Street, Suite 1180
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
tbuell@globalpittsburgh.org  READ FULL ARTICLE