Wheatley calling for gaming diversity forums in Western Penna.
August 2, 2005
State Rep. Jake Wheatley Jr. is calling on the state Gaming Control Board to hold gaming diversity forums in Pittsburgh so that the area's women- and minority-owned businesses have the same access to information that similar forums are expected to provide in the Philadelphia area.
At its June 16 public meeting, the Gaming Control Board announced plans to convene forums aimed at advancing diversity and encouraging participation in the gaming industry by diverse groups of people. Wheatley said it's his understanding that the initial diversity forums will be held in Philadelphia.
“The many minority- and women-owned businesses in Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania deserve equal access to the economic opportunities that will evolve from slot machine gaming. Holding gaming diversity forums in Pittsburgh would be a major step in assuring that minority- and women-owned business enterprises would have the information they need to participate as suppliers, vendors, contractors or employees in the gaming industry,” Wheatley said in a letter co-signed by House Democratic Whip Mike Veon, D-Beaver.
“Gaming is expected to create thousands of jobs in our region, and minority- and women-owned businesses want to share in this economic growth,” Wheatley said. “I appreciate the ongoing commitment to diversity that Representative Veon and Democratic Leader Bill DeWeese have demonstrated in this and other areas that involve state government. I also commend the Gaming Board for adopting, at this early stage, regulations to foster participation in the gaming industry by minority- and women-owned business enterprises.”
Wheatley represents the 19th Legislative District, which includes part or all of these neighborhoods in Pittsburgh: the Hill District, North Side, South Side, Allentown, Hazelwood, Downtown, the Strip District, the Bluff, Beltzhoover, Manchester, Arlington, Arlington Heights and West, South and North Oakland.