The Allegheny Conference and its affiliates – Pennsylvania Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh, Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce and Pittsburgh Regional Alliance – work together to improve the economy and quality of life of southwestern Pennsylvania. Every three years, the Conference engages in an agenda-setting process, the backbone of which is a rigorous feedback and guidance process involving our Regional Investors Council members and key stakeholders from across the region. The process involves the synthesis of input gathered from more than 50 listening sessions involving hundreds of people in each of the 10 counties of southwestern Pennsylvania. From this, we create three-year agendas focused on specific strategies designed to move our region forward.
2015-2017 Agenda: Connecting People to Opportunity
Our current agenda aligns strategies that connect people to opportunity throughout the 10-county region:
Economy & Community
This strategy focuses on maximizing business investment opportunities in sectors where the Pittsburgh region offers a significant comparative advantage to employers and does so in alignment with community-oriented work to strengthen communities throughout the region.
Below is a sampling of initiatives, programs and advocacy efforts under this strategy. For complete details of the programs under the Economy & Community strategy, download the full 2015-2017 agenda document.
- Manufacturing Strategy: Develop and implement a natural gas downstream manufacturing strategy to create a modern-day manufacturing hub, resulting in job creation and capital investment
- IT Strategy: Develop and implement an IT strategy, in concert with workforce-related programs, to raise the profile of the Pittsburgh region as an attractive location for IT-related job creation and capital investment
- Power of 32 Site Development Fund: Provide leadership to create an almost $49 million fund (now incorporated as a separate, for-profit LLC) to provide patient mortgage loans to sites located within the 32-county, multi-state greater Pittsburgh region that have potential for regional economic impact if they are made ready for construction
- Maintain a Balanced Economy: Implement a business investment retention and attraction program designed to maintain the balanced foundation which has been at the core of the region’s economic stability
- Healthcare Competitiveness: Monitor the healthcare provider and insurance environment to ensure the region has high-quality, accessible, affordable healthcare delivered with greater transparency
- Pension and Binding Arbitration Reform (Act 111): Develop and support the passage of legislative solutions to secure sustainable pension systems at the state and municipal levels
- Strengthening Communities Partnership (SCP): Provide financial support and technical assistance to seven communities – Connellsville, Homewood, McKees Rocks, Mt. Oliver/Knoxville, Sharpsburg, Washington and Wilkinsburg – that have not shared in the region’s economic successes of the last decades
- PreK-12 Public Education Spending, Outcomes and Governance: Research and develop information on spending, outcomes and governance of PreK-12 public education
- Energy Alliance of Greater Pittsburgh:Provide information and educational programming to stakeholders across energy industries (coal, natural gas, nuclear, solar, wind, electrical distribution and intelligent building) to encourage awareness of our region’s energy leadership and associated economic and workforce development
- Tri-State Regional Cooperation Agreement: Implement the agreement resulting from the Tri-State Shale Summit held in 2015, including initiatives in policy, marketing and workforce development throughout parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia
- Reform state and municipal pension
- As part of the Strengthening Communities Partnership, support expansion of the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) tax credit
- Support PreK-12 public education investment, reforms and governance
- Support reliable electricity generation, electric grid security, increased deployment of our region’s energy assets and preparation of our energy workforce
- Encourage additional increases to the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) research budget
- Improve the business tax climate in Pennsylvania including the elimination of Net Operating Loss carryforward cap
This strategy focuses on improving systems and structures that enhance the region’s economy and sustain its population. To attract and retain talented individuals and employers to our region, we must provide a world-class transportation and infrastructure network, including transit, to better connect the region locally, nationally and globally.
Below is a sampling of initiatives, programs and advocacy efforts in this strategy. For complete details of the programs under the Infrastructure strategy, download the full 2015-2017 agenda document.
- Convene and Staff Regional Transportation Alliance of Southwestern Pennsylvania (RTA): Complete crowdsourcing and analysis of transportation needs. Develop consensus around shared transportation vision for the 10-county region
- Allegheny County Airport Authority/Private Sector Partnership: Continue engagement to determine air service needs and market to prospective carriers
- Targeted Joint Marketing: Through the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, work with the Allegheny County Airport Authority, Pittsburgh Technology Council and VisitPITTSBURGH to identify target markets, domestic and international, for improved air service and focus marketing activities to raise awareness of opportunity in the Pittsburgh region
- Bus Rapid Transit/Port Authority Performance: Help facilitate Bus Rapid Transit between Downtown and Oakland and improve the effectiveness of the Port Authority
- Bike/Pedestrian Strategic Investment: Ensure that a cap over the Crosstown Expressway linking Downtown and the former Civic Arena development site is constructed, including appropriate bike, pedestrian and urban design features
- Water Quality: Support the improvement of water quality through better wastewater and stormwater management, regionalization, improved governance and source reduction and green infrastructure implementation
- Supporting policies that improve transportation infrastructure investment and connectivity
- Engage in discussion on the future of transportation investment at the federal level
- Support the reauthorization of the Water Resources Reform & Development Act (WRDA)
This strategy focuses on connecting people to skills, connecting job seekers to employers and connecting skilled workers from inside and outside our region to opportunity here. The Conference strives to meet the workforce needs of the region with two initiatives: one targeting supply and the other targeting demand.
Below is a sampling of initiatives, programs and advocacy efforts in this strategy. For complete details of the programs under the Workforce strategy, download the full 2015-2017 agenda document.
- Research: 2014-2025 Supply and Demand Analysis by Sector and Occupation
- Demand Analysis Findings: Develop and implement a communications strategy to disseminate Demand Analysis findings. Convene key public and private constituencies to create an action agenda to address high-priority findings
- Regional Jobs Portal: Market to high-demand talent utilizing the ImaginePittsburgh.com platform
- Technology-Enabled Hiring: Build Tech Hire IT pathways for highest-demand IT skills
- Technical Training: Scale technical training for energy and manufacturing
- K-12: Ensure all students have access to occupational demand data with which to plan their education and training futures; focus on gaps in high-demand technical careers and align Career and Technical Education with employer needs
- Support passage of comprehensive energy legislation that would foster DOE and NETL engagement in building the energy and manufacturing workforces of the future
- Support the passage of an immigration reform bill with specific emphasis on highly skilled immigrants
- Support better alignment of our career training curriculum with the needs of employers at the federal level
- Support reforms to Career and Technical Education (CTE) policies and programs at the state level
This effort generates awareness of issues and opportunities facing the Pittsburgh region through targeted public affairs and marketing communications activities to advance the agenda.
- Talent Attraction and Retention Marketing Communications Enhancements: Support Workforce Steering Committee to develop and implement marketing communications plan to support ImaginePittsburgh.com and launch of career awareness “hub”
- Election Year Communications Opportunities: Leverage 2016 election year opportunities to raise positive awareness of thought leadership and innovation in the Pittsburgh region