PRA Post

PRA Post is the Pittsburgh Region’s Economic Development Newsletter

October 2016

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PRA Post October

The Future of Transportation — Uber’s Self-Driving Cars — Arrive in Pittsburgh

Uber’s self-driving cars have debuted in Pittsburgh, marking the first time semi-autonomous vehicles have been made available to the public in the U.S. The pilot allows randomly selected customers who are hailing an Uber ride to opt for a semi-autonomous vehicle for their trip. A test driver and co-pilot (by legal requirement) accompany the self-driving car to monitor and assess data and functionality and to override the autonomous controls if necessary.

With these tests, Uber is shifting gears to roll out a fleet of driverless vehicles. The debut comes just a year and a half after the company set up its Advanced Technologies Center (ATC) on the 42-acre section of the Almono site in the Hazelwood neighborhood of the city. Beginning this pilot program in the region, a place with a penchant for innovation and invention, is another signal to the world that Pittsburgh’s rolling out the red carpet to welcome future-focused businesses.

Read more

More Economic Development News


New York Life Doubling Office Space in Station Square, Increasing Staff 26 Percent
“New York Life’s general office and its subsidiary, Nylife Securities LLC, is increasing its space in Station Square from 12,297 square feet to 20,365 square feet to accommodate growth. The company expects to increase its employees by 26 percent.” Read more


New Jersey-Based NRG Energy to Build $61 Million Uptown District Energy Center
“New Jersey-based NRG Energy is taking the first steps toward building its $61 million Uptown District Energy Center, a next-generation power plant that leaders hope will spur development on the former Civic Arena site and in the Uptown corridor.” Read more


Point Park University’s $2.5 Million, 4,000 SF Center for Media Innovation Officially Opened its Doors
“With a grant from the Allegheny Foundation and six months of concentrated design work, the $2.5 million, 4,000-square-foot Center for Media Innovation at Point Park officially opened its doors to the public.” Read more


Phase I of the Mill 19 Redevelopment Project at Almono Site in Hazelwood Begins
“The redevelopment of the 178-acre Almono site in Hazelwood will kick off with the Mill 19 project – a future home to new tech start-ups and light manufacturing companies.” Read more


FedEx to Provide $5 Million Gift to Carnegie Science Center
“FedEx has pledged $5 million to the Carnegie Science Center for a campaign to more than double the center’s educational space; expand its science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programming; and increase its regional impact.” Read more


FAA Awards $2.1 Million Grant to Allegheny County Airport *scroll down
“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded a $2.1 million grant to the Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin to upgrade its fencing and install remote cameras and surveillance systems.” Read more


Strip District-Based Cotton Bureau Lands $500,000 Investment
“Cotton Bureau Inc., an online seller of limited edition graphic T-shirts located in Pittsburgh’s Strip District, has raised $500,000 from The company will use the capital for staffing and increased office space.” Read more


Pfizer Invests in University of Pittsburgh Biomedicine Spinout, Western Oncolytics
“Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. has taken a stake in a new University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) spinout company, the third Pitt biotech outfit in recent years to quickly spark investor interest.” Read more


Carnegie Mellon Receives $1 Million in Funding from Department of Energy for Battery Project
“Two Carnegie Mellon University professors – Venkat Viswanathan, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and Jay Whitacre, professor of engineering and public policy – received more than $1 million in funding for a project to study the risks of lithium-ion batteries.” Read more


Pittsburgh Receives $26,000 National League of Cities Grant to Boost Financial Inclusion
“Pittsburgh will receive $26,000 from the National League of Cities for its financial inclusion efforts. The funding will go to its Financial Inclusion Systems and City Leadership, led by community development organization Neighborhood Allies.” Read more


Oberg Industries and University of Pittsburgh’s Engineering School Create Additive Manufacturing Partnership
“Oberg Industries Inc. – which provides tooling for companies and manufacturers worldwide – and the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering recently announced its partnership to allow Oberg’s full-time employees to work at the School’s ANSYS Additive Manufacturing Research Laboratory to improve additive manufacturing production quality.” Read more


Pittsburgh Ranks High Among Recovered Housing Markets
“The value of Pittsburgh’s housing has increased more than 25 percent above pre-recession peaks, ranking the metro eighth in a new Home Price Recovery Index by the mortgage research website” Read more


