PRA Post

PRA Post is the Pittsburgh Region’s Economic Development Newsletter

October 2018

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PRA Post October 2018 Philadelphia-based Retailer URBN to Build New Indiana Facility

Philadelphia-based Retailer URBN to Build New Indiana County Facility, Plans to add 225 Jobs

International retailer Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN) – Philadelphia-based parent company of Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, BHLDN, Terrain and the Vetri Family – recently announced its expansion in Indiana County with plans to build a new, 836,000-square-foot fulfillment center at the Windy Ridge Business & Technology Park. The company’s $30 million investment includes 225 new jobs, which is the most jobs created by a single Indiana County employer in more than five decades. The center will serve as a major point in the eastern U.S. pipeline between suppliers and the consumers and retail outlets for URBN’s family of brands. The launch is a result of a year of negotiations between URBN and the Indiana County economic development team.

“[W]hat brings us here is really simple: It’s the people, the quality of the people, the university, IUP is a big factor,” said David Ziel, chief development officer for URBN. “I’ve spent time with the president of the university and, quite candidly, over all these visits, I’ve grown fond of the people you have here, too, and I think you’ve got a resilient workforce.”

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Oracle to Move into New Office at Nova Place
“Oracle Corporation, the global tech firm with 137,000 employees and a market capitalization of $197.9 billion, is slated to move into Tower Two at Nova Place.” Read more

New Tepper Building Part of Ongoing Building Boom at CMU
“Measuring 315,000 square feet, the new Tepper Quad business school building would seem worthy to rank as a capstone development for Carnegie Mellon University.” Read more

Western Pennsylvania School for Deaf Plans $2 Million Expansion to Help Younger Children
“The children’s center is expanding to keep pace with steadily increasing enrollment. The $2 million construction project will start in October and should be completed by spring.” Read more

412 Food Rescue Looks to Grow and Share its Tech Nationwide
“Since its beginnings in Braddock in 2015, 412 Food Rescue has saved 3 million pounds of excess foods and distributed it to its partner organizations around the region. 412 Food Rescue now works with more than 600 charity groups spread across seven counties, including Westmoreland, Butler, Fayette, and of course Allegheny.” Read more

Blue Lagoon Planned for Pittsburgh’s North Side
“Millcraft Investments say they have reached a deal to build a man-made lagoon on the North Side, west of the West End Bridge.” Read more

Pittsburgh Planning Commission Approves New Plan for Hazelwood Green
“Almono Partners LP has the approval it needs for its ‘playbook’ to build out Hazelwood Green, the long-awaited redevelopment of the 178-acre brownfield redevelopment.” Read more

First Look: Point Park University Raises the Curtains on the New Pittsburgh Playhouse
“After decades of the facility operating in Oakland, Point Park University invested $60 million to build the new facility, featuring the 550-seat PNC Theatre among a collection of other smaller theaters and performance amenities expected to launch the university’s performing arts programs into the digital age.” Read more

Water Company Forges Ahead with New Plant
“A $50 million construction project undertaken by the Pennsylvania-American Water Co. will provide public water to about 30,000 residents in Lawrence County, Beaver County and parts of Butler County.” Read more

Last Sections of the Southern Beltway: Over, Under, Around and Through
“The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approved a $23.6 million contract last month with Independence Excavating of Cleveland for the work, which is expected to begin in October and take a year to complete.” Read more

Children’s Museum Begins Final Phase of Construction on Museumlab
“The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh has entered the final phase of construction on their museum lab wing, a new space dedicated to applying the practical displays and workshops of the museum to the daily needs of intermediate education.” Read more

Knight Foundation Commits $5.25 Million toward Self-Driving Car Projects
“Pittsburgh will share $5.25 million from the Knight Foundation with four other cities for self-driving car projects.” Read more

Carnegie Mellon, Pitt Awarded $3.8 Million Grant to Diagnose Suicidal Thinking
“The National Institute of Mental Health has awarded a $3.8 million grant to researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh to diagnose suicidal thinking using brain imaging.” Read more

A Pittsburgh Nonprofit is Creating Over-the-Counter Overdose Antidote
“The maker of OxyContin is giving more than $3 million to a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit to expedite the development of an over-the-counter form of the naloxone nasal spray, the so-called overdose antidote.” Read more

Impact Fee Funds $2.4 Million in Projects in Allegheny, Westmoreland Counties
“The Wolf administration announced 123 projects, totaling $16.2 million, across the state receiving impact fee funding. In Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, the Commonwealth Financing Authority approved projects totaling $2.4 million — $1.8 million for Allegheny County and $554,786 for Westmoreland County.” Read more

