Monday, June 29, 2015

GlobalPittsburgh Hosts Group of College Students from Mexico to Learn About STEM Programs, Career Paths

GlobalPittsburgh hosted a group of 24 college students from Mexico for the first leg of a two-week training program covering careers and education opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. The group arrived in Pittsburgh on June 28 and departed on July 5 for the second week of the program in Albany, NY.

The group came to Pittsburgh through Global Ties U.S., the national citizen diplomacy organization of which GlobalPittsburgh is a member, as part of a new program called Mexico Meet America in partnership with the University of Guadalajara, the second largest public university in Mexico.

GlobalPittsburgh arranged for the students to meet with representatives of area companies and universities, and also to participate in customized training sessions on job search skills, leadership and career planning.

Under a newly-signed memorandum of understanding between Global Ties U.S. and the University of Guadalajara, three groups of students came to the United States to visit cities based on their professional interests. In addition to the STEM group in Pittsburgh and Albany, another group focusing on international trade will visit Tucson, AZ, and San Diego, CA, and a third group studying entrepreneurship and innovation will visit Atlanta, GA, and Raleigh, NC.

The Mexico Meet America program is designed to ensure that the Guadalajara students gain a once-in-a-lifetime introduction to leaders in their field of interest, as well as improve their English language skills and develop global proficiencies, according to Jennifer Clinton, President of Global Ties, U.S.

“A lot of hard work and negotiation brought us here – and I'm convinced we will post more such positive announcements in the future involving Global Ties U.S. and Mexico,” Clinton said.

Training sessions and activities arranged by GlobalPittsburgh included an orientation to American politics and culture by Dr. Scott Morgenstern, Director of the Center of Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh; a session on leadership and career planning with Benjamin L. Walker of ExperiLearn LLC; a site visit at Bombardier Transportation; a site visit at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science; an interactive workshop on informational interviews and networking skills presented by Rachel Mauer, President of The Mauer Group and Senior Advisor at Business Beyond Borders; a tour of Global Links followed by a volunteer activity sorting medical supplies for the organization; a workshop on how to get into U.S. university graduate STEM programs presented by representatives of the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University's Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences; and a workshop focusing on analyzing opportunities and job searching resources presented by Jean-Philippe Michel of SparkPath.

Frank L. Lojacono served as local Project Coordinator for the program, helping to manage the daily logistics and sharing his entrepreneurial experience with the group.

Home hospitality dinners with local GlobalPittsburgh host member families allowed the students to experience American family life. They also took part in several cultural and community activities, including a tour of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens; a visit to Carnegie Science Center, and a Pittsburgh Riverhounds soccer match.

For over 50 years, Global Ties U.S. has been providing its members—from large, national organizations to smaller, community-based ones across 45 states and 13 countries—with connections, leadership development, and professional resources, so that they are the strongest, most effective organizations they can be. For more information on Global Ties U.S., visit

GlobalPittsburgh, which was founded in 1959 as the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors (PCIV), boosts international connections in the Pittsburgh Region and around the world through three main programs:
- Coordinating activities and events for globally-minded members.
- Hosting delegations of international leaders for the U.S State Department.
- Attracting international students to the region through its Study Pittsburgh initiative.

For more information on GlobalPittsburgh, visit

Monday, June 8, 2015

GlobalPittsburgh Hosts Delegation of Environmental Professionals from Kazakhstan Studying Green Technologies and Innovation

GlobalPittsburgh hosted a group of environmental professionals from Kazakhstan who have come to study green technologies and innovation in the Pittsburgh region. The five Kazakh leaders were in Pittsburgh June 5-14.

The group came to Pittsburgh through the Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress, which enables emerging Eurasian political and civic leaders to work with their U.S. counterparts and experience American-style democracy at the local level. Their program was titled “Accountable Governance: Green Technologies & Innovation.”

