PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A hockey team coming together with a community is being called a game-changer in the Lower Hill District.
The Pittsburgh Penguins and developer Buccini Pollin are redeveloping the 28-acre site around PPG Paints Arena in one of the largest projects ever in Pittsburgh.READ MORE: Uncertainty Surrounds New Omicron Variant: 'We Don't Have Answers Yet'
While the team and the development company are putting in shops and a huge First National Bank tower, they promised not to leave the community behind, but to build something inclusive and with opportunity.
The Hill House, considered the heart and soul of the community, is now home to the First Source Center. Tuesday was the grand opening of the First Source Employment Opportunity Center. It’s a workforce development center and a resource hub for those interested in employment in the Lower Hill project.
When the Pens began the project, they promised the community that they would provide job opportunities — not only construction jobs, but permanent jobs and financial counseling opportunities for women and minority-owned entrepreneurship.READ MORE: 2 Injured After Stabbing In Pittsburgh's Arlington Heights Neighborhood
The new First Source Center can also be a resource itself for those who need printing, copying, meeting space and training.
The mayor was at the grand opening, along with the county executive and the COO of the Pens.
Many had emotional speeches talking about what this community once was — a vibrant urban hub with arts and entertainment connected to downtown. Sixty years ago, the Civic Arena was built, parking lots were paved and buildings were torn down.MORE NEWS: Labor Secretary Marty Walsh Says Build Back Better Will Help Retrain Workers For Pittsburgh's Jobs Of The Future
Leaders say this is a second chance to do things right, to raise about and reconnect a community to bring hope and opportunity.