$1 Million Grant to Jefferson Hospital will Address Social Determinants of Health in ER Visits
“A $1 million grant from the Jefferson Regional Foundation to Allegheny Health Network’s Jefferson Hospital will help address these [homelessness, addiction and not having enough food to eat] and other ‘social determinants of health’ for patients who visit the hospital’s emergency department.” Read more

Rostraver Airport to Receive Funding for Taxiway
“In Westmoreland County, Rostraver Airport is receiving a grant of $657,162 for a taxiway rehabilitation project.” Read more

Thread Reaches Kickstarter Goal and Hopes to Evolve into Bigger Company
“Ian Rosenberger [Thread’s CEO] announced that Thread’s Kickstarter campaign to sell A Better Backpack raised $410,000 in its first 30 days, destroying its original $50,000 goal.” Read more

Duquesne Participating in Woodrow Wilson Foundation’s New Initiative
“Duquesne [University] will receive a $400,000 grant to develop teacher preparation programs based on standards set by the foundation.” Read more

Psychology Faculty Receive Grant to Study Biases in Forensic Experts
“A pair of faculty members at Indiana University of Pennsylvania recently received a $334,787 grant from the National Science Foundation to study biases in opinions relating to the testimony of experts in forensic psychology cases.” Read more

$300,000 in Grants Approved for Area Water, Sewer Projects
“The Commonwealth Financing Authority awarded $300,000 in Small Water & Sewer Program grants for two projects in Indiana County, one in Center Township, the other in White Township.” Read more

New Technology Programs Enhance Learning at Duquesne School
“The program [Codes and Bots] was made possible through a $16,500 grant provided by the Grable Foundation and the Hillman Foundation.” Read more

Behind the Curtain: Point Park Dance Ranks No. 5 on Annual OnStage List
“Point Park ranked No. 5, one spot behind New York City’s prestigious Juilliard School.” Read more

Two Pittsburgh Restaurants Ranked Among Nation’s Most Scenic
“Two Pittsburgh restaurants have been ranked among the most 100 scenic restaurants in the country, and unsurprisingly they both are located in the neighborhood offering the most spectacular views of the city: Mt. Washington.” Read more

Information Technology is the “IT” Industry in Pittsburgh
“The most recent Business Investment Scorecard, compiled by the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, an affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, indicated that IT/Robotics topped the charts as the most active sector for deals among the region’s key sectors in 2017.” Read more

Local Counties Rank in Top Third in Visitor Spending in State
“Visitor spending of $721.3 million in Westmoreland County and $661.8 million in both Fayette and Washington counties in 2016 landed counties in our region into the top third of all Pennsylvania counties, according to a recent state tourism report.” Read more

Duolingo Creator Luis von Ahn Awarded U.S.’s Largest Cash Prize for Invention
“Luis von Ahn — CEO and founder Duolingo and CMU professor — has been awarded the largest cash prize for invention in the U.S.” Read more

Lawrenceville is One of Nation’s Fastest Growing Millennial Neighborhoods
“According to census data compiled by apartment rental site RENTCafé, the 15201 zip code, which encompasses Lawrenceville and Stanton Heights, saw the sharpest increase in millennial residents of any zip code in Pennsylvania.” Read more

IUP Recognized by Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Ranking
“IUP ranked in the top 20 percent of all institutions for engagement, which includes a measurement of student engagement, student recommendations, student interaction and breadth of opportunities for involvement.” Read more

Patented in Pittsburgh
“Between 2005 and 2015, PPG was awarded 583 patents, the most in the Pittsburgh region, and certainly enough to warrant the structure PPG has crafted to protect its secrets until it has the force of a U.S. patent seal.” Read more

Pittsburgh International Airport Ranks ”Better than Most” In Passenger Satisfaction
“The Pittsburgh International Airport is ‘better than most’ other medium-sized airports when it comes to passenger satisfaction, according to a new study by J.D. Power.” Read more


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




October 2Pittsburgh Chemical Day
Pittsburgh Chemical Day is back! This is the premier event in the Pittsburgh region to network with professionals in the chemical, plastics and downstream manufacturing industries. The day will highlight Pittsburgh as a chemical industry center and to provide a premier, one-day forum for idea sharing and for insight into current key issues affecting the chemical industry. Those who should attend include sales, marketing, purchasing and other industry professionals. For more information and registration details, visit the Pittsburgh Chemical Day website.


October 5Cyber Security Seminar
Increased awareness and training will protect you and your company from cyber threats. IUP, S&T Bank and InfraGard Pittsburgh Members Alliance will be partnering once again to bring this program to the region. This year’s event will be expanded to include technical and non-technical tracks. For more information, visit the website.