GlobalPittsburgh arranged for the delegates to meet with their professional counterparts working on a variety of environmental issues in the region, learn about U.S. federal, regional, and local government initiatives that undertake environmental cleanup and promote environmentally friendly best practices, and learned about cooperative efforts involving nonprofit organizations, the private sector, and the general public.

The delegates, who include officials from the public and private sectors, shared with their U.S. counterparts environmental initiatives in Kazakhstan aimed at promoting waste management, alternative energy, cleaning up chemical and industrial waste, and how they’re dealing with environmental challenges and climate change.

The program is expected to lead to new collaborations between Pittsburgh organizations and organizations in Kazakhstan to help protect people’s health and the environment, and benefit the economies of the United States and Kazakhstan, according to Gail Shrott, Director of GlobalPittsburgh’s International Leaders Program.

“GlobalPittsburgh is pleased to have the opportunity to introduce our distinguished visitors from Kazakhstan to their peers in Pittsburgh and hope that some ongoing linkages may be formed as a result of this Open World training session,” Shrott said.

In Pittsburgh, the delegation met with Jordan Ball, Regional Representative in the Office of U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey, Jr.; Thomas Bartnik, Executive Director, Pittsburgh Green Innovators; Ron Schwartz, Assistant Regional Director in the Southwest Regional Office of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; Ned Eldridge, President & CEO of eLoop LLC; Mr. Justin Stockdale, Western Regional Director, Pennsylvania Resource Council; Dave Brown, Manager of Wastewater Education, and Bob Stimmler, Training & Development, Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (Alcosan); Mike Gable, Executive Director, Construction Junction; Dr. Peter Adams, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering & Engineering and Public Policy, and Dr. Kelly Klima, Research Scientist, Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University; Rick Smitsky, Sr., District Manager, Waste Management, Inc., including a tour of the Arden Landfill; Dr. John Stolz, Director, Center for Environmental Research and Education, Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Duquesne University; Myrna Newman, Executive Director, and Joe Davick, Assistant Executive Director and DumpBuster Director, Allegheny Cleanways; and Indigo Raffel, Education Coordinator, Conservation Consultants, Inc.

Homestays with local GlobalPittsburgh host member families also allowed the delegates to experience American family life. They also took take part in several cultural and community activities, including a tour of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens; a walking tour of the city and an outdoor concert at the Three Rivers Arts Festival.

The Open World Program is a unique, nonpartisan initiative of the U.S. Congress designed to build mutual understanding between the United States and Eurasia. Over 16,000 Open World participants have been hosted in all 50 states since the program’s inception in 1999. Delegates range from members of parliament to mayors, from innovative nonprofit directors to experienced journalists, and from political party activists to regional administrators.

The visiting delegates were Ms. Aigul Orakovna Kusainova, Specialist, Climate Change Coordination Center; Mr. Aidar Kenesbekuly Makhambet, Deputy General Director, “Zhasyl Damu” (Green Development) JSC; Ms. Mariyam Serikovna Abisheva, Chairperson of the Board, Kazakhstan Innovations Co.; Mr. Roman Vadimovich Mukhin, Executive Director, LLP PromTechnoResource KZ; Ms. Ainel Beysengazyyevna Rymbayeva, Head of the Department of Environmental Information and Analysis, Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan; Mr. Aidar Kenesbekuly Makhambet, Deputy General Director, “Zhasyl Damu” (Green Development) JSC; and Ms. Yulia Beloslyudtseva, Program Manager, Institute for National and International Development Initiatives and Facilitator for Open World.

GlobalPittsburgh, which was founded in 1959 as the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors (PCIV), boosts international connections in the Pittsburgh Region and around the world through three main programs:
- Coordinating activities and events for globally-minded members.
- Hosting delegations of international leaders for the U.S State Department.
- Attracting international students to the region through its Study Pittsburgh initiative.