Pittsburgh Recognized as Biophilic City
“The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens recently announced that Pittsburgh is named the newest Biophilic City, joining a network of cities committed to putting nature at the heart of growth, development, maintenance and infrastructure projects.” Read more


Carnegie Mellon University Tops List of InformationWeek’s College Programs in Cybersecurity
“Carnegie Mellon University was ranked number one by InformationWeek as having the top post-secondary education program specializing in cybersecurity for its close relationship with the CERT Coordination Center as well as its CyLab.” Read more


Enrollment of Women in Carnegie Mellon University’s Undergraduate Engineering and Computer Science Programs is above National Average
“Carnegie Mellon University is leading the charge towards eliminating the gender gap in STEM fields with nearly 50 percent of this year’s first-year undergraduates for the School of Computer Science and College of Engineering consisting of women, an increase from seven percent to now more than 48 percent within the span of a decade.” Read more


Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood Neighborhood is in Line to be the Next Best Thing
“With major economic and community development plans underway, the Hazelwood community and its leadership feel the neighborhood is on the move and is next in Pittsburgh to receive a significant investment of energy, capital and innovation.” Read more


Nova Place, Formerly Allegheny Center, is Transforming Pittsburgh’s North Side
“Faros Properties is investing more than $200 million to transform a one-time mall, two office towers, an underground garage and four apartment buildings on 30 acres in the heart of the North Side into a technology, innovation and entrepreneurship hub.” Read more


Riverside Center for Innovation Begins Program to Aid Small, Minority-Owned Construction Firms
“The Riverside Center for Innovation, a North Shore-based nonprofit small business incubator that provides entrepreneurial training, is recruiting businesses that compete for construction contracts – and often come up short.” Read more


Southern Airways Adds Service to Johnstown, Morgantown and DuBois
“Southern Airways – the Memphis, Tenn.-based regional carrier – will add flights to DuBois, Johnstown and Morgantown, W.Va., under its Essential Air Service program at Pittsburgh International Airport.” Read more


Pittsburgh International Airport Partners with Locally-Based Duolingo
“Local startup company Duolingo announced a partnership with Pittsburgh International Airport, providing passengers with free Wi-Fi throughout the airport.” 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.



October 5Corridors of Opportunity: Westmoreland County
Join the Pittsburgh Business Times as it continues its event series highlighting Pittsburgh’s most important growth corridors with a panel on developments and business opportunities in Westmoreland County. Panelists include: Robert J. Rogalski, Esq., CEO, Excela Health; Gina Cerilli, chair, Westmoreland County Commissioners; Linda Moss, president, PA operations, FirstEnergy; Vasu Pinapati, Project Director, engineering & construction, Tenaska. Held at the Ramada Greensburg from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.; cost to attend is $65.


October 6Joint PAACC & NAIOP Airport Area Development Breakfast
Join the Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber and NAIOP for its airport area development breakfast held at Crowne Plaza Pittsburgh from 7:30 – 10:00 a.m. Guest speakers include Denise Brinley, special assistant to the secretary/strategic initiatives at PA DCED; Jerry Bunda, CEO of Imperial Land Corporation; Christian Cassotis, CEO of Allegheny County Airport Authority; and William Hunt, president and CEO of Elmhurst Group. Cost to attend is $35 for members, $55 for non-members.


October 12PVCA Luncheon
Join the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association for a luncheon on “The Science of Growth: Understanding & Improving Startups Probability of Success.” For venture investors, it’s critical to evaluate a startup’s progress and metrics appropriately based on its stage of growth. Once an investment’s made, it’s also important to understand best practices to support portfolio companies at each stage. Sean’s case- based research resulting in his recently published first book, The Science of Growth, provides just such a framework for investors. Held at the Duquesne Club from 11:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.; cost to attend is $50 for members, $100 for non-members.


October 13Fayette – Greene Manufacturing Consortium
Fayette and Greene County manufacturers, supporters and partners are invited and encouraged to join Catalyst Connection at Hranec Sheet Metal, Inc. for a networking, plant tour and launch event for a Manufacturers’ Consortium. The purpose of the consortium will be to assess, enhance and accelerate local manufacturers’ participation in advanced manufacturing and expand their participation in additional supply chains such as shale gas, government sectors and foreign markets. Held at the Hranec Sheet Metal offices from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.; this event is free to attend. Registration begins at 4:30 p.m.


