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PRA Post is the Pittsburgh Region’s Economic Development Newsletter

March 2017

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Ford Invests $1 Billion in Pittsburgh Autonomous Research Company, Argo AI

Michigan-based, multinational automaker, Ford Motor Company, announced plans to invest $1 billion over the course of five years into the Pittsburgh-based artificial intelligence startup, Argo AI, which will base its headquarters in the Strip District. The acquisition equips Ford with the artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer visioning capabilities to become a leader in building efficient self-driving vehicles. Company leaders Bryan Salesky and Peter Rander are experts in the field (having worked for Uber and with Google’s efforts in the self-driving arena, respectively). Both are alumni of Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) National Robotics Engineering Center.

The Post-Gazette article touts the Ford investment as elevating Pittsburgh as the hub and epicenter of autonomous technology and being the clearest indication yet that the road to a self-driving future goes through the Steel City.

Read more | Read More on High Tech Investments Coming to the Pittsburgh Region

Image Pittsburgh is a real-time, digital hub highlighting live, work, play and learn options in the Pittsburgh region. It is a workforce program of the Allegheny Conference and a powerful aggregator of thousands of open jobs across the 10 counties of southwestern Pennsylvania.

View’s Hot Jobs below.

More Economic Development News

Westmoreland County-Based Standard Envelope Company Expands into 68,653 SF Space, Doubles Employees
“Westmoreland County-based Standard Envelope, an envelope sales company, plans to expand from six employees to 75 and move into a 68,653-square-foot space in South Greensburg Commons.” Read more

Spirit Airlines to Begin Nonstop Service to Seven Cities from Pittsburgh International
“The low-fare carrier Spirit Airlines will begin nonstop, round-trip flights this spring and summer to seven cities from Pittsburgh International Airport: Los Angeles; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Orlando, Fla.; Dallas/Fort Worth; Las Vegas and Houston.” Read more

LifeCare Hospitals of Pittsburgh Completes $1 Million Renovation, Opens 49-Bed Behavioral Health Hospital
“Recognizing both a community need and a business opportunity, LifeCare Hospitals of Pittsburgh has opened a freestanding, 49-bed adult behavioral health hospital at its main campus facility in Wilkinsburg after undergoing $1 million in renovations.” Read more

San Francisco-Based Shorenstein Properties LLC Plans $50 Million One Oxford Centre Renovations
“San Francisco-based Shorenstein Properties LLC is preparing to begin exterior renovations on One Oxford Centre as part of its $50 million in upgrades to the downtown office tower.” Read more

PNC Financial Services Group Renovating Multiple Floors in One PNC Plaza
“PNC Financial Services Group is spending millions of dollars to remake 24 of the 29 floors in One PNC Plaza, which opened in 1971 and served as the bank’s headquarters until the move to the Tower at PNC Plaza in 2015.” Read more

Oxford Opens New, 590-Car Parking Garage at 3 Crossings Development in the Strip District
“Oxford Development Co. has opened a 590-car garage – called the HUB – at 3 Crossings, its mixed-use development along the Allegheny Riverfront in the Strip District. The garage also features space to park bikes and eight electric vehicle-charging stations.” Read more

Sunoco Logistics Partners Plans to Build Two New Pipelines
“Sunoco Logistics Partners has confirmed that it will build two pipelines across Pennsylvania as part of its Mariner East 2 project.” Read more

Beaver County Transit Authority’s Maintenance Center to be Converted into CNG Filling Station
“The Beaver County Transit Authority’s maintenance center will be converted into a compressed natural gas filling station. It is part of a public-private partnership between the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Trillium CNG, a Salt Lake City, Utah-based company which is to design and run CNG stations at 29 transit agencies statewide.” Read more

New 10-Story, Luxury Hotel in Oakland Set to Open in 2018
“Developers unveiled more details about The Oaklander Hotel, a 10-story, 167-room luxury hotel taking shape in the heart of Oakland that will include a rooftop lobby, lounge, restaurant and outdoor terrace designed to take advantage of sweeping views of the neighborhood’s historic landmarks.” Read more

PNC Mezzanine Invests $9.75 Million in 3 Rivers Capital LLC’s American Grease Stick Co. Acquisition
“PNC Mezzanine Capital, a private equity arm of Pittsburgh’s largest bank, announced a $9.75 million subordinated debt and equity co-investment to support 3 Rivers Capital LLC’s acquisition of American Grease Stick Co.” Read more

Alcosan Hands Out $9 Million in Grants to Divert Stormwater from Sewer Systems
“Alcosan will dole out $9 million in grants to support 32 projects in 18 municipalities intended to keep storm water out of the stressed sanitation system.” Read more

