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The PRA Post - The Pittsburgh Region’s Economic Development Newsletter

December 2013

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PA’s Historic Transportation Bill: Increasing Progress and Competitiveness for the State and the Pittsburgh Region

Pennsylvania's Historic Transportation Bill: Increasing Progress and Competitiveness for the State and the Pittsburgh Region

Pennsylvania's most comprehensive transportation legislation in decades, which was recently signed by Governor Tom Corbett, is a large step in securing the economic competitiveness of the state and the Pittsburgh region for years to come. Few states have been able to pass similar bills like Pennsylvania's, which will invest an additional $2.3 to $2.4 billion into roads and bridges. The investment from this legislation will create 50,000 new jobs and retain 12,000 positions for engineers, contractors and suppliers. Dedicated funds to public transportation will secure the Pittsburgh region's workforce and strengthen the region's attractiveness to young talent. Roads and bridges will be transformed into an outstanding network, and local governments will have the means to maintain the safety of other facets of the transportation system.

"Pennsylvania's unprecedented transportation legislation will play a critical role in attracting and retaining business investment to the Pittsburgh region," said Pittsburgh Regional Alliance President Dewitt Peart. "The growth of our region's economy had established a need to secure our infrastructure. With the passage of this bill, that need has been met, and our state and the Pittsburgh region now have a competitive advantage on this matter."

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More Economic Development News

Cigna Hiring in Pittsburgh Region
"Cigna Corp. expects to grow its employment in the Pittsburgh area by more than 10 percent as its national health-insurance membership increases. The Bloomfield, Conn.-based company plans to hire 150 people for management, training and customer service positions at its offices in North Fayette. It employs about 1,400 people in the Pittsburgh region in health coaching and customer service who work with members across the country." Read more

Anchor Hocking Specialty Glass Plant Expanding in Monaca
"A Monaca factory is getting $1.8 million in improvements to help its parent company increase production of 'Made in the USA' canning jars for Walmart. EveryWare Global Inc. (Nasdaq: EVRY) of Lancaster, Ohio made the announcement about the Anchor Hocking Specialty Glass plant at a news conference in Washington, D.C. It's part of Walmart's plans to spend $50 billion more on American-made products over the next 10 years. The Monaca plant makes Mainstays Canning Jars for Walmart." Read more

Finnish Steel Maker Ruuki Opens Office in Pittsburgh Area
"Finnish steel company Ruukki has opened a U.S. headquarters in Pittsburgh as it expands in North America. The Ruukki office is headed by Kevin Kale, who the company said has 17 years of experience in the steel industry. Ruukki bills itself as a sustainable specialty steelmaker. It has 9,000 employees and operations in 30 countries. It had $3.78 billion in sales in 2012." Read more

Caterpillar to Relocate Plant to Western Pennsylvania
"Caterpillar Inc. will be moving production of highwall mining equipment from Beckley, W.Va. to its existing plant in Houston, Pa." Read more

CMU Announces Record Year for Startup Company Creation
"Carnegie Mellon University leaders announced on November 13th that 36 new startup companies were created at CMU this year – a record for the university and a major economic milestone for the Pittsburgh region." Read more

CMU Spinoff Seeks to Improve Traffic Flow
"Traffic changes constantly in cities and only worsens, says Greg Barlow, whose company Surtrac Inc. developed a system to improve flow and reduce stops. He claims an overall 25.8 percent travel-time improvement in tests in East Liberty, and said that Pittsburgh Public Works officials want to see it proved over a longer period. 'Pittsburgh is willing to try new things and be part of innovation,' said Barlow, who intends to incorporate the Carnegie Mellon University spinoff whose computer system improves not only travel times but speed and waits at lights. A bonus, he said: reduced emissions." Read more

Valerus to Increase Hiring at Smithfield Facility
"Valerus announced recently it has been awarded a contract from EQT Corp. to provide 15,000 horsepower of compression for two EQT (NYSE: EQT) compression stations in southwestern Pennsylvania. Houston, Texas-based Valerus said it will assemble the large horsepower components at its Smithfield, Pa. facility beginning this month. The company said it expects to hire at the facility." Read More

Who's Hiring in Pittsburgh? The City of Pittsburgh, Avere, MARC USA, and the Pittsburgh Steelers
"Pittsburgh Mayor-elect Bill Peduto is posting 30 city jobs on a new website created by The Pittsburgh Foundation called Talent-City.com. The jobs are in the areas of the Mayor's Office, Finance and Administration, Public Safety and Urban Affairs and Planning and Innovation; annual salaries range between $60,000 and $106,000." Read more