October 13White House Frontier Conference in Pittsburgh
Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh are partnering with the White House to host the first White House Frontiers Conference in Pittsburgh – a national convening of a number of the world’s leading innovators to explore the future of innovation and focus on subjects as varied as healthcare and building smart, inclusive communities. President Obama is expected to travel to Pittsburgh to speak at the event. The conference should provide an opportunity to continue to spread the word about what’s right about our region. Sign up to receive more information about the conference. Nominate someone working on the frontier of science, technology and innovation to attend.


October 14Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series
October 14 – 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 topic is “How to Put People to Sleep” featuring Dr. Wei-Shin Lai, MD, CEO of AcousticSheep.


October 15-16Maker Faire Pittsburgh
Maker Faire is the greatest show (& tell) on Earth – part science fair, part county fair and part something entirely new. Featuring technology, art, craft, electric vehicles, and other projects created by makers themselves, the Faire is a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker Movement. Explore innovative projects including student projects, robotics, fashion, 3D printers and CNC mills, textile arts and crafts, home energy monitoring, rockets and R/C toys, sustainability, green tech, radios, vintage computers and game systems, biology/biotech and chemistry projects, puppets, kites, bicycles, unusual tools or machines and more. Come to the Maker Faire – held at Buhl Community Park, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and Nova Place on the Northside from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. – and learn, play, be inspired and get a glimpse of the future. Click here to purchase tickets.


October 17Hire UP University Recruiting Event
Presented by the Pittsburgh Technology Council. Students from all regional colleges and universities will come together for a one-day only job fair. If your company is looking to recruit the next generation of top technology talent for part- and full-time positions or internships, you need to be at this recruiting event. Students studying information technology, engineering, traditional sciences and more will be in attendance. Space is limited, so please register today. This event will not feature traditional long banquet 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 Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., this event is free for job seekers. Recruiter registration is $399 for members, $599 for non-members. If you have questions about how to register contact Lindsey at


October 18The American Middle East Institute’s 9th Annual Business Conference
The American Middle East Institute’s 9th Annual Business Conference, at the Center for Connected Medicine, is a high-level gathering that will bring together dignitaries from Algeria, Egypt, Oman, Saudi Arabia and UAE with U.S. business leaders and decision makers. Emerging trends in health and technology will be showcased including telemedicine, bio-technology and precision medicine, chronic diseases, an annual energy update and a special panel on “Doing Business in the Middle East.” Use code “PRA” for a 25-percent discount off of your ticket. Your ticket to the daytime conference includes entrance to Dan Rather’s evening lecture, held at Carnegie Music Hall. For more information, VIP tickets and sponsorship opportunities please visit or call 412.995.0076.


October 20ULI Pittsburgh 4th Annual Placemaking Awards for Excellence
The Urban Land Institute in Pittsburgh is pleased to announce our 4th Annual Placemaking Awards for Excellence with 2016 special honoree: The Heinz Endowments and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. This fall awards event is ULI’s annual opportunity to formally recognize outstanding projects, achievements and leaders in Pittsburgh. Held at the Omni William Penn (Grand Ballroom) from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; cost to attend is $75 for members, $105 for non-members through September 15. Regular pricing beginning September 16 is $90 for members, $120 for non-members. For Table Sponsorships, view 2016 Sponsorship Opportunities. Commitments needed by October 1 to be included in the Event Program. Click to view the printable event registration form.


October 20Women in Energy Leadership Awards
The Pittsburgh Business Times presents the 2016 Women in Energy Leadership Awards. The awards ceremony will honor 26 women as leaders in the region’s energy sector, celebrating the hard work and dedication that these individuals have contributed to their industry. It will be a great opportunity to meet representatives of nearly every natural gas production company in the region. A complete list of award winners can be found here. Held at the Meadows Casino Event Center from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.; cost to attend is $140 per person. VIP tables with reserved seating are available.


