UPMC’s ‘Pathways to Work’ program opens at Hosanna House in Wilkinsburg

NOW OPEN—Leon Haynes, executive director, Hosanna House; Dontae Comans, Mayor of Wilkinsburg; Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald; Robert Sumpter, Hosanna House; Dan LaVallee, UPMC; and Marquisha Robinson, UPMC Health Plan. It was a celebration of UPMC’s new “Pathways to Work” program, now at the Hosanna House.

UPMC is the largest nongovernmental employer in Pennsylvania.

They boast 92,000 employees, 40 hospitals of varying sizes and specialties, and 800 doctor’s offices and outpatient sites.

And now, UPMC said it’s trying even harder to make it easier for people to access employment with them.

UPMC opened its “Pathways to Work” job center on the second floor of the well-known Hosanna House building, 807 Wallace Ave., Wilkinsburg, on June 1, to much fanfare. Wilkinsburg’s mayor, Dontae Comans, was in attendance, as was Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald. Of course, UPMC and Hosanna House representatives were there, too.

“It’s a job center originally for the neighborhood, but also for the surrounding areas, to give quality employment for the people in the area,” said Robert Sumpter, Hosanna House’s coordinator for workforce development, in an exclusive interview with the New Pittsburgh Courier, June 21. “A way for UPMC to give back to the neighborhood by planning an actual center in the neighborhood and for (UPMC) to have qualified recruiters to recruit in the area.”

UPMC HEALTH PLAN screening technician, Tish Timbers, performs a routine blood pressure test.

On weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., residents can simply walk into the Hosanna House, and after a COVID temperature check, head to the second floor and speak with UPMC job recruiters. Any and all questions one would have about working at UPMC, including the numerous job categories, would be answered by those recruiters. Sumpter said Hosanna House representatives will be there to help people with mock job interviews, resume preparation, and general questions about career choices. The Pathways to Work program is administered through the UPMC Center for Social Impact.

UPMC said there are thousands of jobs that become available that don’t require a medical degree or background, such as nursing support staff, medical assistants, customer service representatives, warehouse workers and environmental service associates. However, for those with a medical background, they can come to the job center as well for medical degree-based occupations.

The COVID-19 pandemic placed a spotlight on those working in the medical field. It showed just how important, or “essential,” they are, even though oftentimes, they’re overlooked. A few months into the pandemic in 2020, the country realized just how many of those “essential” workers were minorities, particularly African Americans.

And with Pittsburgh’s topography making it so difficult to get around, especially in Oakland, home to UPMC’s Presbyterian Hospital, Sumpter said the center in Wilkinsburg is exactly what the “doctor” ordered.

“We’re trying to bring opportunities to them (job seekers),” Sumpter told the  Courier, “eliminating any excuses for individuals who may find Oakland very difficult” to navigate. “We want to bring opportunities right to their doorstep.”






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