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PRA Post is the Pittsburgh Region’s Economic Development Newsletter

April 2017

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PGT Trucking Buys 67 Acres in Hopewell, Beaver County, for New Headquarters

PGT Trucking, one of the largest flatbed carriers in the country, has purchased 67 acres of undeveloped land in Beaver County’s Hopewell Business Park for its new headquarters. The company, which has a long history in Beaver County, bought the land for $750,000 – a move reflective of their commitment to staying within the region. The timeline for building their new headquarters is undetermined. Currently, the company is housing its more than 200 employees in an office nearby within the business park.

Jim Palmer, Beaver County Corporation for Economic Development, said this about the company’s investment: “The PGT opportunity came along, and they were willing to buy it as raw land and we were willing to sell it to keep them here in Beaver County, which is where they want to be.”

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More Economic Development News

Ohio-Based Architecture and Design Firm, Design Group, Opens Pittsburgh Office
“DesignGroup, an architecture and design firm located in Columbus, Ohio, is expanding by opening an office in Nova Place on the North Shore of Pittsburgh.” Read more

Cintas Corporation Expands Operations at RIDC Industrial Park
“The Regional Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC) has announced its entry into a five-year lease with Cintas Corporation for 5,125 square feet of space at the RIDC Industrial Park in O’Hara Township, Allegheny County.” Read more

OneJet Doubles Nonstop Flights from Pittsburgh to Richmond and Louisville
“OneJet, the air transportation network that provides increased access to nonstop travel in small- and medium- size markets, announced additional flights to two existing markets from Pittsburgh International Airport: Richmond, VA and Louisville, KY.” Read more

Pittsburgh Region Roads, Bridges and Tunnels Get Nearly $300 Million Facelift from PennDOT
“PennDOT will invest an estimated $295 million on roads, bridges and tunnels in Allegheny County during the 2017 construction season. Improvements are scheduled for 65 bridges, with 123 miles of road slated to be paved or resurfaced.” Read more

FirstEnergy Plans $235 Million in Improvements in West Penn Power Area
“FirstEnergy plans to spend $235 million during 2017 to make infrastructure upgrades in the 24-county West Penn Power service area, including improvements aimed at supporting the shale gas industry.” Read more

Construction of Two Concrete Plants in Beaver County for Shell Cracker to Start
“Two concrete plants will be built in the county to supply massive amounts of concrete needed to construct Shell Chemicals Co.’s $6 billion ethane cracker plant.” Read more

California University of Pennsylvania Plans New Construction and Expansion
“California University of Pennsylvania plans to construct a $37 million science building and expand its Keystone Hall – home for the College of Education and Human Services – by 25,000 square feet.” Read more

$35.4 Million Expansion Underway for Carnegie Science Center
“The Carnegie Science Center, located on Pittsburgh’s North Shore, will begin its initial phase of its $34.5 million expansion project that includes a new, four-story Science Pavilion and a new-and-improved IMAX movie theater.” Read more

Comcast to Build out $20 Million Ethernet Network in Downtown Pittsburgh
“Comcast announced plans for a $20 million expansion of its fiber-based network in downtown Pittsburgh. The company will install more than 60 miles of new ethernet cable by the end of next year.” Read more

Carnegie Mellon University Readies Construction of 50,000 SF Tata Consultancy Building
“Carnegie Mellon is ready to expand its campus. The university recently received approval by the Pittsburgh Planning Commission to build its new Tata Consultancy Building on the site of a former gas station.” Read more

174-Room Hotel Planned for Former Saks Site in Downtown Pittsburgh
“Millcraft Investments, the developer behind the redevelopment of the former Saks Fifth Avenue site on Smithfield Street, has chosen Moxy Hotels to be the flag for the 174-room hotel to be built in the project’s second phase.” Read more

Pittsburgh to Get 133-Room AC Hotel, Between Downtown and the Strip
“Concord Hospitality Group of Raleigh, N.C. is bringing a new-to-the-market concept to the space between downtown and the Strip District, a 133-room AC Hotel by Marriot.” Read more

