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PRA Post is the Pittsburgh Region’s Economic Development Newsletter

January 2017

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The Pittsburgh Region in a New (Spot)light:  a Special Report in fDi

A new year begins with a spotlight on the Pittsburgh region in the pages of the latest fDi – the Dec. 2016/Jan. 2017 “Best and the Brightest” issue.  A special, six-page report, “Pittsburgh Powers Up: From Steel City to Tech Titan” highlights how the region’s strengths in tech, robotics, cyber security and advanced manufacturing are opening up new industry frontiers, pioneering world-class and revolutionary innovation and creating jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.

The flagship publication of globalization, fDi – a publication of London’s Financial Times – provides corporate execs and other business investment decision influencers around the world with the insights that help them make informed choices about where in the world to form strategic bilateral partnerships and locate or expand a business presence.

Read the special report here

Pittsburgh Prospector allows you to search an expansive up-to-date inventory of available commercial buildings and sites in the Pittsburgh region.

With the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) software, is the comprehensive, online real estate database for the 10-county Pittsburgh region. Search and find real estate options efficiently by generating site-specific demographic and business analysis reports with this complimentary service. To discover the PRA’s full range of economic development services, visit

More Economic Development News

Philips Sleep & Respiratory Care Moves into $2.6 Million, 44-Acre Distribution Center in Westmoreland County
“Philips Sleep & Respiratory Care has combined five of its distribution operations into a new, 260,000-square-foot center on a 44-acre parcel in Westmoreland County – the largest parcel the county’s industrial development agency has ever sold.” Read more

Gateway Engineers Expands into New 60,000 SF Headquarters in Allegheny County
“Gateway Engineers’ corporate operations will move into a new 60,000-square-foot facility in McMichael Road Business Park in Robinson Township. The 62-year-old civil engineering firm will initially occupy 45,000 square feet in the flex space, leaving room for future growth.” Read more

Columbia Gas Subsidiary, NiSource Inc., Adds Call Center, Jobs in Fayette County
“NiSource Inc. – a Columbia Gas subsidiary – announced its move and management of a new call center facility in Fayette County, once operated by partner company, Vertex. The move includes the transfer of Vertex’s 275 employees and prospects of additional jobs.” Read more

OneJet Adds Two Nonstop Destinations from Pittsburgh International Airport
“OneJet expands in Pittsburgh with its recent addition of two new destinations from Pittsburgh — Albany, N.Y. and Richmond, Va. — with flights starting in March.” Read more

Highwoods Properties Plans 107,000 SF Office Building on the Monongahela Riverfront at SouthSide Works
“Raleigh, N.C.-based Highwoods Properties – owners of PPG Place and EQT Plaza Downtown – has plans to build a new 107,000-square-foot Class A office building on the Monongahela riverfront at SouthSide Works.” Read more

Construction to Begin on Next Phase of Southern Beltway
“Construction of the next phase of the Southern Beltway around Pittsburgh International Airport – the 13-mile, $700 million toll road project – will begin in January, an opportune time with the construction of Shell Chemical Appalachia’s multibillion dollar petrochemical plant in nearby Beaver County underway.” Read more

New Commercial Construction on Horizon in Lawrence County
“Neshannock Township in Lawrence County is starting off the new year with prospects of new development that promise to bring jobs: Butler Health System plans to construct two buildings along Route 18 in the coming year and two restaurant expansions are underway.” Read more

University of Pittsburgh to Open Manufacturing Center in Homewood
“The University of Pittsburgh is moving its manufacturing help center from Harmar to Homewood – a participating community of the Allegheny Conference’s Strengthening Communities Partnership – leasing 11,500 square feet in the 150,000-square-foot former Westinghouse manufacturing facility.” Read more

Bridgeway Capital Gets $1 Million for Homewood Development
“Bridgeway Capital will use $1 million to employ community contractors to revitalize the 150,000-square-foot Susquehanna Street building and invest in other resident and brick-and-mortar projects within the neighborhood.” Read more

Oakmont-based Healthcare Company, Cereve, Raises $38 Million
“Cereve Inc., an Oakmont-based health care company, has closed a $38 million Series B financing round led by KKR & Co. LP, one of the biggest names in private equity.” Read more

Carnegie Mellon University Gets $14 Million Grant for Mobility Research Center
“Carnegie Mellon University has received a $14 million federal grant to establish a new National University Transportation Center and a program, Mobility21, to develop innovations in smart transportation and smart city research and education.” Read more

