PRA Post

PRA Post is the Pittsburgh Region’s Economic Development Newsletter

May 2018

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EQS Expanding, Investing & Creating Jobs in the Pittsburgh Region

A $60 million expansion project by EQS means that, very soon, the sky will be the limit for the specialty steelmaker based in Lawrence County.

EQS – a supplier of engineered, heavy metal components to customers all over the world – broke ground on a 110,000-square-foot facility that, according to CEO Dave Barensfeld, will “help our product mix transition into more technical, more aerospace and more aircraft-oriented application.” EQS officials noted the new facility will help EQS perform extra processing steps itself instead of using outside companies for industries like aerospace, power generation and oil and gas.

President Mike Morgus brought the high-flying news back to earth. “The next person in this room who files on a Boeing airplane,” he said at the ground-breaking ceremony, “will probably be landing on aircraft gear made of EQS steel.” The new EQS facility, Morgus said, is expected to initially add 25 jobs to the 700 that already exist in the company’s New Castle, Ellwood City and Wilmington Township locations. Plus, he said, “we believe that will grow substantially from there.”

Local officials couldn’t help but be excited by the news.

“We have a significant investment, $60 million, here within New Castle and the creation of the 25 jobs are certainly important,” noted Linda Nitch, economic development director for the Lawrence County Regional Chamber of Commerce. “More important is the fact that it supports the 700 jobs that will be retained throughout the county and that we are exporting all of the products that they create here, and importing fresh dollars. That’s how you grow your local economy.”

Read more


Self-Driving Car Firm Aurora Innovation Expanding
“Aurora will expand its Pittsburgh presence, moving into a new office of about 40,000 square feet in Lawrenceville’s Tech Forge. Once it relocates, the company will have more than 200 people working for it.” Read more

Learn More about Our Region’s Robotics Sector

Kenson Plastics Expanding to 70,000 SF Building
“A Butler County-based company, Kenson Plastics, has entered into a lease to occupy a 70,000-square-foot building in Chippewa, which is owned by the Beaver County Corporation for Economic Development. The business, which employs about 65 people, makes plastics for the aerospace, mass transit and medical industries, among others.” Read more

Learn More about Plastics in the Pittsburgh Region

Steelite Breaks Ground on 52,000 SF Expansion in Lawrence County
“The 52,000-square-foot expansion to its distribution facility doubles Steelite’s current warehouse space and will feature additional loading and receiving docks for shipping. Eventually, the new facility, which is part of a multi-million-dollar investment that includes an office renovation and one other project, will also provide areas for some light manufacturing and finishing processes.” Read more

Pitt Opening Advanced Surgical Tech Center to Test New Devices
“Pittsburgh Creates is a new, $2.4 million, 10,000-square-foot surgical technologies center on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh in Oakland.” Read more

Pittsburgh Tech Companies Received $45 Million in Q1
“Some 13 Pittsburgh tech companies received a combined $45 million from venture capitalists, economic development entities, corporations and high-net-worth individuals during Q1 2018.” Read more

Vorys Adds 12 in Pittsburgh
“Law firm Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP added a team of 12, including 10 intellectual property lawyers, to its Pittsburgh office.” Read more

Investment Firm, Coury, Poised to Hire in Pittsburgh
“The Coury Firm employs 30 and has $925 million in assets under advisory. It aims to hire at least seven in Pittsburgh.” Read more

Thread Expanding, Growing in Homewood
“Thread is spinning in a new direction. The young company, which creates fabric from trash and counts Timberland and Reebok as customers, has moved to new space in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood and is increasing staff as it develops its own products for the first time. The initiative is being funded by $1.5 million from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, said Thread CEO Ian Rosenberger.” Read more

Uniontown Hospital Receiving $3 Million Upgrade
“Renovations include adding wood laminate flooring, walls with natural, calming colors and framed photographs of the Laurel Highlands throughout the hospital as well as signage that is well-placed and easy to read. The parking lot is landscaped with boulders and mountain laurel.” Read more

Two New Small Business Development Offices Open in Lawrence County
“The Lawrence County Regional Chamber of Commerce will be the headquarters of two new agencies whose purposes are to spur the development of small businesses: the Duquesne University’s Small Business Development Center and SCORE Youngstown.” Read more

Tree Pittsburgh Plans $2.6 Million Campus
“Tree Pittsburgh has branched out to a spot along the Allegheny River in Upper Lawrenceville where it is building a $2.6 million solar-powered campus that includes an education center and large nursery.” Read more

Excela Health to Hire 40 for Call Center
“Excela Health plans to hire 40 employees at its call center operation in Hempfield, including 10 with clinical experience to help patients find the appropriate provider.” Read more

United Expanding Service from Pittsburgh to San Francisco
“For the second time this year, United Airlines is beefing up its service to San Francisco from Pittsburgh International Airport. One nonstop flight that has been operating about 10 months out of the year now will be year-round.” Read more

