While there are numerous Black and women-owned contracting firms in the Greater Pittsburgh area, few of them are participating in the current building boom at more than a sub-contracting level. But that may change if a new program at the University of Pittsburgh fulfills its promise.

The university hosted a reception, Sept. 6, to kick off its Building Blocks construction management program, by the time the first session met Sept. 27; representatives from 33 firms were in attendance.

“And it’s doubly valuable because it lets people meet the shot-callers from Mascaro, Dick, Massaro and Skanska. All the bigger companies are at the table. Pitt really pulled out all the stops.”

The course, led by Pitt Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Management Scott Bernotas, didn’t waste any time cutting to the chase.

“We talked about how to do business with Pitt right away, and we also had UPMC, and people from companies like PJ Dick, Mascaro Construction and Massaro Corp.,” said Bernotas.

“We laid out the minimum requirements, told them who to send it to, said if you meet them we’ll do interviews and talk more. We’re anxious to add more diversity to our contracting partners.”

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