PRA Post

PRA Post is the Pittsburgh Region’s Economic Development Newsletter

September 2018

View Event Schedule | View Job Opportunities | Sign-up to receive the PRA Post | View Archives

Pittsburgh is the 2nd Most Livable City in the U.S.

Pittsburgh is the 2nd Most Livable City in the U.S.

Pittsburgh is the second most livable city in America according to the Global Liveability Index 2018, an annual report by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The report ranks livability based on living conditions such as stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. Each city is assigned a relative comfort rating based on these conditions. Pittsburgh’s ratings were 92.1 overall, 90 for stability, 91.7 for healthcare, 87.7 for culture and environment, 100 for education and 96.4 for infrastructure.

Pittsburgh was only four points behind Honolulu on the U.S. list, and the region finished ahead of Washington, D.C., Chicago and Atlanta, not to mention the rest of America. Pittsburgh placed 32nd among global cities.

Pittsburgh has an impressive history of garnering attention as a high-quality city. Since 2000, The Economist, Forbes and Places Rated Almanac have named Pittsburgh as most livable. According to VisitPittsburgh, the region has landed on more than 200 “best” lists including “40 Prettiest Cities in the World” (Huffington Post), “Most Entrepreneurial City in the America” (Inc.), “Most Livable City in America” (Forbes) and “Best Places in the World to Visit” (National Geographic).

Read More


Nuvo Opening 90,000-SF Facility in Cranberry
“Winter Park, Florida-based Nuvo Development LLC has been granted approvals by Cranberry Township to build a 90,000-square-foot storage facility on Route 19.” Read more

Gecko Robotics in Fast Climb to Larger Office
“With an investment of $7 million from a variety of sources, Pittsburgh-based robotics developer, Gecko Robotics, has announced that they are relocating to accommodate the company’s rapid growth and expansion.” Read more

As Downtown Population Grows, Allegheny Health Network Opens New Medical Center
“Highmark Health and Allegheny Health Network officials announced the opening of what they believe is the only Downtown-based medical facility offering primary care, physical therapy and other health services.” Read more

Thread International Moves to Homewood, Employs Locals and Launches Its Own Line of Recycled Backpacks
“The Pittsburgh-based clothing company Thread International has a new line of backpacks with a story as good as their style; like all of Thread’s products, the backpacks were once plastic bottles clogging the streets of Central America.” Read more

InnovatePGH launches Pittsburgh Innovation District
“InnovatePGH officially launched the Pittsburgh Innovation District. The innovation district will aim to bring the city’s innovation assets together into a unified and well-positioned brand that will help to attract other companies to the region.” Read more

$78 Million Invested as Innovation Works Celebrates 20 Years
“Innovation Works has been providing early-stage investment to young Pittsburgh startup companies for 20 years. Now based in the North Side’s Nova Place, Innovation Works has worked with more than 1,000 companies.” Read more

Alaska Airlines Begins Nonstop Service Between Seattle and Pittsburgh
“Alaska Airlines announced that it will begin nonstop, daily service between Seattle and Pittsburgh. This new service is currently the only nonstop flight offered from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT).” Read more

Pittsburgh International Airport Receives First Nonstop Charter Flight From China
“The first nonstop commercial flight from Shanghai to Pittsburgh landed, bringing hundreds of tourists to the area.” Read more

PIT Service to San Francisco, West Palm Beach Expanded
“Pittsburgh International Airport will soon offer expanded service to San Francisco and West Palm Beach, Fla.” Read more

Beaver County Site Near Pa. Turnpike Chosen for Mount Airy Mini-Casino
“Taking advantage of Pennsylvania’s gambling expansion contained in October 2017 legislation, Mount Airy Casino Resort will locate its Western Pennsylvania mini-casino just off a Pennsylvania Turnpike exit in northern Beaver County.” Read more

Construction About to Start on New $35 Million Medical Center in McCandless Crossing
“A new medical center is slated to be built in McCandless. The six-acre parcel of land at Duncan Avenue and McKnight Road will soon be the site of a $35 million neighborhood hospital.” Read more

Ground Broken on New Wexford Hospital, One Focus to Be on Women’s Health
“A groundbreaking ceremony was held for a new hospital that will bring a wide range of services to the North Hills. Allegheny Health Network’s Wexford Hospital will offer, among other things, labor and delivery services. The start of construction comes after three years of research.” Read more

PA Awards $1.5 Million for Site Development in Washington County
“The former Brockway Glass plant in Washington County, closed since the late 1980s, was awarded a $1.5 million grant from Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.” Read more

Developer Gets $1 Million to Proceed With Long-Dormant Cool Valley Project
“The office of Gov. Tom Wolf announced T&R Properties Inc. has been awarded a $1 million grant to begin construction.” Read more

Pittsburgh to Receive Over $30 Million in Redevelopment Grants
“Local resources and institutions like Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead and Allegheny General Hospital are set to receive millions of dollars in funding as part of the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.” Read more

Funding Will Allow Expansion of Alice Paul House
“The Alice Paul House in White Township will get $1.75 million in state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funding that will allow it to triple its size and expand its staff and number of shelter beds.” Read more

NASA Grants Astrobotic $10 Million for Lunar Landing Research
“Astrobotic, based in the Strip District, will use $10 million from NASA and work in a public-private partnership with the government agency to develop a sensor for precise lunar landings.” Read more