$8.8 Million in Funding Planned to Boost Technology at Nova Place
“Nova Place developer, Faros Properties, is partnering with The Buhl Foundation, Comcast and Urban Innovation 21 and collectively is investing a total of $8.8 million to bring new community and connection to the North Side complex.” Read more

Michael Baker International Awarded $5 Million SEPTA Contract
“Michael Baker International was awarded a $5 million, three-year contract to support Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s ongoing environmental initiatives.” Read more

New Funds Totaling More than $3 Million Will Boost Business, Development in Clairton
“Officials in Clairton are optimistic that a fresh investment of more than $3 million will help jumpstart business activity and new housing in the community ravaged by the collapse of the steel industry three decades ago.” Read more

Pittsburgh International Airport Getting $2.4 Million in State Funds
“Pittsburgh International Airport has received $2.4 million to leverage Federal Aviation Funds to rehabilitate runways and airfield pavement joints.” Read more

University of Pittsburgh Receives $2.35 Million National Institute of Health Grant to Develop Children’s Artificial Lung
“A team of researchers and engineers led by the University of Pittsburgh has received a $2.35 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a compact, wearable artificial lung for children.” Read more

Energy Grid Operator, PJM Interconnection, to Invest $1.5 Billion in Upgrading Aging Infrastructure
“PJM Interconnection, an independent regional transmission organization and operator of the power grid for 13 states including Pennsylvania and New Jersey, will invest $1.5 billion to upgrade aging energy infrastructure across its territory.” Read more

U.S. Department of Energy Commits to Fund PPG’s $1.14 Million Tire Performance Improvement Project
“The U.S. Department of Energy will be providing funding to support a $1.14 million PPG project to develop silica-based performance filters for nontread tire components.” Read more

University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School Receives $500,000 Grant from National Science Foundation
“Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering were awarded a $500,000 grant over five years to develop a new DNA sequencing method to ‘directly measure viral loads in water’ to better pinpoint threats to human health.” Read more

Indiana County’s Revolving Loan Fund Helps New Business
“Indiana County Commissioners and economic development specialists announced a resolution for the Indiana County Revolving Loan Fund to provide a $250,000 term loan to Robert Gordon Industries LTD d/b/a Gordon Sinclair and Affiliate.” Read more

Harrison Township Lands $50,000 Grant from Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County
“Harrison Township Commissioner Robin Bergstrom landed a $50,000 grant through the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County’s Active Allegheny Program to upgrade sections of [the township’s] Three Rivers Heritage Trail.” Read more

UrbanInnovation21 Announces Winners in Annual Business Grant Competition
“UrbanInnovation21 awarded $120,000 in grants to winners of its Inclusive Innovation Community-based Business Grant Competition, with six winners coming from the Hill District and nine from Homewood.” Read more

Recipients of Chancellor’s Innovation Commercialization Funds Announced
“The University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute has awarded a total of $140,000 to four Pitt Innovator teams to help them move their discoveries toward commercialization.” Read more

New VC Fund, Grand Ventures I LP, Plans to Invest in Pittsburgh Tech Startups
“Two financial industry veterans have launched an early stage, midwestern U.S.-focused venture fund, Grand Ventures I LP,  based in Grand Rapids, Mich. Pittsburgh will be included in the orbit of where it will seek to invest.” Read more

Mon Valley Alliance Launches Four Community Development Funds
“The Mon Valley Alliance has created four new community development funds to support and start projects. The funds include community development, workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and incubation, and historical preservation.” Read more

UPMC, University of Pittsburgh Partnering for Thyroid Cancer Research
“Health system giant UPMC is turning to its academic partner, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, to evaluate the sensitivity of an internally developed thyroid cancer test, with the hope of broadening the test’s market appeal while sparing patients unnecessary surgery.” Read more

PRA’s Pegg Chairing IEDC’s International Advisory Committee
“Suzi Pegg, vice president of global marketing at the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, has been named 2017 chairperson of the International Economic Development Council’s International Advisory Committee.” Read more | Read the official press release

Foreign Investment Cited as Boon to Pittsburgh Region Economy
“The region’s international business sector is ‘active’ and ‘fluid’ – currently about 350 foreign-owned firms operate in Southwestern Pennsylvania and employ about 50,000 – and global acquisitions, consolidations and expansions are constantly affecting its landscape.” Read more

Washington County Economic Development Scorecard Posts another Healthy Year
“Washington County attracted 80 economic development and infrastructure projects that amounted to more than $1.1 billion in capital investments.” Read more | Read more on the PRA Blog

Indiana County Shares Update on Economic Growth, Marketing
“The Indiana County Chamber of Commerce held its monthly board of directors meeting at St. Andrew’s Village in White Township to discuss economic successes, its growth strategy and marketing plans.” Read more