Uber Plans Major Expansion at Self-Driving Car Test Track in Pittsburgh
“Uber plans to double its office and storage space at its test track at the Almono site in Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood neighborhood, adding about 7,000 square feet of office space and 9,250 square feet of storage space.” Read more

Pittsburgh’s “Bus Rapid Transit” Plans Revealed
“Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and Port Authority unveiled a $200 million to $240 million bus rapid transit project plan, which is vital to linking the region’s busiest business corridors.” Read more

Greene County Airport Business Park to be Ready This Summer
“Pittsburgh International Airport has received $2.4 million to leverage Federal Aviation Funds to rehabilitate runways and airfield pavement joints.” Read more

Allegheny County’s Carrie Furnaces Site Nearing Completion, Readies Development
“A 168-acre former brownfield along the Monongahela River, with the historic Carrie Furnaces at its center, is ready for redevelopment as an office and light industrial park –a project more than a decade in the making that brings the promise of up to 1,000 jobs where U.S. Steel once made pig iron.” Read more

Pittsburgh Data Storage Firm, Avere Systems, Closes $14 Million Funding Round, Lands Google Investment
“Fast-growing Avere Systems, a Pittsburgh-based data storage company, landed Google as an investor in its latest round of funding, raising a total of $14 million.” Read more

Carnegie Mellon University Receives $10 Million Gift for Undergraduate Scholarships
“Frank Brunckhorst, a member of Carnegie Mellon University’s Board of Trustees, has donated $10 million to support the Frank Brunckhorst Presidential Scholarship Endowment which provides some of the university’s top students with significant scholarship support.” Read more

Local Municipalities Share in $5.3 Million in U.S. Department of Transportation Funds
“The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will distribute nearly $466.2 million in liquid fuels payments to certified municipalities to help them maintain roads and bridges.” Read more

Chevron Gives More than $800,000 to STEM School Initiative
“This year, Chevron Appalachia is expanding its support of the Project Lead the Way STEM programs with $810,000 in grants to 15 school districts across the tri-state region – PA, WV, OH – including two in Greene County.” Read more | Read a PG op-ed penned by Chevron Appalachia President Stacey Olson on preparing a pipeline of skilled workers

Beaver County-Based Creekside Springs to Receive $400,000 Loan from the State
“The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority awarded an additional $400,000 loan to the Beaver County Corporation for Economic Development, which will use it to aide in the expansion of locally based Creekside Springs LLC.” Read more

University of Pittsburgh Receives Three-Year, $400,000 National Science Foundation Cyber Program Grant to Develop Exoskeleton
“University of Pittsburgh researchers have received a three-year, $400,000 award from the National Science Foundation’s cyber program to develop an ultrasound sensor system for a hybrid exoskeleton.” Read more

Helomics, University of Pittsburgh Reach a Collaboration Agreement
“Pittsburgh-based biotech firm, Helomics Corp., and the University of Pittsburgh’s Innovation Institute have reached a five-year research and collaboration agreement to develop and commercialize intellectual property technology.” Read more

Regional Transportation Alliance Releases Imagine Transportation 2.0: A Vision to Guide Southwestern Pennsylvania’s Transportation Future
“The Regional Transportation Alliance of Southwestern Pennsylvania – an initiative of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development – unveiled Imagine Transportation 2.0, with its ‘vision for a better transportation future’ detailed in a report that includes seven guiding principles and 50 ideas to explore.” Read more | Read the Imagine Transportation 2.0 Report

Pittsburgh among WalletHub’s 2017 Best Cities for STEM Professionals
“STEM workers are in fierce demand, but not just in the global epicenter of high tech known as Silicon Valley. You can add Pittsburgh to the list of the best markets for STEM professionals.” Read more

Pittsburgh Tops List of “Cities Where Downtown is Making a Comeback”
“With an assortment of shops, restaurants and entertainment that generate excitement deep into the evening, Pittsburgh has topped the list of downtown urban centers across the country.” Read more

Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh among Top MBA Programs in Nation
“Carnegie Mellon University’s and the University of Pittsburgh’s MBA programs ranked among the best in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report‘s rankings.” Read more

School of Nursing Leads University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate Programs in Latest U.S. News & World Report Rankings
“Many of the University of Pittsburgh’s graduate programs are featured in the 2018 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s ‘Best Graduate Schools.’ The School of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program and Master of Science in Nursing program ranked 7th and tied for 8th, respectively.” Read more

University of Pittsburgh Receives Highest NAFSA Commendation for its International Programs
“The University of Pittsburgh is only one of four institutions honored with the national 2017 Senator Paul Simon Award recognizing its commitment to international education and the strength of its global programs.” Read more

RIDC’s Lawrenceville Technology Center Selected as a Top 2017 Impact Project by NAIOP
“The redevelopment of the former Heppenstall Steel Mill into Carnegie Robotics at RIDC’s Lawrenceville Technology Center has been selected as a top 2017 impact project by NAIOP, the premier North American commercial real estate and development association.” Read more

RIDC: “If You Build It, the Robots Will Come”
“A long-term investment to convert a former steel mill in Lawrenceville into space for Carnegie Robotics is now a model project for commercial real estate developers and is helping boost Pittsburgh’s status as a place for robotics companies.” Read more

Connellsville Showing Tangible ROI from PA DCED Funding
“The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development ( PA DCED) Secretary, Dennis Davin, recently visited the Connellsville area – one of the participating communities of the Allegheny Conference’s Strengthening Communities Partnership – and was impressed by the community’s cooperative spirit and its tangible results from funding received from the state.” Read more

Pittsburgh Sees Increase in Coworking Spaces
“With the newest coworking space opening up in Pittsburgh’s Bakery Square – Regus’ Spaces, a 25,000 square-foot hub that includes a 4,500 square-foot business club, 160 private offices and three meeting rooms – the city is now in the same league as New York or Boston when it comes to coworking spaces.” Read more

Corporate Investments in Pittsburgh Startups Hit Five-Year High
“Corporate investments, like Ford’s recent $1 billion investment in the Pittsburgh-based autonomous driving startup Argo AI, are part of a growing trend in Pittsburgh and have hit a record five-year high in 2016.” Read more

Pittsburgh Tech Startups Continue to Attract Investors
“Pittsburgh technology startups bucked a national trend by attracting more venture capital investment in 2016. Funding from venture capital firms increased eight percent in 2016, jumping from $217.4 million in 2015 to $235.1 million.” Read more

Lawrence County Anticipates Shell Plant Opportunities, Markets Offerings
“Lawrence County officials announced a marketing effort to promote its economic advantages to capitalize on an economic development opportunity – Shell’s proposed ethane cracker plant.” Read more | Learn more via the PRA Blog



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April 6Raising our Spirits: A Joint Networking Event with NAIOP Pittsburgh
The Washington County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to partner with NAIOP Pittsburgh for an exclusive event and program for its members to network and develop new regional business contacts. This event will feature a panel discussion moderated by Jeff Burd, founder, Tall Timber Group. Jeff will discuss strategies for utilizing distilleries, wineries and craft breweries for downtown revitalizations. Panelists include Ed Refoure, Red Pump Spirits; Angela Burgess, A&M Wine Supplies/Washington Winery; and Ellen Hough, Mingo Creek Craft Distillers. Held at Crossroads Center from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.; cost to attend is $25 for members, $50 for non-members.


April 6Corridors of Opportunity: Beaver County
Join the Pittsburgh Business Times for an event highlighting Pittsburgh’s most important growth corridors with a panel discussion on business opportunities in Beaver County, including a focus on the Shell cracker plant and its potential impact on our region. Panelists include Sandie Egley, Beaver County Commissioner; Chairman Paul Bellantoni, vice president of operations at Morgan Management; and Lou Oliva, executive managing director of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. Held at The Dome at Community College of Beaver County from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., cost to attend is $65. Reserved tables of 10 with priority seating reserved by your logo are available for $995.


