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Mayor Honors “Community Champion” and “Employee Champion”

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl honored two individuals at the Living Legend Honors Luncheon today for their involvement with the DiverseCity365 initiative launched in 2007, which is aimed at creating a more multicultural workplace environment for city jobs.

Margaret Lanier, Pittsburgh's Treasurer, was honored with the "Employee Champion Award," and Dr. Alex Johnson, President of the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) was recognized with the "Community Champion Award." While accepting the honor, Johnson said CCAC promotes diversity within its student body as well as the workforce by creating a broader understanding of the values of multicultural life.

"To learn about [multicultural life], and then to use that knowledge to promote the overall well-being of our community in a horizontal way," Johnson said.

Johnson is working with the city of Pittsburgh to better prepare students to pass the Civil Service exam, particularly those of minority groups. Johnson said he hopes to encourage minorities to get involved with public safety.

"The city's hope is, and the mayor's hope is, that they can use it as a stepping stone to promote more diversity among the police force and ultimately the fire department," Johnson said.

Since the start of DiverseCity365, Pittsburgh job applications have increased by more than 500%. Last year, Ravenstahl said, 6,000 applications were submitted for city jobs, and about one third of those were from minorities.