Hill Builds

The Hill Community Development Corporation (CDC) is pleased to announce the second cohort of Hill Builds, an accelerator program for MWDBE contractors in the construction trades. Hill Builds was first launched in 2018. This program is in partnership with Paramount Pursuits and Riverside Center for Innovation.

This year, the Hill CDC will offer Hill Builds as a component of the MBE Maximization Initiative: Pathways to Opportunity and Economic Justice series. The Hill Builds cohort is designed for MBEs who need additional training before successfully bidding on and completing major construction projects.

The program has 12 workshop sessions, that will focus on developing the business skills of MWDBE contractors in the construction trades and position them to compete on upcoming development projects in the Hill District, including the Hill CDC's HD 100 Rehab Program, New Granada Square, the Lower Hill, City's Edge, and more.

In addition to the weekly cohort sessions, Paramount Pursuits will provide one (1) one-on-one monthly mentoring session for each participant, and Riverside Center for Innovation will provide additional support through their BizFit program. Once participants have completed Hill Builds, they will have the opportunity to continue programming with BizFit, which is a program by Riverside Center for Innovation, that assists minority, women, and veteran entrepreneurs in the construction industry. The BizFIT program combines strategy, connections, and expertise to enable disadvantaged construction entrepreneurs to grow sustainable enterprises.


Program Details:

  • 3-month accelerator program that will meet every Tuesday, from 5:30 to 8:00 PM, starting August 11th. Participants are only permitted to miss two sessions and remain in the program.
  • Co-facilitators: Paramount Co-Op and Riverside Center for Innovation
  • You can find a copy of the curriculum outline here.
  • The cohort will include monthly, one-on-one mentor sessions with Paramount Co-Op
  • Additional support will also be provided through regular programming at Riverside Center for Innovation's BizFit.
  • The cohort will provide networking opportunities with various entities in the industry.
  • The cohort will culminate in a graduation session.

Please click here to view the 2020 Curriculum Outline

Applicant Requirements:

  • Applicants must already have an established business that has been in operation for at least 12 months.
  • Ideal applicants will demonstrate a willingness to grow as business leaders and play a key role in helping to transform our communities.
  • MWDBE Certification is NOT required. You can self-certify that you are a minority or woman-owned enterprise.
  • Must be able to commit to a 3-month cohort program.


  • June 23, 2020 - Hill Builds Application opens
  • July 14, 2020 - Application deadline
  • July 21, 2020 - Cohort Selection Notification
  • August 11, 2020 - First Session of the Cohort



On January 10, 2019, the Hill CDC held a graduation celebration to culminate the end of our very first Hill Builds cohort! The Hill Builds Program consisted of 12 weeks of classes and building relationships with cohort participants as well as speakers. The program featured expert speakers in the subjects of legal issues for contractors, financing and budgeting, City of Pittsburgh Contractors, licensing, insurance, and much more!

For our first cohort, participants celebrated a lot of accomplishments, including both registering their business as an LLC and with the City of Pittsburgh, perfecting elevator pitches, and even finding new funding sources for their businesses.

3 of the 4 participants went on to participate in Tier II of BizFit with Riverside Center for Innovation (Juan Garrett).

Congratulations to the 2018 Hill Builds Cohort!

Here are some words from our participants:

Charmaine Turner-Shelly

Jordan Allen, Jr.

Jarel Springer

Tina Daniels

PDF icon Hill Builds Curriculum Outline463.78 KB
PDF icon Hill Builds Flyer643.89 KB