PA Video Game Industry Grows Along With Pittsburgh’s Tech Economy
“Pittsburgh tech ecosystem is growing and, with the video game industry bringing in record millions in revenue in Pennsylvania, companies like Pittsburgh-based Schell Games stand to benefit.” Read more

Finalists Named in $1 Million UpPrize Social Innovation Challenge
“Ten proposals seeking to improve the lives of greater Pittsburgh’s most vulnerable people through food access or technology just clinched $10,000 apiece in prize money in the second annual UpPrize Social Innovation Challenge.” Read more

UPMC Teaming up with Microsoft for New Project
“Health care system UPMC is partnering with software giant Microsoft in a research and product development project, the latest collaboration between a major tech company and a Pittsburgh institution.” Read more

Report: Qatar Airways to add freight service to Pittsburgh
“Qatar Airways is expected to launch cargo service at Pittsburgh International Airport in March – twice-weekly service between Qatar’s capital Doha, Luxembourg, Atlanta and Pittsburgh.” 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.



March 7Huntington Breakfast Briefing: Chairman & CEO, PPG
The Pittsburgh Technology Council is pleased to present Michael H. McGarry, chairman and chief executive officer of PPG, for its Huntington Breakfast Briefing. Learn about Mr. McGarry’s plans to lead PPG into its next chapter of innovation. During his 35 years with PPG, he has served in a variety of key business and functional leadership roles in the United States, Europe and Asia. In recent years, he helped lead several strategic actions that have transformed PPG’s business portfolio. PPG has manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates in more than 60 countries around the globe and is the new brand of PPG Paints Arena. Held at Marriot City Center from 7:00 – 9:15 a.m.; cost to attend is $60 members, $185 for non-members.


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.


March 9VisionPIttsburgh Luncheon
Presented by the Business Times. VisionPittsburgh 2017 is a series of four exciting luncheons guaranteed to inspire, enlighten and inform you about the region’s most valuable commodity – the vision of its business leaders. Attend the first luncheon and join the discussion about the future of the Pittsburgh region with guest speaker Richard Harshman, chairman, president and CEO of Allegheny Technologies Incorporated. Held at the Duquesne Club from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., cost to attend is $65. Business Times subscribers receive a 10-percent discount through March 4th.


March 9City of Pittsburgh Women Business Enterprise (WBE) Contract Roadmap
Join the City of Pittsburgh’s Equal Opportunity Review Commission, Chatham University’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship and Chatham’s Women’s Business Center for a morning of networking with City of Pittsburgh procurement officers. The event will feature small-group networking and information sessions for women-owned business enterprises to learn how to access more City of Pittsburgh contracts. Refreshments will be available. Held at Chatham University’s Shadyside Campus from 8:00 – 11:00 a.m., this event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.


March 9PVCA Luncheon – ANSYS: Technology Success Helping Entrepreneurs
The Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association is pleased to host ANSYS for its March luncheon to talk technology successes and tips for the next generation of entrepreneurs. ANSYS Vice President of Marketing Mark Hindsbo – with over 20 years of experience in technology sales, marketing, business strategy, software development and physics – will review the growth of ANSYS in Pittsburgh and their innovative startup program providing simulation software to help entrepreneurs build the products of tomorrow. Held at the Fairmont Pittsburgh from 11:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., cost to attend is $55 for members, $115 for non-members.


March 10Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series: The Art of Resilience in Business and Life
Presented by Chatham University’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship. Adversity comes to everyone. What does it take to stand and keep moving through roadblocks? In this conversation, guest speaker Janera Solomon – executive director of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater – will share insights from her experience with artists and community producers about ways to reframe the problem, continue in the face of challenges, and rebuild after failure. Held at the James Laughlin Music Hall at Chatham University from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.; cost to attend is $25 per person, $12 for students and veterans.


March 14Community Power to Prosper Information Session
Presented by the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence. The Community Power to Prosper Program is designed to target existing inner city businesses that are interested in entrepreneurship and growth. The program aims to increase your revenue, profits and number of employees through a valuable six-month business education program. Topics include access to capital, financial management, market access, strategic planning, sales strategy and employee management. Call (412) 648-1544 or email to register.


March 16“Waterfronts That Work” Summit
Presented by the Green Building Alliance. The City of Pittsburgh’s “Waterfronts That Work” Summit is open to the public and provides a great opportunity to learn about and provide input into the Riverfront Zoning Amendment process, as well as to engage with leaders and innovators from cities across the country about issues related to waterfront development. Visit Pittsburgh Riverfront Zoning’s website for a list of confirmed speakers representing cities from across the country. The Summit is free to attend and will be held at the Carnegie Science Center from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.