October 17THINC30 2018
Hosted by Covestro, the THINC30 summit aims to explore how the Pittsburgh region can leverage a purpose-driven approach to introduce and accelerate sustainable business development, public-private partnerships and social innovation in Pittsburgh. The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (U.N. SDGs) provide a framework for “achieving sustainable development in its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental – in a balanced and integrated manner” by 2030. Like last year, this year’s summit will bring together some of the country’s and region’s leading thinkers and doers on how businesses, organizations and individuals are forging partnerships to create sustainable, thriving, inclusive communities. This year’s theme is Putting Purpose to Work in Pittsburgh: Integrating the UNSDGs in Thought and Action. Read more about the summit, including how to register, on the website.


October 21-24Rail~Volution
For over 20 years, Rail~Volution has been the place to engage in thoughtful discussions with change makers and influencers, the place to share ideas and breakthroughs, frustrations and inspiration, about building livable communities with transit. We provide learning opportunities to equip you with best practices. We connect and expand your network with leaders in the public transportation, transit-oriented development, placemaking and community development fields. We envision America’s cities and regions transformed into livable places – healthy, economically vibrant, socially equitable and environmentally sustainable – where people have transportation choices. The conference in Pittsburgh will provide 20 mobile workshops, an opening reception and a half-day regional session. Read more about the conference and sessions, including how to register, on the website.


October 23-24TransTech Energy Business Development Conference
The Annual TTE Business Development Conferences provide a venue for TTE start-ups and commercializable projects from universities, national labs, private companies, and other innovation/entrepreneurial centers to make pitches for funding to panels of investors and industry experts. The goal is creation of new businesses and jobs in our region. The TTE conferences, hosted by the TransTech Energy Research & Business Development Program of the WVU National Research Center for Coal and Energy, generate interest and excitement in the community for research-based innovative technologies and raise expectations among the general public for creation of start-up companies and new jobs based on research from universities and national labs. For more information, visit the website.


October 23-25Shale Insight
Celebrate the eighth annual Shale Insight Conference on October 23-25, 2018 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Attend to connect and network with the nation’s foremost leaders in shale development and public policy. Visit with decision makers from the industries largest shale developers and supply chain companies showcasing their capabilities and technologies. Shale Insight will provide unprecedented access to timely national keynote presentations, executive and expert panel discussions, innovative technical and public affairs sessions, and a unique exhibit hall including new networking lounges featuring the major shale players. View the event registration rates and register on the conference’s website.


October 25Tech 50
Annually, the Pittsburgh Technology Council and its member companies celebrate the most successful and innovative area companies by honoring the Tech 50. Now in its 22nd year, this is your opportunity to recognize and celebrate the successful and impactful technology companies of the Pittsburgh region. For more information and tickets, visit the website.


November 9-152018: ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE)
IMECE plays a significant role in stimulating innovation from basic discovery to translational application. It fosters new collaborations that engage stakeholders and partners not only from academia, but also from national laboratories, industry, research settings, and funding bodies. Among the nearly 3,000 attendees from over 75 countries include mechanical engineers in acoustics, vibration, and photonics; advanced manufacturing; advances in aerospace technology; biomedical & biotechnology engineering; design, reliability, safety, and risk; dynamics, vibration, and control, engineering education; energy; fluids engineering; heat transfer and thermal engineering; materials: genetics to structures; mechanics of solids, structures and fluids; and micro- and nano-systems engineering and packaging. There will be a total of 472 technical sessions; 75 undergraduate student poster sessions; 267 poster sessions; plenary track and honorary presentations as well as an Opening Keynote Event Speaker, Closing Plenary Lunch Speaker; and several Plenary and Honorary talk presentations in addition to the Exhibit Hall, 4 Technical Tours, 2 Spouse/Guest tours, and many networking opportunities. There are still a few remaining Sponsor and Exhibitor opportunities in our Career Fair Avenue, University Recruitment/Hiring/Graduate Avenue, and Publishers Corner. To learn more about these opportunities, contact Joyce J. Ginsburg at or 773-458-2153. For more information about the conference, please visit the website.


May 10, 2019 Nominations Open: Carnegie Science Awards
Each year, Carnegie Science Center honors and celebrates inspiring science and technology innovators whose achievements have led to significant economic or societal benefit in the region and inspire the next generation of innovators. The Carnegie Science Awards have honored the accomplishments of more than 575 individuals and organizations whose contributions in the fields of science, technology and education have impacted our region’s industrial, academic and environmental vitality. Nominations for the 2019 Carnegie Science Awards, presented by Eaton, are now open and close Nov. 30, 2018. All awardees will be honored at the Carnegie Science Awards Celebration on May 10, 2019. For more information, visit the website.