Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

The Opportunity Gap: Increasing Access to Design & Construction Jobs

July 31, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

$35.00 – $45.00
Register Now Purchase Entire Series

GBA Equity Series

About This Event 

Creativity is rooted in diverse experiences, yet fields like architecture, engineering, and construction struggle with representation in their project teams At this event – the third in our series on Social Equity in the Built Environment, we’ll identify opportunity debts and gaps in the fields of design, construction, and engineering that span from young children through adulthood; share the financial case for a diverse workforce;  and explore ways we can help ensure that everyone has access to high quality design and construction jobs. 

This event includes networking as well as refreshments. If you are working on a limited budget, please contact Leslie Montgomery for scholarship opportunities. 


Alicia Volcy spent over two years working in life insurance before enrolling in the UDREAM Fellowship at Carnegie Mellon University which led her to Pittsburgh in 2011. The fellowship provided an opportunity to intern with Cannon Design and she accepted a full-time position with Massaro Construction Management Services later that fall.

Alicia’s career path has provided unique opportunities to learn the in’s and out’s of the construction industry and the complexities of the Design-Build delivery method. Alicia currently works for IKM Architecture where she has been able to expand her resume and portfolio to include Healthcare Design projects. In her free time, she’s most likely cooking, restaurant hopping or traveling with her husband, Riccardy.


Ilyssa Manspeizer, Ph.D. is the founding Executive Director of Landforce, a Pittsburgh area nonprofit combining workforce readiness with land stewardship. Ilyssa is an anthropologist with nearly 30 years of experience working in community-based development and natural resource conservation. She has managed programs and conducted research on conservation and community development in the United Kingdom, Ethiopia, Zambia, and the US. Uniting all her work is a commitment to equity.

Ilyssa also serves on the Board of Directors of Pittsburgh’s Jewish Family & Community Services. Ilyssa and her husband, Brian Cohen, live in Pittsburgh where they have been raising their four children.


Diamonte Walker is the Interim Deputy Director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA), where she provides strategy, vision, operations management, team development, and leadership. Diamonte joined the agency in 2017, quickly becoming the driving force behind URA’s MWBE strategy.

With a career span of more than 15 years in the for-profit sector and having recently served as a business development program manager in the non-profit sector, Diamonte understands the complex challenges we face as a region when trying to effectuate meaningful change in neighborhoods. Diamonte offers a serious look at what can happen when we expand the work of economic development beyond metrics, goals and buzzwords to create impactful experiences that empower people while transforming place.


Learning Objectives: 

  1. Participants will explore current opportunity debts and gaps in the fields of architecture, construction, and engineering.  
  2. Participants will learn about the benefits of a diverse workforce within these fields. 
  3. Participants will understand how this topic relates to both sustainability and equity in the built environment. 
  4. Participants will learn about programs and tools for recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce and closing the opportunity gaps that span from childhood through adulthood. 


Social Equity in the Built Environment Series

GBA’s series on Social Equity in the Built Environment will equip participants with the awareness, mindset and tools to embed equity into their processes, projects and outcomes. The series will explore historical context and neighborhood trends shaping Pittsburgh’s equitable transformation. 

You can choose to attend one event in the series, or dive deeper into the topic by attending all four events. Members of GBA have the opportunity to purchase the entire series at a significant discount.  

This event is pending approval for 2.0 GBCI CEUs and 2.0 AIA HSW hours.

Partnering with USGBC and AIA, GBA makes it easy for our members to report continuing education credits. Please provide your GBCI and/or AIA number so we can auto-report your credits (for applicable events). Non-members can still earn continuing education credits but will need to self-report their GBCI CEUs.


Register Now Purchase Entire Series



July 31, 2019
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
$35.00 – $45.00
Event Category:


Leslie Montgomery


Arnold’s Tea
502 E Ohio St
Pittsburgh, PA 15212 United States
+ Google Map