October 21Washington County’s Breakfast Briefing
Join the Washington County Chamber of Commerce as it welcomes Jon Delano, Money & Politics editor at KDKA-TV, to its October Breakfast Briefing. Mr. Delano will discuss his thoughts and insights on the presidential race, Toomey vs. McGinty, down-ballot elections, as well as his experiences at election year conventions. Golf will be offered following the breakfast. Limited foursomes are available. Payment due at time of reservation. Reservations due Friday, October 14. Held at the Southpointe Golf Club from 7:45 – 9:00 a.m.; cost to attend is $40 for members, $50 for non-members. For members, breakfast and golf is $125 per person.


October 26AlphaLab Demo Day 2016
Save the Date. AlphaLab Demo Day will be held at the New Hazlett Theater on the Northside. On October 26. As one of Innovation Works’ top-ranked accelerators, AlphaLab has been the starting point for some of Pittsburgh’s fastest growing software startups. Come hear the exciting pitches first-hand and meet these new, high impact companies. More information to follow. An RSVP will be required as seating is limited.


October 27Beaver County’s Annual Meeting and Business of the Year Awards
Join the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce for its Annual Meeting & Business of the Year Awards at The Timberhouse at Rolling Acres from 5:30 – 9:00 p.m. The Chamber will recognize this year’s Business of the Year Awards recipients, as well as look over its 2016 Year in Review. Tickets are $45 per person. A discount for purchasing a table of 8 is available. For more information on discounts, sponsorships or to RSVP, contact the Chamber at or by calling 724.775.3944.


October 27NAIOP’s Annual “Night at the Fights”
Join NAIOP Pittsburgh for its 17th annual “Night at the Fights” held at the Omni William Penn Hotel. Cocktail and silent auction will begin at 5:15 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and boxing at 7:45 p.m. For sponsorship information or to register, call 412-928-8303 or visit


October 27Huntington Breakfast Briefing: President & CEO, Sheetz, Inc.
The Pittsburgh Technology Council is pleased to present Joe Sheetz, CEO of Sheetz, Inc. for its October Huntington Breakfast Briefing. Mr. Sheetz will discuss how technology innovation, workplace culture and giving back to the community have all contributed to the company’s massive success. Eat a hearty breakfast, network with the Pittsburgh tech community and learn what’s next for one of western Pennsylvania’s leading companies. Held at the Rivers Club from 7:00 – 9:15 a.m.; cost to attend is $55 for members, $175 for non-members before October 24 and $60 for members, $185 for non-members after October 24.


October 31Cyber Security Healthcare Symposium
The Cyburgh Initiative – a partnership with the CERT Division of the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University and the Pittsburgh Technology Council – is convening a session, the 2016 Cyber Security Healthcare Symposium, to address the current challenges in the areas of healthcare cybersecurity. This one-day event, through a series of presentations, panels, a demonstration and collaborative discussions will explore challenges and offer some ideas for a way forward. The symposium will bring together government, academic and private sector communities to share insights and catalyze new relationships. Held at the Jared L. Cohen University Center at Carnegie Mellon University from 8:15 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; cost to attend is $149 for members and non-members, $99 for students. Please note that the event is limited to 200 attendees and closed to media. Detailed agenda and information available here.


November 32016 Tech 50 Awards
Each year, the Pittsburgh Technology Council celebrates the most successful and innovative companies in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Now in its 20th year, this is your annual opportunity to connect with leaders in health IT, life sciences, manufacturing, consumer products, consulting services and other innovative technologies. Cocktails, dinner and networking round out the night to make this a must-attend event for your team. At Tech 50 you will celebrate current innovation in Pittsburgh, look back on how technology has changed in the past 20 years, get a sneak peek at what’s next, network with Pittsburgh’s movers and shakers and meet your next business connection. The event, including an innovation showcase, dinner and awards ceremony and a networking reception, will be held at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown from 4:00 – 9:00 p.m. Early bird registration rates are available. Click here for more details.


November 9Additive Manufacturing Conference
Catalyst Connection’s Additive Manufacturing (AM) Conference for Small Manufacturers brings together regional manufacturers, subject matter experts and service providers to share information and lessons learned on how AM technology is being used in product design and manufacturing. At the AM Conference, attendees will learn about current manufacturing applications of AM and hear how manufacturers are using this technology to gain competitive advantage. In addition, manufacturers will share their insights about how they began using AM and how they made the business case for adding AM equipment. Held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Pittsburgh Cranberry from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; cost to attend is $99 before October 9th, after that date its $125.