Manager Deborah Brown of Braddock Pennsylvania, 15104
Deborah L. Brown has always had the desire to help people. Especially those individuals who feel they have no voice. This led her to working several years as a community organizer in the Mon Valley area. Her work with single parents included finding housing resources, employment and other services that would provide opportunities for these parents and their children. As a single parent herself, Deborah experienced many of the needs that were not met. One being, the lack of children’s programing for the summer. To this end, she worked with family support centers and the Human Services Center in Turtle Creek, PA, to develop the Summer K.O. O. L. (Kids Out going Out doing and Learning) Program. The program continues to run this day, has won numerous awards and has a waiting list of parents and children who want to participate in the program.
The other pressing issue for single parents was economics, the need to find employment that provided a living wage. This led Deborah to the field of workforce development, where she feels she has made the greatest impact. She was at the table for the development of what is now the PA CareerLinks. For over 15 years Deborah has worked to assist individuals with GEDs to PHDs find employment opportunities, and worked with employers to identify their employee needs. She learned through the Freedland Group program, “Know Yourself, Know the Market and Make the Match”.
Deborah continuously seeks news ways to help people and be their voice. This has led to her current job as the Braddock Borough manager and her past positions as a Borough Council woman for the Braddock Borough and the President of the East Borough NAACP (which is comprised of over 15 communities). She became the Borough Manager in May 2015. From 2013 up to 2015, she served as a Braddock council woman. She resigned her position to assume the role as borough manager due to a crisis situation.
These civic roles have allowed her to take the lead on accomplishing some progressive goals for Braddock development. In her tenure as the Braddock Borough Manager, she has taken the lead and written grants that support the following major initiatives and activities: • Establishing the Braddock Walkway to Health walking path in partnership with University of Pittsburgh, WalkWorks Pennsylvania Department of Health and Live Well Allegheny that encourages Braddock residents to have healthier lifestyles.
• Establishing a blight task force in partnership with the DCED and the Housing Alliance that addresses the Borough’s majorly afflicted areas.
• Taking the lead on conducting a transportation feasibility study that will establish a bike trail that connects 5 partner municipalities to the Steel Valley trail.
• Hosting the first Braddock 5K walk/run event in partnership with active Allegheny, working with Allegheny County Redevelopment Authority, using the newly established walking path.
Deborah has still found the time to provide employment opportunities for local youth by working with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Goodwill of Pittsburgh. She has been recently named as one of Pennsylvania’s most influential black women by Talk Magazine.
Ms. Brown completed the CORO’s Women in Leadership program and the local government academy training for Borough Council members. She is a certified national Workforce Development facilitator, a Chatham University alumnus, with a degree in Human Service Administration and a minor in psychology. She has an Elementary Education certification.