Riverlife Receives Nearly $493,000 Multimodal Transportation Grant to Begin Construction on Bike, Pedestrian Ramp to Mon Wharf
“Riverlife has received a $492,616 grant from the Multimodal Transportation Fund of the Commonwealth Financing Authority to begin building a bike and pedestrian ramp from the Smithfield Street Bridge to the Monongahela Wharf in downtown Pittsburgh.” Read more

Pittsburgh Bike-Sharing Program Gets $200K Grant to Expand
“Pittsburgh’s Healthy Ride bike-sharing program has received a $200,000 grant, which helps expand the program to 75 stations throughout the city. The program currently has 500 rental bikes at 50 stations in 11 of the city’s neighborhoods.” Read more

Royal Dutch Shell Donates $150,000 to the Community College of Beaver County (CCBC)
“Demonstrating strong support for Community College of Beaver County’s (CCBC) industry-approved process technology associate degree program, Royal Dutch Shell has donated $150,000 for student scholarship assistance and state-of-the-art educational simulation equipment.” Read more

Children’s Hospital Doctor Receives $50,000 St. Baldrick’s Foundation Grant to Further Cancer Research
“A Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC oncologist, Dr. Jean Tersak, has been awarded a one-year, $50,000 grant from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to help expand pediatric cancer research and enroll more children in clinical trials at the hospital.” Read more

Duquesne SBDC Receives Nearly $19,000 AARP Grant to Teach Adults Over 50 Entrepreneurship
“The AARP Foundation has awarded Duquesne University’s Small Business Development Center nearly $19,000 to host three ‘Work for Yourself @ 50+’ entrepreneurship workshops for those over the age of 50 between November and March.” Read more

Pittsburgh-Based RE2 Awarded Small Business Innovation Grant from U.S. Army
“Pittsburgh-based RE2 Robotics was selected by the U.S. Army to receive a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant to design a robotic arm for its Applied Robotics for Installation and Base Operations automated transport system pilot project at Fort Bragg, N.C.” Read more

Pittsburgh Trends Upward in 2017 Urban Land Institute Report
“The Urban Land Institute’s 2017 ‘Emerging Trends in Real Estate’ report references the city as a market in transition and one to watch as Pittsburgh offers tech startups, energy, millennial growth and increased foreign investment.” Read more

Pittsburgh: Third-Best Sports City According to WalletHub
“Pittsburgh is the third ‘best sports city’ in the nation, making the top 10 cities for football, baseball and hockey fans according to a new study by WalletHub.” Read more

Pittsburgh is among the Top 10 Friendliest Cities in America
“Pittsburgh made it to number seven on Travel and Leisure’s ‘Top 15 Friendly Cities’ list, which was compiled by readers who surveyed 38 metro areas for such inviting features as wine bars, pizza, luxury shopping and the conviviality of the locals.” Read more

University of Pittsburgh among Top 25 Universities in Nation for R&D
“According to the National Science Foundation, the University of Pittsburgh is again among the nation’s top 25 higher education institutions in terms of total research and development expenditures.” Read more

Pittsburgh’s Industrial Past Fuels Tech-Focused Future
“With top-flight universities attracting international talent; companies such as Apple, Google, and Uber setting up offices; and new developments happening throughout the city, it is no surprise that the city’s overnight sensation and rebirth as a center of technology and high-tech manufacturing is 35 years in the making.” Read more

From Smokestacks to Robots: The Pittsburgh Story and the Future of Work
“In Pittsburgh, innovation and imagination are brushing off the rust of an earlier era and ushering in a more prosperous future. The Huffington Post features Pittsburgh and its active efforts to prepare for the workforce needs of tomorrow.” Read more

Food Innovations Sprout in Pittsburgh’s Tech World
“Pittsburgh’s growing reputation as a foodie destination extends beyond good eating. An ample bounty of ‘foodpreneurs’ and food-related companies show the region’s potential and fertile ground for food-related industries.” Read more

How Uber Built Self-Driving Cars in Pittsburgh
“In less than two years, Uber’s Advanced Technology Center has put self-driving cars on the road in Pittsburgh and has filled four buildings in the Strip District and a testing facility at the Almono development in Hazelwood with employees from technology giants to startups.” Read more

Pittsburgh Pulling Ahead in Driverless Tech Race
“The brainpower of Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, the bumpy terrain and a high concentration of college students who don’t own cars are among the many reasons [Pittsburgh] has attracted more autonomous driving investment than anyplace outside Silicon Valley.” Read more