Pittsburgh Technical Institute Opens New Center in North Fayette
"The grand opening and official ribbon cutting of the Energy Technology Center at the Pittsburgh Technical Institute in North Fayette was recently held. The $3.5 million building, which covers more than 15,000 square feet, is headquarters for the school's programs in oil and gas electronics, welding technology and HVAC technology. All of the programs in the new building are heavily geared toward meeting the needs of the companies that explore and develop the Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale." Read more

Construction and Expansion Leading the Way in Indiana County
"In the past five months alone, the Indiana County Development Corporation has broken ground on more than 225 acres of new commercial development in the Windy Ridge Business and Technology Park and the 119 Business Park, both Keystone Opportunity Zones (KOZ)." Read more

Indiana Regional Medical Center Breaks Ground on $50 Million Project
"Indiana Regional Medical Center recently broke ground for a $50 million renovation and expansion, which will include six new operating rooms, 12 intensive care beds and a 15-bed skilled nursing center." Read more

Indiana University Expanding with New Building
"Construction is set to begin on what will become Indiana University of Pennsylvania's newest academic building and the first on the Indiana campus in more than 15 years. When finished 25 months from now, the as-of-yet-unnamed building will serve as a base of operations for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The 126,505-square-foot humanities building will sit between Clark and Sutton halls and front Grant Street. It will house 31 classrooms and 120 offices and will include a 250-seat auditorium, an atrium and coffee shop, eight conference rooms and several specialty classrooms and labs. " Read more

Former Federal Reserve Bank Downtown to Become Hotel
"Crews will begin remodeling the Downtown building next November into a Drury Inn & Suites with 180 rooms and the work should be complete by November 2015, Joe Pereles, vice president of Drury Hotel Co. said. The estimated $30 million project will mark Drury's entrance into the Pittsburgh market, an area the company has eyed for some time, Pereles said." Read more

Meadows Racetrack & Casino Constructing Hyatt Hotel
"The Meadows Racetrack & Casino sold a four-acre parcel on Racetrack Road to Meadows Hotel Associates LLC of Pittsburgh Monday for the construction of a 155-room Hyatt Place hotel, to start later this year. A pedestrian bridge will link the two." Read more (scroll down)

Innovation Works Opens AlphaLab Gear
"Hoping to do for hardware what has been done for software, AlphaLab Gear, the new technology development accelerator from Innovation Works, opened its new space in East Liberty recently. 'The lines between software and hardware are starting to blur,' said Rich Lunak, president and CEO of Innovation Works. 'Just as AlphaLab was very progressive and innovative in being one of the first software accelerators in the U.S. when it launched, with AlphaLab Gear we feel that once again we are launching a program that is on the front end of very big trends.'" Read more

Allegheny Conference Highlights Strategic Priorities
"Morgan O'Brien, the newly appointed chairman of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, (of which the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance is an affiliate) told the crowd at its annual meeting that if the region remains committed to working together, they could leave the auditorium that night knowing Pittsburgh's best days are still ahead." Read more

McKees Rocks and Wilkinsburg Receive $6 million from the Strengthening Communities Partnership
"Thanks to the Strengthening Communities Partnership program designed by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, community development corporations in two struggling municipalities adjoining Pittsburgh will receive $500,000 each for the next three years." Read more

Dennis Yablonsky Named Entrepreneur of the Year
"Washington & Jefferson College honored David A. Ross, president and co-founder of Atlantic Realty Companies, and Dennis Yablonsky, chief executive officer of the Allegheny Conference, as Entrepreneurs of the Year at its 27th annual Entrepreneurial Leadership Dinner recently at the Duquesne Club in Pittsburgh." Read more

Pittsburgh Region Awarded Preschool Math Grant
"While the National Science Foundation has spent millions locally trying to improve math in K-12 schools, it is making its first investment primarily in preschool math instruction in the region with a $3 million grant to the Fred Rogers Co. The three-year competitive grant is from the NSF's Advancing Informal STEM Learning program. Only 8 percent of applicants won awards in this round." Read more

PPG Expanding in Cranberry; Construction Under Way on $14.2 Million Mixed-used Development in East Liberty
"PPG Industries has leased 117,968 square feet at 400 Bertha Lamme Drive, Cranberry, where it plans to locate the North American headquarters of its Architectural Coating business. Construction is under way on the $14.2 million East Liberty Place South, a mixed-used development that will have 52 apartments and 11,000 square feet of commercial space." Read more (scroll down)