Monaca Gets $3 Million for Gateway Project to Ethane Cracker
“Monaca is getting $3 million to help smooth the way for construction and other vehicles around the petrochemical plant that Royal Dutch Shell is building in Beaver County.” Read more

Authority OKs $2 Million in Improvements at Unity, Rostraver Airports
“The Westmoreland County Airport Authority on Tuesday awarded contracts for about $2 million in capital improvements at the Arnold Palmer Regional and Rostraver airports.” Read more

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Awarded $1.9 Million to Keep Bridges [Supercomputer] Alive
“The National Science Foundation awarded another $1.9 million to keep Bridges alive until 2020.” Read more

McAuley Ministries Awards $1.7 Million in Grants to 16 Pittsburgh Nonprofits
“McAuley Ministries, Pittsburgh Mercy’s grantmaking foundation, announced it is awarding $1.7 million in grants to 16 Pittsburgh nonprofit organizations.” Read more

$1.7 Million in Funds to Aid Business Park
“A total of $1.7 million in state funding for infrastructure improvements will enhance traffic flow to the Windy Ridge Business and Technology Park in White Township.” Read more

Saint Vincent College Snares $1 Million for Library Renovations
“A state grant program has awarded $1 million to Saint Vincent College to help underwrite a $19 million library renovation project on its Unity campus.” Read more

Pitt to Receive $750K in Energy-Related Funding
“The University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering is sharing in $8.8 million in funding for innovations in fossil energy power systems.” Read more

Indiana County Space Simulator, WCCC Branch Expansion Get $750K Boost
“A $750,000 state grant is expected to provide a major boost to plans for a regional space mission simulator and an expanded branch of Westmoreland County Community College in Indiana County.” Read more

Southwestern Pa. Health Centers Receive $700K in Federal Grants
“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced $3.47 million in grant awards to 42 health centers in Pennsylvania. Of those, the seven that operate locations in the Pittsburgh region received about $704,000.” Read more

CCBC Receives $500K Grant for Process Technology Program
“The Community College of Beaver County announced a National Science Foundation grant to change the format of its process technology program, whose graduates will have skills necessary to work at Shell’s ethane crack plant.” Read more

$500K Awarded for Creation of New Business Park in Uniontown
“A new business park in Uniontown will be built with the help of $500,000 in state grant funding. The Fayette County Park could be home to more than 45 businesses and 1,000 jobs.” Read more

2 Pittsburgh Companies Rank High on LinkedIn’s Top Startups List
“Two self-driving car companies in Pittsburgh cracked the top 20 of LinkedIn’s ranking of top startups in the United States.” Read more

UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside Named to Top Hospitals List
“UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside was named among the top 15 hospitals in the country by U.S. News and World Report.” Read more

Thirty Local Companies Make Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing List
“One company from the Pittsburgh region stands out on the Inc. 5000 list, which measures the fastest-growing companies across the country.” Read more

Lawrenceville Named Among America’s ’Coolest Hipster Neighborhoods
“How nice of TripAdvisor to name Lawrenceville among the 14 ‘coolest hipster neighborhoods’ in America.” Read more

The ’Burgh Makes Another Ratings Splash
“The Trust for Public Land has just announced its annual ranking of parks in the nation’s 100 largest cities and has ranked Pittsburgh No. 6.” Read more

Pennsylvania: The Key to Opportunity
“Many companies are committing to adding jobs in the nation’s fifth most populous state, a hub of educated talent and innovation.” Read more

Economic Activity Surges in IT/Robotics Sector
“In 1999, the Wall Street Journal gave the Steel City a new nickname — Roboburgh — and since then Pittsburgh has simply been waiting for that title to gain some traction.” Read more

The Tiny Trade-School Ivy Outperforming Top Four-Year Colleges
“Landing at No. 1 on Forbes’ second annual list of the nation’s Top Two-Year Trade Schools—our ranking takes into account factors like academics, postgrad salary and debt load—PIA is a 370-student gem.” Read more

Pitt Sets New High for Startups in 2018
“The University of Pittsburgh set a new record for startups created, tallying 23 for the 2018 fiscal year.” 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.




September 19-21Thrival Festival
Join us in Pittsburgh on September 19-21, 2018 for the sixth annual Thrival Festival, where we will continue to explore “Humans X Tech” – the evolving relationship between humans and technology – through this year’s theme: LIFE.CODE. This unique conference experience will take place across multiple historic sites in Pittsburgh, drawing on the city’s strengths in automated systems, advanced manufacturing, robotics, and life sciences, to convene cross-sector dialogue around the impact that these fast-developing technologies will have on society, business, and culture. View the registration and event website for more information on the various events.


September 202nd Annual Appalachian Regional Conference
Join us in Pittsburgh on September 20th for the second annual Appalachian Regional Conference, hosted by the Appalachian Basin GPA Midstream (ABGPA Midstream), a professional organization committed to serving as a forum for exchanging ideas and knowledge related to the midstream industry and providing opportunities for social interaction with others involved in the industry in the local Appalachian region. ABGPA Midstream is putting together a lineup of speakers to discuss both market-related and technical topics. The keynote speaker will be Charlie Batch, former NFL quarterback turned tech entrepreneur, media personality/color analyst, community advocate and professional speaker. For more information and registration details, visit the website.


September 20CEIR Implicit Bias Training
Join the Corporate Equity and Inclusion Roundtable for its Implicit Bias Training, which will cover how implicit bias affects decision making in our everyday lives and how we can consciously transform our thoughts to be fair and equitable. Learn more here.


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 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 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.


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.