U.S. News Travel Touts Why You Should Visit Pittsburgh This Winter
“An influx of foodies and innovative restaurants, artists and creative types, fascinating museums and tech-savvy companies are upping the cool factor in the Steel City. Don’t let the cooler months keep you away, winter is an ideal time to plan a trip to Pittsburgh.” Read more

Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood Neighborhood is Poised for Resurgence
“Getting back to its former glory of a strong, working- and middle-class neighborhood with a bustling traditional retail corridor, Hazelwood has a tenacious identity and great economic potential.” Read more

Rig Count Shows Natural Gas Industry Back on Upswing as 2017 Dawns
“There were 32 oil and natural gas rigs drilling in Pennsylvania at the close of 2016, more than what has shown up in Baker Hughes’ weekly tally not only since the beginning of 2016 but also the most since September 2015 when the [industry’s] downturn deepened.” Read more

Passenger Traffic at Pittsburgh International Airport Continues to Climb
“Passenger traffic at Pittsburgh International Airport continued to climb for the sixth straight month in October. Total passengers were up 1.8 percent for the month and up 2.1 percent year-to-date, as 6,948,818 passengers have traveled through the airport.” Read more

Homewood-Brushton YMCA Expands, Creates Opportunities for Local Startups, Entrepreneurs
“The first phase of the Homewood-Brushton YMCA’s recent expansion, its state-of-the-art recording studio, has been a boon for local students and residents alike. The YMCA has seen a surge of interest from youth and from entrepreneurs hoping to use the space.” Read more


Companies are investing and growing in the Pittsburgh region and creating opportunity for top talent, including for the positions below:

Go to to check out more jobs, learn about the region’s employers and industries and explore the region’s great live, play, and learn options.



January 11SIOR Industrialist of the Year Dinner
Join SIOR of Western Pennsylvania for its annual black-tie event as it honors local heads of industry who have made a profound impact on the region. Past honorees have ranged from presidents and CEOs to university deans and former chairmen of industries. The dinner will be held at The Duquesne Club from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. and will be attended by a large number of influential real estate brokers, developers and property owners. Following a formal dinner will be the Industrialist of the Year Award ceremony in recognition of outstanding career achievements. For more information contact Diane McQuade at (412) 391-2634 or


January 11Design Matters: Introduction to Design Thinking, with SUMMA
Presented by the Pittsburgh Technology Council. Join SUMMA and its Director of Human Centered Design Practice Mark Lotter for a one-hour discussion where business leaders will describe their experiences using design thinking to solve problems and create business value. The discussion will be preceded with a short overview defining design thinking and examples of how you might start using design thinking to benefit your organization. Held at the Pittsburgh Technology Council from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; cost to attend is $45 for members, $175 for non-members.


January 11Center and CWBC Open House
Come meet Chatham University’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship and Women’s Business Center’s staff and past program participants, network with its members and learn more about upcoming networking, mentoring and training programs. Held at the Shadyside campus in the James Laughlin Music Hall from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.; the event is free to attend.


January 12NAIOP Pittsburgh Economic Update – Joint Program with BOMA
Join NAIOP Pittsburgh, in partnership with the Pittsburgh chapter of the Building 0wners and Managers Association (BOMA), for an economic update with Stuart G. Hoffman, chief economist at the PNC Financial Services Group. Held at the Omni William Penn Hotel with registration beginning at 7:30 a.m., followed by the program at 8:00 a.m.; cost to attend is $40 for non-members, free for members.


January 13Making Change: A Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series
Presented by Chatham University’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship. The Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series features prominent regional women business leaders speaking on a variety of progressive business topics. This month’s featured speaker is Eve Picker, founder and CEO of Small Change – the nation’s first online real estate investment portal that allows anyone over the age of 18 to invest in projects. Eve, who was a pioneering real estate developer and one of the first to bet on the resurgence of downtown Pittsburgh and neighborhoods like East Liberty, will share how cities work and how they can be revitalized. Held at the university’s Shadyside campus in the James Laughlin Music Hall beginning at 8:00 a.m.; cost to attend is $25 per person, $12 for students and veterans.


January 17Huntington Breakfast Briefing: CEO, Michael Baker Intl.
The Pittsburgh Technology Council is pleased to present Kurt C. Bergman, CEO of Michael Baker International, for its Huntington Breakfast Briefing. Michael Baker is a global leader in engineering, planning and development with more than 6,000 employees in 90 offices worldwide and more than $1 billion in annual revenue. Join tech industry colleagues for breakfast and networking while you learn more about one of the nation’s leading engineering, planning and consulting services firms. Held at the Rivers Club from 7:00 – 9:15 a.m.; cost to attend is $55 for members, $185 for non-members.