April 11Breakfast Briefing: In the Know: What’s Happening in DC and Harrisburg!
Join the Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber of Commerce for a special event on what’s happening in D.C. and Harrisburg. Guest speakers include U.S. Congressman Tim Murphy and Pennsylvania State Representative Mark Mustio. Held at the Crowne Plaza Pittsburgh West – Green Tree from 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.; cost to attend is $35 for members, $55 for non-members.


April 11Manufacturing Expansion and Excellence Tour (MEET) @ Oberg
Join Catalyst Connection for a workshop and tour at Oberg Industries’ Precision Machining Center and discuss how the successful integration of growth of their core markets, operational excellence, workforce development and strong corporate culture has led to the company’s new 80,000-square-foot Precision Machining Center facility. Oberg’s business leaders will share their strategies and lessons learned that have resulted in significant growth for the company. Networking opportunities and a facility tour will be included. The tour and workshop, with networking and breakfast beginning at 8:00 a.m., is free to attend.


April 11Export Basics Seminar
Presented by Chatham University’s Women’s Business Center and Duquesne University’s SBDC, topics covered at this workshop will include identifying export opportunities, logistics, shipping and methods of payment and legal issues of exporting, and lessons learned from a women-owned exporting business. Held at the Howe-Childs Gatehouse, Chatham University Shadyside Campus from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m., cost to attend is $49. Partial, need-based scholarships covering up to 50% of the cost are available.


April 12PVCA Luncheon – Finding Your Niche: Building a Successful Company in Pittsburgh
The Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association’s Emerging Leadership Board is proud to present a special evening program featuring a conversation with Luke Skurman, founder CEO of and a recognized thought leader of Pittsburgh’s innovation ecosystem. Join them at Ascender from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. to hear Luke’s compelling presentation detailing his entrepreneurial journey as the CEO of an early-stage company in Pittsburgh. In talking about his Pittsburgh experience, Luke will offer candid insights concerning the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within the local innovation ecosystem. Within this context, he will also touch on his role on Carnegie Mellon University’s Board of Trustees and the vision behind Ascender and the Thrival Innovation and Music Festival. Cost to attend is $50 for members and non-members.


April 13ALMONO Update with Rebecca Flora
Join the Urban Land Institute Pittsburgh for an update on the 178-acre, mixed-use development and innovation hub, ALMONO, with remarks from Rebecca Flora, principal of ReMake Group. Rebecca will present new information and discuss updated development plans regarding the ALMONO site. Held at the Rivers Club from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m., cost to attend is $40 for members, $60 for non-members. RSVP by April 11. For more information contact Holly Muchnok in the ULI Pittsburgh District Council Office at or (724) 687 – 0707.


April 19Beaver County Chamber’s Annual Congressional Breakfast
Presented by the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce. Don’t miss the Annual Congressional Breakfast with Congressman Rothfus held at the Hertiage Valley Beaver Coghlan Education Center from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. Cost to attend is $30 for members, $50 for non-members. RSVP by April 11th to


April 192017 STEM Summit
The 2017 STEM Summit is a one-day event designed to bring together education leaders with technology companies from the Pittsburgh area to see “STEM-In-Action.” At this year’s event, STEM Summit attendees will have the opportunity to talk about cutting edge STEM education practices, plus all attendees will have the opportunity to visit some of the most exciting technology companies in the region enabling them to see what it is like to work in the STEM sector. Join us at the 2017 STEM Summit for engaging discussions, a keynote speech and STEM company visits. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Review the Summit’s sponsorship brochure and then contact Carolyn Candebat for details.


April 21PowerBreakfast Meeting
Join the African American Chamber of Commerce for its PowerBreakfast meeting featuring corporate sponsor Jerry MacCleary, president of Covestro, LLC. Jerry will present an overview of Covestro and its commitment to supplier diversity. Held at the One Oxford Center beginning at 7:00 a.m., cost to attend is $20 for members, $30 for non-members. RSVP by April 19 to or (412) – 392 -0610.