Carnegie Mellon University's CyLab Receives Part of $3.9 Million DARPA Grant
"Researchers from the Carnegie Mellon University CyLab and the University of Pennsylvania have received a four-year, $3.9 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to improve the security of commercial technologies used by the military. In a statement, CyLab researcher David Brumley, the Gerard G. Elia Career Development Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said they are studying how to improve the safety for commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) technology, such as printers and wireless routers, that remains vulnerable to attack." Read more

CMU to Receive $67 Million from Tepper Foundation
"Carnegie Mellon University announced recently that alum and investing giant David A. Tepper's charitable foundation will give the university $67 million to expand the north campus and build a new home for the Tepper School of Business. Tepper's gift to the university is timed for the inauguration of CMU President Subra Suresh, which took place on November 15. The gift will create what CMU is calling a major academic collaboration hub, the David A. Tepper Quadrangle, on a 4.5-acre site and a new 295,000-square-foot building for the David A. Tepper School of Business. CMU said the $67 million is the largest gift from a graduate as well as for a building project." Read more

CMU Shifting Online Course Philosophy with Carnegie Innovations
"Many universities are embracing the idea of incorporating massively open online courses, better known as MOOCs. Mark S. Kamlet, provost and executive vice president of Carnegie Mellon University, said for institutions like his the question is: 'What do we do?' CMU is shifting the model using its own approach, with organizations like Carnegie Innovations LLC. Since the fall, CMU has built a portfolio of five companies under the Carnegie Innovations umbrella." Read more

Pitt Plans New Innovation Institute
"The University of Pittsburgh announced it is launching a new Innovation Institute, which aims to advance entrepreneurship, commercialization and economic development at the university. The new institute will bring together the existing Office of Technology Management, Office of Enterprise Development and the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence under one umbrella." Read more

Pitt Shares $23.8 Million Emergency Medicine Grant
"The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health will share a federal $23.8 million grant to study the causes of severe bleeding, a condition that affects more than 30 percent of emergency room patients. Pitt will coordinate the multicenter research effort, which will look at why the condition occurs and explore prevention and treatment options, according to Stephan Wisniewski, senior associate dean and co-director of the university's Epidemiology Data Center. Pitt's share of the grant is about $6.8 million." Read more

Pitt Receives $12 Million Grant Renewal from the National Cancer Institute
"The National Cancer Institute has renewed a skin cancer research grant of more than $12 million for the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. The grant will continue research led by Dr. John Kirkwood, and it's the fourth grant awarded to UPCI. Kirkwood's research team first received funding five years ago and the grant's five past projects have focused on immune approaches to the treatment of melanoma and other skin cancers." Read more

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Receives $7.6 Million Grant
"The National Science Foundation has awarded a $7.6 million grant to the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center to develop a prototype for a next-generation system called Data Exacell that will be able to store, handle,, and analyze vast amounts of data. The four-year grant will allow the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center to design, build, and refine the prototype in collaboration with scientific research partners who have projects that require the processing of large and complex data sets." Read more

Phipps Conservatory Earns Highest Sustainable Status
"The Center for Sustainable Landscapes at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is in a class by itself, according to the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES). Having earned 202 out of 250 possible points, the center has become the 25th site in the country to achieve SITES status, but the first to earn four stars, the highest level of recognition." Read more

Pittsburgh Among the Best Cities for Millennials
"I traveled across the country in search of the best, most affordable places for twentysomethings to achieve their goals, whether it's to start a business, live off their art, have kids earlier or finally find a fulltime job. Pittsburgh was among the best cities for millennials in this regard." Read more

Younger Population Returning to Pittsburgh Region
"Pennsylvania has officially launched its new Innovate in PA program to accelerate high-wage job growth by supporting entrepreneurs and startups. Innovate in PA, effective as of Oct. 1, will offer $100 million in deferred tax credits to insurance companies in the state to raise funds over multiple years. The funds raised will be directed to the Ben Franklin Technology Development Partners, three Life Sciences Greenhouses and the Venture Capital investment program. The governor's office said Innovate in PA is projected to create a minimum of 1,850 technology jobs, nearly 3,500 indirect jobs and more than double the return-on-investment back to the state." Read more

Pittsburgh's Climbing the Ranks for Venture Capital Investment Deals
"The Pittsburgh region continues to position itself as a promising alternative market for entrepreneurs – in comparison to mega-metropolitans, particularly those on the coasts, where capital is high, but competition is fierce. Recently, Pittsburgh was ranked as one of the top places for startup capital investment by the National Adventure Capital Association, and on November 12, Pittsburgh TODAY – a regional indicators project – pointed to the fact that the number of companies receiving venture capital funding in Pittsburgh increased by 25 percent year to date." Read more