January 20African American Chamber of Commerce’s PowerBreakfast Meeting
Join the African American Chamber of Commerce for its first PowerBreakfast of the year featuring the honorable County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who will provide insight on the health of Allegheny County and his vision and plans for 2017. Held at the One Oxford Center from 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.; cost to attend is $20 for members, $30 for non-members.


January 21African American Chamber of Commerce’s Strategic Planning Workshop
Join the African American Chamber of Commerce for its Strategic Planning Workshop with featured guest, Raymond L. Vargo, director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Small Business Development Center. Learn about the vital components that should be included in a strategic plan, what to include when applying for funding, tips for marketing and how to use your plan to make decisions in your business. Held at the Koppers Building form 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.; cost to attend is $10 for members, $20 for non-members.


January 22ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS: National Hardware Cup 2017
Returning for its third year, the AlphaLab Gear National Hardware Cup is a competition for tech startups to win a grand prize of $50,000 in investment funds and over $50,000 in software, cash and more prizes. The competition is open to early-stage startups that create at least one physical product. Six teams will be selected in each of the seven regional semifinal cities – Pittsburgh, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin, Ft. Lauderdale and Washington D.C. – to give a 4-minute pitch to judging teams made up of local VCs and Hardware CEOs. Qualifying companies can apply for the National Hardware Cup online. Applications are due January 22, 2017. The third annual National Hardware Cup kicks off on February 5, 2017 in Los Angeles, with the Mid-Atlantic regional competition taking place in Pittsburgh on February 21 and the regional semifinal on April 19-20.


January 24I Love It When You Call Me Big Data 2016
I Love It When You Call Me Big Data™ is a day-long summit focused on big data trends and best practices. This event will explore innovative strategies and technologies surrounding real-time data collection, processing, protection and privacy, industry regulations and compliance and storage. The morning of the event will feature keynote presentations by industry leaders, followed by an afternoon of Tech Talks offered in three tracks of 18-minute presentations that resemble the format of the popular TED Talks. Held at the Marriott City Center from 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; early bird registration is $175 for members, $375 for non-members. After January 13th, cost to attend will be $190 for members and $390 for non-members.


January 24-26Marcellus Midstream Conference & Exhibition
Attend the Marcellus-Utica Midstream Conference and Exhibition and get the latest production forecasts from the region’s top E&Ps, learn about current and planned projects to expand regional takeaway capacity from leading midstream operators and hear about emerging markets that could change the game for Appalachia’s bounty of natural gas. Held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, stay connected to the latest intelligence within the field. Register by January 23 and receive an early bird registration rate of $995 for a conference and exhibit pass or $345 for exhibit pass only. Click here for sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities.


January 26Hire UP University Recruiting
Looking to recruit the next generation of top technology talent for part and full-time positions or internships? The Pittsburgh Technology Council’s Hire UP can help. Hire UP convenes top students from all Pittsburgh colleges and universities, including Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh, for a one-day only job fair. Students studying information technology, engineering, traditional sciences and more will learn about opportunities at your company. Space is limited, so please register today.  This event will not feature traditional long square tables, but cocktail-style tables great for networking. Light refreshments will be available throughout the event for both recruiters and job-seekers. Held at the University of Pittsburgh from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.; cost to exhibit is $399 for members, $599 for non-members. Registration is free for job seekers. For information, contact Lindsey Bradley at


January 28German American Chamber of Commerce Pittsburgh – Second Annual Ice Gala
Join the German American Chamber of Commerce Pittsburgh for its second annual Ice Gala – the German American business community’s premiere event of the year. The gala will feature live music from the River City Brass Band, an “Ice Room” that will include ice sculptures, Glühwein and more. Plus, VIP speakers, great food and an amazing view of the city. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Chamber’s Dual Model Apprenticeship Program. The dress code is formal optional or business attire. Held at the Energy Innovation Center, the VIP reception will begin at 5:00 p.m. followed by the gala dinner at 6:00 p.m. Cost to attend is $195 for members, $250 for non-members.


January 28Indiana Business Expo
The 2017 Chamber Business Expo, hosted by the Indiana County Chamber of Commerce, promises to be an exciting event filled with great business-to-business and business-to-new customer interactions, as well as fresh entertainment that should fill the halls of the Indiana Mall with people eager to learn about your business. The expo is free to attend. Booths and sponsorships are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline to reserve a booth is January 13. Booth, sponsorship rates and registration forms can be found here.