March 16Winning the Talent War: Stephanie Doliveira, VP of HR,Sheetz
Join the Pittsburgh Technology Council as it hosts Sheetz’s VP of HR Stephanie Doliveira for the latest installment of Winning the Talent War series. Stephanie will discuss how Sheetz continues to be recognized as one of the best places to work in western Pennsylvania. She’ll also cover “the state of HR” from an executive’s perspective, the importance of an Employee Value Proposition and a few secrets from the Sheetz plan for winning (and keeping) great talent. Held at the Marriot City Center from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.; cost to attend is $55 for members, $175 for non-members. After March 10, cost to attend is $65 for members, $175 for non-members.


March 16WLI Advancing Leaders Negotiate
The Urban Land Institute’s Women’s Leadership Initiative presents the “2017 Advance Leaders Series.” This 2017 program offering is a unique training and events opportunity open both to men and women. This upcoming session, held at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., will focus on negotiations. Learn key negotiation techniques from top leaders in commercial real estate. Panelists include Andrea Geraghty, Meyer, Unkovic, & Scott; Lynn DeLorenzo, TarquinCoRE; Tamara Dudukovic, BNY Mellon; and Dusty Kirk, Reed Smith. For more information and pricing, click to download the printable event registration form and event flier.


March 16Defining the Key Financial Performance Metrics For Your Business with Bob Hogan
Presented by the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence (IEE). Experience the Entrepreneurial Fellows Class by attending this seminar designed to help you strengthen your business. Learn what every leader should be consistently measuring from the financial statements of your business provided by Bob Hogan, one of the IEE’s most in-demand speakers. From concept to implementation, Bob Hogan will address key performance measures within the balance sheet, income statement, statement of cash flows and the statement of retained earnings. Held at the Rivers Club from 7:30 – 10:30 a.m., cost to attend is $99 for members, $200 for non-members. For questions please call (412) 648-1544 or email at


March 17PowerBreakfast Meeting
Join the African American Chamber of Commerce for its March PowerBreakfast Meeting featuring the City of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. The Mayor will share his plans on his recent activity to ensure minority and small businesses are included in the city’s economic development plans and activities. Held at the One Oxford Center from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m., cost to attend is $20 for members, $30 for non-members.


March 22Women in Manufacturing Pittsburgh Chapter
Catalyst Connection invites you to join its first Women in Manufacturing Pittsburgh Chapter meeting of 2017. During the meeting, a roundtable discussion will focus on formalizing the chapter’s leadership and discuss regional needs and next steps. Held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Cranberry, PA and beginning at 3:00 p.m., networking will follow from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m., serving appetizers and a cash bar.


March 27-29Sixth Annual Operations Summit
The Operations Summit 2017 is the only event devoted exclusively to direct-to-customer (DTC) and omnichannel operations & fulfillment. Attend the 2.5-day conference and get access to unique content on key trends, how-to and lessons learned in warehousing, contact/call center, order management, pick, pack, packaging, shipping, returns/reverse logistics, inventory management, supply chain, global ecommerce, staffing, technology and more. Meet DTC and omnichannel operations industry leaders; learn about their innovative strategies on managing costs, increasing satisfaction and improving speed and productivity in their organization; and even tour some of their facilities. The conference will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Click here to learn about registration rates.


March 27-31Carnegie Mellon’s Energy Week
Interested in energy? Then Carnegie Mellon’s Energy Week is for you. This week-long celebration at Carnegie Mellon University’s Pittsburgh campus focuses on five themes: the future of energy, innovation, research, policy and education. The events throughout the week are open to everyone and most are free, but you must register soon. Register early so you don’t miss out this year! If you are a company or organization that is interested in sponsoring this event contact Anna Siefken. Visit to check out what’s in store.


March 31Steel City Codefest Kickoff
Steel City Codefest is a week-long, citywide app building event where coders, designers and innovation enthusiasts create solutions for local government agencies, citizens, and community organizations. Registration for participants is open, $10 for individuals and teams. Register today and join the kick-off event held at Alloy 26. Programming will begin at 4:30 p.m. followed by a work session from 6:30 p.m. – midnight. For nonparticipants, Steel City Codefest and Inclusive Innovation Week are teaming up on April 7 to bring you NextFest Pittsburgh – a fair of tech for social good in Pittsburgh. Join them as they close out Inclusive Innovation Week and celebrate the participants of Steel City Codefest with food, speakers and activities for all ages. This event is free to attend. Register here.


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 also feature a panel discussion moderated by Jeff Burd, founder, Tall Timber Group; discussing the strategy of 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 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 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.