Pittsburgh Named among Top 10 Places to Retire
"Safe neighborhoods, an abundance of fitness and recreation centers, a large concentration of older adults and a low cost of living make Pittsburgh, Pa. a great place to retire." Read more

Pittsburgh Homes Selling Faster Today Than Three Years Ago
"Pittsburgh-area homes took two weeks less to sell this fall than they did three years ago, according to a survey released by the national real estate website Zillow. Homes in the market were on Zillow an average of 103 days in September 2013, down 17 days from the average listing in September 2012. It's 20 days fewer if you look at the median number of days on the market between January 2010 and September 2013." Read more

Pittsburgh Region is Fifth Most Affordable U.S Housing Market
"Pittsburgh is the fifth most affordable U.S. metro area for housing, according to Chicago-based Interest.com, a national real estate information website that recently analyzed the median household incomes of residents in metropolitan areas across the country compared to the cost of buying a median-priced, single-family home in those areas." Read more

K&L Gates, Reed Smith Ranked among BTI's Top 30
"Two of Pittsburgh's largest law firms, Reed Smith LLP and K&L Gates LLP, ranked among the BTI Client Service 30, according to a study released Tuesday by BTI Consulting Group, based in Wellesley, Mass." Read more

PAACC and Beaver County Chamber of Commerce Host Progressive Luncheon
"For the Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber of Commerce (PAACC), November was a month of 'community' and 'partnership.' On November 7, the PAACC joined forces with the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce to host a Progressive Luncheon, which was attended by more than 120 members. On November 13, the PAACC partnered with the Washington County Chamber of Commerce to host a seminar entitled 'Economies of Shale: Energy's Impact, Opportunities and Act 13' with over 270 in attendance. The PAACC introduced a new event on November 15 entitled 'Giving Back: How it Helps Your Business,' which focused on bringing together non-profit and for-profit members for mutual rewards. This unique, new event drew close to 100 members and included networking, a panel presentation, lunch and a volunteer fair component."

 

EVENTS

December 10 – Sustainability EXPOsed
Sustainability EXPOsed will ignite enthusiasm about sustainability. Conceived as a combination of an ideas and best practices expo, conversational salon and regional strategic planning forum, Sustainability EXPOsed will provide a dynamic venue for exploring, challenging and recommending innovative approaches to sustainability opportunities. This event will feature presentations and exhibits designed to motivate and lead to action. It will tap into professionals' and community leaders' interest in learning, sharing bold new ideas and networking about sustainability innovations and applications that are shaping our region. This event will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center from 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Cost is $55.

December 10 – 2013 Duquesne University Leadership Breakfast Series
The Leadership Breakfast Series is an educational and networking event designed to inspire you to think about successful leadership. The series includes several leading-edge topics relevant to your professional and personal lives and is designed to enhance your skills as a leader, regardless of your role or position. Everyone has the power of influence and, as a leader, casts a shadow of impact among others. Through the interactive sessions, participants will acquire beneficial knowledge to become better leaders. The event will be held at the Duquesne University Power Center Ballroom West from 8:00 - 10:00 a.m. Breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m.

December 11-12 – Catalyst Connection Project Management Overview Training
This two-day course provides an extensive introduction to the fundamentals of modern project management by following a case study from project initiation to completion. The case study provides attendees the opportunity to practice using key project management best practices including a project charter, stakeholder analysis, work breakdown structure, schedule, risk management plan and communications plan. Attendees will also deal with project changes and risk events for the case study. Training is form 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on both days. Cost is $995.

December 12 – ULI Pittsburgh 2014 Trends: Emerging Trends in Real Estate
Emerging Trends in Real Estate is a trends and forecast publication with a 34-year history, and is the most highly-regarded and widely-read forecast report in the real estate industry. This discussion will feature a local expert panel, led by Andrew Warren of PricewaterhouseCoopers, focusing on: How will national economic and real estate trends play out in the Pittsburgh area? What is driving the Pittsburgh economy today? What will happen to real estate fundamentals in 2014, and how do investors view real estate investment prospects for Pittsburgh in 2014? Cost is $50 for ULI members, $70 for non-members. The event begins at 8:00 a.m.

