Center to bring much-needed services to Clairton

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After eight years of planning and setbacks, the Clairton Southside Community Human Resource Center is open for business.

“We’re looking for tenants. Hopefully people will look at the building and decide to come to our facility because people in our area need services like GED courses,” said Cheryl Hurt, of the Community Economic Development Corp. of Clairton, which is renting an office at the building.

GreatDay
GREAT DAY FOR CLAIRTON—From left: Cheryl Hurt, CEDCC president; Jacqueline Wellington Moore; Theda Fuqua; and Mary Maxwell.

The CEDCC was created in 1987 and was initially a part of the Mon Valley Initiative and later became a stand-alone organization. For more than two decades it has worked to support and provide services to the residents of Clairton.

The CEDCC’s mission is to create a healthy environment for all by bringing together the community of Clairton to strengthen and enhance its economic and social growth.

The Clairton Southside Community Human Resource Center, which costs more than $1 million, is located at 282 St. Clair Ave., where the former Schmitt and Sumpter Hotels once stood.

The Clairton community was treated to a grand opening to show off the building’s amenities on Oct. 21.

Some of those amenities include handicap accessibility, large kitchen, multipurpose room that can hold 80 people, Internet and Wi-Fi service, on-site parking and solar tube lights.

“We know that from an idea and a vision an actual building came to life,” said Clairton resident Marjorie Davis, who attended the grand opening festivities. “The CEDCC knew they wanted a building and they had to go through people not believing in them and after all these years to see a wonderful building, that shows the people of Clairton that there’s some place to go and something to do. Now the question is are people going to support it?”

The Clairton Southside Community Human Resource Center was completed with the cooperation of several organizations including the CEDCC, the state department of Community and Economic Development, U.S. Steel Corp., ACTION Housing, Duquesne Light, Heinz Endowments, The City of Clairton and the R.K. Mellon Foundation. The office furniture was donated by PNC Bank.

Construction of the resource center started in September of 2011 and was built by McKeesport-based TBI Contracting Inc. and was designed by Rich Avon.

“This building is a great accomplishment for Clairton. I donate my training skills for the betterment of the city of Clairton. I will help uplift the residents of the city of Clairton and teach them how to be better citizens to the city, the world and society,” said Jacqueline Wellington Moore, who handles community relations at the Clairton Southside Community Human Resource Center.

Prior to funding cuts, One Vision One Life, Tadisco and Mon Yough Community Services were slated to rent office space in the building. Currently, Pennrose Management Co. is renting space in the 3,677 square-foot building leaving five offices open.

Hurt is confident that more tenants will soon follow.

According to Hurt, a ribbon cutting ceremony will be held with county officials once the building is filled with tenants.

“I’m trying to get people to look at the building and rent it and bring services to the area,” Hurt said. “This is a vehicle that people can come in and help the citizens here because we need so many services.”

Newlywed Twila Owens rented the facility’s great room to hold her bridal shower.

“The facilities are awesome. This building is a great asset to the community because the building is energy efficient and this will be a place where people can have functions and meetings. The decor is awesome,” Owens said.

Regina McKenzie agreed with Owens.

“The facility is very nice and it’s something that Clairton needs. If people can use the resources here like the computers, it may give them vital training and help them get a job,” McKenzie said.

(For more information on the Clairton Southside Community Human Resource Center call 412-226-1587 or email cedcc@comcast.net.)

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