April 26CREW Breakfast Panel Discussion
Join CREW Pittsburgh for a breakfast panel on the topic, “The Cracker Effect – What the Cracker Means to Pittsburgh Regional Real Estate and Economy.” Guest speakers include Jenifer S. Cushman, Ph.D., chancellor, Penn State Beaver; Tammy S. Dohn, vice president, Citizens Bank; Kelly Hoover Heckathon of Burns & Scalo Real Estate Services; Darla K. Jobkar, realtor, Northwood Reality Services; Jeff Burd, president, Tall Timber Group. Bill Flanagan of the Allegheny Conference will moderate. Held at the Omni William Penn Hotel from 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.; cost to attend is $40 for members, $70 for non-members.


April 27Huntington Breakfast Briefing: Mitsubishi Electric
The Pittsburgh Technology Council is pleased to present Brian Heery, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Electric Power Products (MEPPI). Mr. Heery began his career at MEPPI in 2011 and leads the affiliate of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation of Japan serving both electric utility markets with generation and substation products and diverse markets with heavy electrical infrastructure products. Mr. Heery will discuss the growth and expansion of MEPPI over the past 30 years, its plans for technology innovation and how the company works with the community and partners. Held at the Rivers Club from 7:00 – 9:15 a.m.; cost to attend is $55 for members, $60 for non-members.


April 27Workforce & the American Job Center Workshop
This interactive workshop co-facilitated by Ida Ford of the PA CareerLink of Allegheny County and Rebecca Young of Partner4Work (formerly 3 Rivers Workforce Investment Board) will discuss how the workforce system should be utilized to create and promote job creation. Both organizations work to make employers aware of available hiring incentives within southwestern Pennsylvania. If you are a human resources professional committed to a diverse workforce population or a fiscal agent responsible for bottom line results, this workshop can help you in uncovering innovative programs to save time and money spent throughout the recruiting and hiring process. Held at the Koppers Building from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., the workshop is free to attend.


April 27The State of Manufacturing in Beaver County
Join the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce for a town hall meeting to discuss “The State of Manufacturing in Beaver County” from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. at the Park Inn by Radisson Beaver Falls. The cost to attend is $10.00 per person and includes breakfast. Please RSVP to by April 18. Sponsorships are available. Contact the Chamber office for details at (724) 775 – 3944.


May 4Co-CREATING in Pittsburgh: Creative Clash @ AlphaLab Gear
Pittsburgh is a city of makers and creatives! Join AlphaLab Gear and Pittsburgh Technology Council’s Business Ignition Program for this special creative clash and find out how creative entrepreneurs are making an impact on our region. Make new friends, and earn what opportunities creative industry accelerators and incubators are offering to artists, makers and early-stage entrepreneurs. Held at the AlphaLab Gear offices from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.; early-bird pricing is $25 for members and non-members, $30 the day of.


May 92017 Real Estate Round-up
Join the Urban Land Institute for a mid-year analysis of the current climate of commercial real estate in Pittsburgh. Moderator Kevin McKeegan will offer introductions to the 2017 panelists and facilitate a discussion with event participants and presenters. ULI members and guests are invited to attend this annual breakfast program held downtown at the Rivers Club from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. Visit for more details.


May 9African American Chamber’s Annual Meeting and Luncheon
The African American Chamber of Commerce cordially invites you to its Annual Meeting and Luncheon held at the Omni William Penn Hotel and featuring Michael H. McGarry, chairman and chief executive officer, PPG. The meeting will begin at 11:00 a.m. For more information call (412) 392 – 0610.


May 11PVCA Awards Lunch
Join the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association (PVCA) as it honors four remarkable entrepreneurs at its 23rd annual PVCA Awards Luncheon. PVCA will recognize these individuals’ extraordinary contributions to innovation and the region’s entrepreneurial vitality and celebrate their individual achievements as pioneering business leaders. Held at the Duquesne Club from 11:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.; cost to attend is $55 for members, $115 for non-members.