In 1995, several consulting engineering firms, and government and municipal officials, came together to form the “Pittsburgh Minority and Women Business Enterprise Engineering Initiative.” The name was later changed to the Southwestern Pennsylvania Engineering Outreach or SPEO.
This group identified the need to provide technical, marketing, and general business assistance to minority and woman-owned businesses in the region. Part of this effort included working with local institutions to encourage and financially support young men and women who are interested in starting a career in the engineering profession.
In 2004, SPEO became a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation.
In 2006, SPEO attained 501(c)3 federal income tax exempt status from the IRS.
Over the years, SPEO members have mentored local minority- and women-owned business enterprise (MBE/WBE) firms and provided networking and subconsulting opportunities them. SPEO has also provided scholarships to potential future engineers and scientists, enabling them to attend post-secondary school.
SPEO is committed to its mission of increasing the opportunities available to its MBE/WBE members and prospective engineering and science students.
The mission of Southwestern Pennsylvania Engineering Outreach is to:
Provide opportunities, guidance and mentoring to existing and new minority- and women-owned engineering firms in the area, enabling them to be viable, competitive, self-sustaining members of the business community.
Enable minority- and women-owned firms to provide competitive employment opportunities that will attract and keep talented and ambitious minority and women engineers in the area.
Encourage and support youth to enter the engineering profession.