Pittsburgh City Council finished its 2016 meetings Thursday with a brief final session, approving a grant program for Pittsburgh Promise alumni and a revenue agreement with Rivers Casino.
Introduced by Councilman Corey O’Connor, the Promise to Hire program will offer employers in the city extra incentive to hire the alumni. Council agreed to set aside $60,000 in initial funding, with the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania trying to raise more.
The money is tagged for grant awards to be split between employers and Pittsburgh Promise alumni hired by those organizations. The Pittsburgh Promise program has issued more than 7,100 scholarships to Pittsburgh Public Schools graduates since 2008.
“You’re helping the business, and you’re helping the student,” Mr. O’Connor said. A grant application process may open as early as January, although many details remain in planning.
On the casino matter, council passed a one-year, $10 million funding arrangement with Rivers. The North Shore casino will pay the city that amount in 2017 to replace a municipal funding arrangement struck down by the state Supreme Court.
The next step, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has said, is to collaborate with state lawmakers on a long-term solution for that funding gap.
Adam Smeltz: 412-263-2625, firstname.lastname@example.org, @asmeltz.