January 31Uber: The Pittsburgh Strategy
Join NAIOP Pittsburgh as it welcomes David Ritcher, vice president of strategic initiatives at Uber, for its guest speaker. Held at the Omni William Penn Hotel with registration beginning at 11:30 a.m.; cost to attend is $35 for members, $45 for non-members.


February 2PVCA Luncheon: Journey of Financing Growth
Presented by the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association. February’s luncheon will cover the topic “A Journey of Financing Growth” and will feature special guest speaker John Dolan. After spending more than three decades at First Commonwealth Financial Corporation as CFO and then CEO, today John is managing member of Dolan Finance, LLC and general partner for Dolan Real Estate Finance, LP, a private equity fund that provides financing for commercial real estate professionals in the Mid-Atlantic region. During his talk, John will discuss his unusual career path, share some notable successes (along with a few failures) and some creative financing strategies that he learned along the way. Held at the Fairmont Pittsburgh from 11:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., cost to attend is $55 for members, $105 for non-members.


February 7Annual State of Beaver County
Join the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce for its annual State of the County event featuring County Commissioners Sandie Egley, Tony Amadio and Dan Camp. Held at the Fez from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m., cost to attend is $30 for members, $50 for non-members and includes a breakfast buffet. RSVP by January 31 to the Chamber office at or 724-775-3944.


February 16Corridors of Opportunity: Parkway West
Join the Pittsburgh Business Times for their Corridors of Opportunity event series highlighting Pittsburgh’s most important growth corridors with a panel discussion on business opportunities and current and future developments in Pittsburgh’s Parkway West. Panelist include Jim Scalo, president and CEO of Burns & Scalo Real Estate Services; Dan Adamski, managing director at JLL; and David Koch, executive vice president at CBRE. Held at the DoubleTree by Hilton – Green Tree from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., cost to attend is $65 per ticket. Business Times subscribers receive a 10-percent discount through February 11. Reserved tables of 10 with priority seating reserved by your logo are available for $995.


February 16CIO Insights: Mark Sunday, CIO, Oracle
The Pittsburgh Technology Council is pleased to present Oracle CIO Mark Sunday for its next installment of CIO Insights. He will provide his unique perspective on why embracing the cloud is one of the most critical decisions a company can make to remain relevant and successful. Mark will also share insights on how Oracle has moved its own internal IT platforms to cloud at a brisk pace. Held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown from 7:15 – 9:15 a.m.; cost to attend is $55 for members, $175 for non-members through February 9. Registration costs after February 9 are $65 for members, $190 for non-members.


February 16Butler County CDC’s Bankers Breakfast
Commercial lenders and those in the banking and financial services industries are invited to attend Butler County’s Community Development Corporation’s Bankers Breakfast held at the Pittsburgh Marriot North from 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. For more information and to register, visit or email at


February 22Annual Manufacturing Reception
Save the date! Catalyst Connection’s Annual Manufacturing Reception will be held at Heinz Field’s UPMC Club Lounge. This year’s theme is “Making a Difference.” Manufacturing is important to the southwestern Pennsylvania community and a skilled and qualified workforce is key to a strong and vibrant manufacturing sector. This event will highlight employer engagement and workplace learning opportunities to showcase high demand occupations and build a strong pipeline of young, new workers. Registration will begin at 5:00 p.m., followed by presentations and recognition program at 6:00 p.m. Register by January 30 for the special rate of $50. The standard admission fee of $75 will apply after that date.


February 28State of the Pittsburgh Economy
Join the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence and PNC Bank for an in depth look into a national and regional economic forecast led by PNC’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Stuart Hoffman. Hoffman joined PNC in 1980 after a six-year tenure with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, became vice president and senior economist for PNC in 1987 and assumed his current leadership roles in 1991. Hoffman is frequently featured in respected financial news media and is active in numerous economic organizations on a local and national level. The event will be held at the Tower at PNC Plaza from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. For event and registration details, please contact Tara Gerek at


March 9Annual Awards Banquet 2017
Save the Date for NAIOP Pittsburgh’s annual Awards Banquet 2017 held at the David Lawrence Convention Center. The reception will begin at 5:15 p.m., followed by the awards and dinner program at 6:30 p.m. and the networking after party at 9:00 p.m. Sponsorships are available. Visit for more information.