GROW THE ECONOMY
Our 2021-2023 goals include:
in capital investment
Last year, we made progress toward reaching our three-year, “grow the economy” goals. Results included:
investment project wins
new jobs created
in capital investment
Secured $2M Regional Marketing Grant
We were able to make our region’s biggest investment in economic development marketing in more than a decade with the support of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development, which provided a $2 million grant to supplement the support we receive from our Regional Investors.
The grant will make possible enhanced strategic regional marketing in 2022 to further raise the region’s profile – domestically and internationally – in support of building the pipeline of prospects and bringing more business investment, jobs and talent to southwestern Pennsylvania.
Leveraged a New Brand
We launched the Pittsburgh Region. Next is Now. brand at the end of 2020 to position southwestern Pennsylvania for long-term business investment and talent attraction success.
Supporting the region while exiting the pandemic from a place of strength, the brand tells a strong story about Pittsburgh – where what’s next is happening now – and brings to life examples of who the region is for: builders, creators, innovators and problem-solvers. It gives partners in economic development a unified voice for talking about the region to target audiences, primarily business decision makers and those who influence investment decisions.
External-facing brand properties – a website, a newsletter/blog, social media, digital advertising and earned media – signaled to the world that the Pittsburgh region is open for business and helped to support the PRA’s investment strategies, domestically and internationally, in 2021 and helped to underpin strategies on the horizon.
SOCIAL MEDIA BY THE NUMBERS
We engage on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube channels. LinkedIn is key to reaching our business audience with high-value content across the globe and especially in target metros like the Bay Area, Boston and New York.
Our LinkedIn performance is strong.
Media articles and broadcast coverage positioned Pittsburgh as a leader in AI/robotics, life sciences and healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and energy as well as a model for federal digital and physical infrastructure investment. We’ve been seen in Forbes, Fortune, Inc., Industry Week, New York Post, Reuters, Robotics 24/7, Site Selection, Wall Street Journal and more.
national media pieces
trade & industry pieces
pieces of coverage
Proof that our efforts to attract investment and jobs are working, this is a snapshot of a few 2021 investment project successes.
Nexii Business Solutions
This fast-growing, Canada-based green construction technology company chose the region as the site for its green manufacturing plant – only the second in the U.S.
- Partnership with Pittsburgh native Michael Keaton and Pittsburgh-based Trinity Commercial Development
- Identifying sites for the facility within Opportunity Zones or under-invested communities where the initiative can have an impact
- Will be the first built exclusively from Nexite, a proprietary, sustainable concrete alternative
Alabama-based air filter manufacturer expands in Westmoreland County, reinforcing the region as a distribution and logistics hub with the company’s first operation in the northeastern U.S.
- 120 new full-time jobs
- 137,000-square-foot space leased from the Redevelopment Authority of the City of New Kensington
- Ideal location between major East Coast and Midwest population centers supporting company’s focus on overnight deliveries
Based in Washington, D.C., this global leader in BPO and customer engagement tech solutions expands in Parkway East Corridor following an initial presence in the Airport Corridor.
- 400 employees to work at new customer care center
- 33,000-square-foot facility represents $3.5 million capital investment
ON THE HORIZON
We’re laying the groundwork for future economic development efforts that coalesce around industry clusters where there are growth opportunities and competitive advantages for our region. These include energy and robotics/AI.
Taking On The Talent Challenge
For regional employers, talent was an acute issue in 2021 – one broadened and exacerbated by the pandemic – but not a surprise. The Allegheny Conference identified the talent issue six years ago when it released a series of Inflection Point reports (2016 – 2018). These defined a growing shortage of talent regionally for key occupations, including in-demand tech talent, plus a mismatch between the education and training systems and projected workforce demands. The pandemic-driven “Great Resignation” has made the challenge even greater.
RETAINING COLLEGE STUDENTS
The Pittsburgh Passport – our signature program designed to expose more college students to the region and its live-work opportunities to retain more of them after graduation – continued to grow in 2021, despite the pandemic.
Since launching in 2019, the Pittsburgh Passport has engaged:
Going forward, the Pittsburgh Passport will become part of an intensified and comprehensive approach to engaging college students with employers and other key stakeholders, as well as cultural/recreational opportunities, from their first day on campus to graduation day. Development of this expanded approach began in 2021 with implementation slated for 2022.
Find out more at the Pittsburgh Passport website.
ATTRACTING REMOTE WORKERS, YOUNG PROFESSIONALS AND DIVERSE TALENT
We launched a remote worker attraction program focused on high-demand talent. Partner organizations came together to build a coalition of professional and community networks needed to retain talent.
ACTIVATING A TALENT COUNCIL
We grew an active Talent Council to 50+ members – a group of employers collaborating to sell the region to talent by sharing best practices in DEI, workforce shortages, recruiting and talent attraction and retention.
We connected 40+ Regional Investor Council member companies to three national talent organizations to improve access and connections to diverse workforce sources. And we’re managing a 20+ organization pipeline to improve professional and social networks for talent – with a focus on diversity. We also partnered with Vibrant Pittsburgh on its 2021 Vibrant Index, which provides a snapshot of regional employers’ DEI practices. Participation of regional employers in the Vibrant Index is on the rise – from 51 organizations in 2020 to 78 in 2021.
ON THE HORIZON
We are adapting the Pittsburgh Region. Next is Now. brand to resonate with a talent audience, from students to professionals; supporting promising minority-owned businesses; and addressing the geographic disparity that’s indigenous to southwestern Pennsylvania: the urban-rural divide.
Our Other Goals
INVEST IN THE REGION OF THE FUTURE
We set our sights on securing transformational public and private investment in our digital and physical infrastructure, our communities and in the growth of our most promising sectors.