December 12 – Inspire Speakers Series Presents: Jim Hartzfeld and Bill Strickland
At the Green Building Alliances' December Inspire Speakers Series lecture, Jim Hartzfeld and Bill Strickland will help audience members identify their big "why" as it pertains to the national and local spectrum. Why do we care about sustainability? Why do green spaces matter? Why are human equity, environment, and economy connected? Cost is $25.00 for GBA members, $45.00 for non-members. Lecture begins at 5:00 p.m. A separate dinner with the speakers follows at The Porch at Schenley and is $40.00 for GBA members, $50.00 for non-members.

December 13 – Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series
The Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series features prominent regional women business leaders speaking on a variety of progressive business topics. Casual networking and a continental breakfast precede engaging and interactive presentations on topics essential for women in business such as innovative entrepreneurship, strategic business growth, unique marketing strategies, and logistical business planning. The breakfast starts at 7:30 a.m. Cost is $25, $12.50 for students.

January 14, 21 and 29 and February 4, 11 and 18 – Catalyst Connection Frontline Leadership Training
Transform supervisors and managers into leaders and coaches. This powerful six-part program develops the skills that leaders need for today's business climate. Participants will learn how to support ambitious change efforts, address poor performers, develop employees using constructive feedback, and improve the organization's overall culture. Continuing education credits are available. Training is from 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. Cost is $1,100 and includes lunch and course materials for all six sessions.

January 15 – DIY E-Marketing Series: Secrets of Social Media
Build your business with the Pittsburgh Technology Council's online marketing toolkit – a series of four in-depth workshops focused on empowering you to take your business to the next level. The Pittsburgh Technology Council and Lunametrics present this quarterly series for marketers, companies and anyone interested in learning the secrets to online business development. Workshops are highly interactive and include one-on-one mentoring and problem-solving. The workshop will be held at the Pittsburgh Technology Council. Breakfast is served at 8:30 a.m. and the program is from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

January 16 – Inspire Speakers Series Presents: David Sobel and Jane Werner
At the Green Building Alliances' January Inspire Speakers Series lecture, David Sobel and Jane Werner will speak on educational biodiversity and "place-based learning" as it pertains to the national and local stage. Cost is $25.00 for GBA members, $45.00 for non-members. Lecture begins at 5:00. A separate dinner with the speakers follows at The Porch at Schenley and is $40.00 for GBA members, $50.00 for non-members.

January 22 – World Affairs Council Public Policy Discussion and Luncheon
Join the World Affairs Council in a public policy discussion and luncheon: America's Energy Choice. Energy is changing the geopolitical system. In many ways, access to and the supply of energy is quickly becoming the harbinger of a newly restructured global power balance. It may also be one of the 21st century's great equalizers. With an abundance of energy sources, what decisions must the U.S. make to further establish and maintain its own energy security? Is energy resurrecting American power and influence that was once considered on its last leg only a few short years ago? Join the council and Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, for a discussion on what U.S. energy security means for the future of America and the future of the world. Cost for council members is $45, and for non-members $65. Event begins at 12:00 p.m. at the Duquesne Club.

January 23 – Pittsburgh Impact Lunch
The Pittsburgh Business Times and the Pittsburgh Impact Initiative present this third installment of the Impact Series, featuring speakers and panel discussions on a variety of topics throughout the year. The January event will feature a discussion on how equity considerations work for small and mid-size companies in our region. Featured are networking, lunch, panel discussion and Q&A session. If you're a business owner or executive who's involved with or considering the use of equity to grow a business, you don't want to miss this important discussion. Cost is $50. Event opens at 11:30 a.m. with a networking session.

January 28-30 – Marcellus-Utica Midstream Conference & Exhibition
This 5th annual conference will feature executive business briefings from midstream industry leaders and high-level executives, expert updates on the Marcellus-Utica build, and descriptions of what's happening today and what's coming next for the shale resource revolution underway throughout the Appalachian basin. With surging production and new construction in this area, as well as new U.S. natural gas markets, attendees will learn about the demand and opportunities for new midstream assets, investments and manufacturing. The conference begins on January 28 at 9:00 a.m. at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Cost is $895 before January 3 and $995 after that date.

February 7– 2014 Fayette County Executive Workshop Series: Shale Gas Market Opportunities
The business climate in Fayette County is in a state of constant change. Just as some companies and industries decline, new opportunities for growth are being created. The challenge for business leaders is to stay current with all of these changes. The purpose of this Executive Workshop Series is to have discussions on business growth and sustainability topics that could benefit our region. Join other executives at the Fay Penn Economic Development Corporation the first Friday each month (February through May) to learn more about business growth and sustainability best practices presented for today's business leaders. Workshops are free. Registration and continental breakfast begin at 8:00 a.m.

Regional Data Indicators

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