Commitments of $4 million from the foundation and $16 million in Opportunity Zone funds managed by Arctaris, an impact investment firm, will support investments through the Southwestern Pennsylvania Opportunity Zone Program in economic development, workforce training, and sustainable job creation in seventy-two low-income areas in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. To date, Arctaris has created similar programs in Baltimore, Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), and Erie, Pennsylvania, as well as in Maine and Michigan. Over the next year, Arctaris expects to launch additional programs in as many as ten cities, counties, and states.
"Private investment is the fuel of prosperity," said RKMF director Sam Reiman. "It's the best way to create sustainable prosperity at scale. The Opportunity Zone program provides incentives to investors to bring the revitalizing fuel of private capital to our communities that need it most. We believe Allegheny and Westmoreland counties should realize the benefits of this proven program, and our board was willing to make the first investment to lead the way."
"Arctaris is committed to Pittsburgh's future. We are excited to partner with the Richard King Mellon Foundation to help bolster the economy for Southwestern Pennsylvania residents," said Arctaris founder and managing partner Jonathan Tower. "We are working with Pittsburgh's leading commercial banks and other foundations to expand this program to have even greater reach."
(Photo credit: Gettyimage/Shunyu Fan)