For more information on GlobalPittsburgh, visit For more information on Open World, visit


Monday, June 1, 2015

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto Kicks Off Immigrant Heritage Month with Historic Ceremony and Launch of Welcoming Pittsburgh Plan

Plan Identifies Community-Led Recommendations to Build a More Welcoming Experience for Immigrants and a More Livable City for All

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto today hosted the first-ever naturalization ceremony in Pittsburgh City Council Chambers, in partnership with City Council President Bruce Kraus and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director León Rodríguez, followed by the release of the Welcoming Pittsburgh Plan, a community-driven roadmap to build a more welcoming experience for Pittsburgh’s immigrant community and a more livable city for all residents. A snapshot of the plan is available at The complete plan will be available online on June 15th.

“Our best attraction strategy is how we treat, empower, and connect with our current residents, which is why I am calling today for all Pittsburghers to join me in making Pittsburgh a model city for immigrant integration. A city others will look to and see thriving diverse neighborhoods where, whether you are a second generation Italian-American, African-American, Bhutanese refugee, or Latino, you welcome your neighbor because you understand that their success is your success,” Peduto said.

Shaped with the guidance of a diverse 40-member advisory council and engaging more than 3,000 community members through multiple community meetings, focus groups, individual interviews, and public surveys, the plan is grouped into three focus areas.
  • Welcome, Neighbor!: Building vibrant neighborhoods through the creation of civic engagement, educational advancement, and cultural exchange opportunities.
  • Bridge to the City: Improving access to government and services to be inclusive, and ensuring our City spaces are more welcoming by taking into account distinct cultural and language needs.
  • Prospering Together: Creating a ladder of opportunity for our neighbors to thrive and chart their own path in Pittsburgh – building on the strengths immigrants have historically brought to our city and continue to bring.

The release of the Welcoming Pittsburgh Plan was coordinated in conjunction with a special visit from USCIS Director Rodríguez, who co-chaired President Barack Obama’s White House Task Force on New Americans and was in attendance for the first naturalization ceremony hosted by the City. Nearly 30 community members were joined by families and friends as they became citizens.

"It is great to be back in Pittsburgh to welcome these new Americans and mark the release of Mayor Peduto’s immigrant integration plan,” said USCIS Director Rodríguez. “It is exciting to see communities across the country taking a leadership role to be at the forefront of immigrant integration efforts."

The Welcoming Pittsburgh Plan enumerates actionable strategies, specifies a timeline for implementation, and identifies preliminary partners. The City seeks to work with vital community institutions and neighborhood assets, such as the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Kelly Strayhorn Theater, and many others, as well as the community at large, on implementation. Short term items in the plan include piloting Welcoming Hubs at target Citiparks community centers to foster a sense of place and offer community-driven, culturally diverse programming; partnering with business and civic leaders to match executives with rising stars from our immigrant and minority communities; and launching a Municipal ID program to increase the accessibility of public services, cultural amenities, and local resources for all Pittsburghers.

“The Welcoming Pittsburgh Plan is a living document that will allow Mayor Peduto to be responsive to continuous community feedback,” said Kheir Mugwaneza, director of refugee resettlement at Northern Area Multi Service Center (NAMS), who served on the Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council and will support the efforts as an appointee on one of the Mayor’s Action Teams for the initiative.

The Welcoming Pittsburgh planning process included a range of opportunities for all who live, work, or play in the city to provide feedback. Multiple channels of direct community input engaged thousands of participants, including use of a public MindMixer website, five public meetings that attracted over 300 attendees, outreach at 14 community events, and two immigrant community listening sessions.

The survey will remain open throughout the year, serving as a feedback loop for the Mayor’s Office. The survey is available in five languages on

In addition to the new Americans, Mayor Peduto, Director Rodríguez, and City Council President Bruce Kraus, attendees at today’s ceremony included: Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Commonwealth Melissa Frey, City Council Members, and Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council. Additional ceremonies will be scheduled in City Council Chamber throughout the year.
For more information on Welcoming Pittsburgh, visit, follow @WelcomingPGH on Twitter or on Facebook.

Source: City of Pittsburgh