OneJet Adds Flights to West Palm Beach
“OneJet announced it would begin flights from Pittsburgh International Airport to West Palm Beach International Airport. The air transportation network flights to and from Florida will fly four days a week — Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.” Read more

Allegiant Air Launches Nonstop Flights to Charleston and Sarasota/Bradenton
“Allegiant Air said it is launching new nonstop flights from Pittsburgh International Airport to Charleston, South Carolina, and Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida. The route to Charleston International Airport will be seasonal. Service to Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport will be offered year-round.” Read more

Passenger Traffic Up Nearly 12 Percent at PIT
“Pittsburgh International Airport saw a nearly 12-percent passenger increase in February. Total passengers were up 11.8 percent for the month and up 10.2 percent year-to-date, the busiest February since 2008.” Read more

CMU Inks Deal with PIT to Create Smartest Airport on the Planet
“Carnegie Mellon University is partnering on a bid to make Pittsburgh International Airport ‘the smartest airport on the planet.’ The ultimate goal is to use sensors, apps and other smart technology to help travelers navigate their way with unprecedented ease — from finding a space in the parking lot to perhaps even getting an exact time to arrive at the security checkpoint.” Read more

CMU and Sony Announce R&D Partnership
“Sony and Carnegie Mellon University are collaborating on the next generation of robotics. The two will work on a new research and development project focused on robots for food preparation, cooking and delivery. But they intend for the work to reach far beyond the kitchen or dining room table.” Read more

Founders Institute Launches Pittsburgh Chapter
“The Founder Institute is an international company headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with chapters worldwide in 60 countries. It provides guidance and networking so that selected entrepreneurs can develop their own products and create startup companies. The Pittsburgh chapter recently launched.” Read more

Chicago Company Investing $10 Million in Vacant Canonsburg Building
“T2 Capital Management purchased the former Fort Pitt Bridge Works building in the Fort Pitt Industrial Park and already has begun construction at the 130,583-square-foot building, which will soon be known as the Canonsburg Distribution Center.” Read more

Work Begins on Greene County Airport Business Park
“Work to develop a business park at Greene County Airport was restarted in April as plans move forward to complete the entire project by August.” Read more

Construction Begins on New Sewickley Compressor Station
“Construction began on a second natural gas compressor station in New Sewickley. Energy Transfer Partners is building a 100-mile pipeline, which runs through Beaver County, that will transmit gas extracted from Marcellus shale wells in the county to a processing plant planned for Washington County.” Read more

Highmark Makes $25 Million Grant to Penn State Health
“Highmark has made a $25 million grant to Penn State Health to expand cancer research, improve access to drug trials for patients and to develop new medicines.” Read more

Indiana University of Pennsylvania Receives $23 Million Gift
“Indiana University of Pennsylvania announced the largest gift in the history of the university, given by an alumni couple. John and Char Kopchick of Athens, Ohio, will contribute $23 million to science and mathematics initiatives at the university.” Read more

Robert Morris to Receive $7 Million in Grants
“Robert Morris University will receive more than $7 million in grants, including $5 million for the John Jay Center of the School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science from the Richard King Mellon Foundation and another $2 million from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.” Read more

California University of Pennsylvania Receives $4.2 Million Gift, Largest in History
“California University of Pennsylvania announced the largest gift in its history, a $4.2 million donation from a couple for whom a new early childhood education institute will be named.” Read more

RE2 Robotics to Develop Tech for Air Force
“A Pittsburgh robotics company won a $2.9 million contract with the Air Force to create technology to quickly transform traditional construction equipment into robots. RE2 Robotics, based in Lawrenceville, will develop a robotic kit that can be dropped into existing, human-driven vehicles and allow them to be operated remotely.” Read more

University of Pittsburgh Gets $2 Million for an Incubation Space and Mentorship Hub
“Pitt trustee Bob Randall announced that the university will soon open the Big Idea Center, a physical incubation space and hub for mentorship. The Randall family is donating $2 million in seed funding toward the effort.” Read more

Hillman Foundation Gives $2 Million to LifeX
“The Henry L. Hillman Foundation has given a $2 million grant to LifeX, an initiative started by the University of Pittsburgh and others to boost the region’s life sciences research and industry and solve unmet health needs.” Read more

Local Researchers Receive $2 Million Grant from Michael J. Fox Foundation
“The Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease and the University of Pittsburgh have received a $2 million grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The grant money will be used to seek out links between environmental and genetic triggers of the disease.” Read more

Westmoreland County IDC Awarded $1.7 Million for Rail Improvements
“Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corp. has been awarded $1.7 million in state transportation funding to improve about three miles of track at the northern end of the rail system it owns serving businesses between Hempfield and Connellsville.” Read more

Mascaro Construction Grants $500,000 to CCBC for New High School Academy
“Mascaro Construction announced a $500,000 grant to the Community College of Beaver County to create the Mascaro Construction Academy. The partnership’s academy will enroll students from participating school districts and career and technology centers to offer up to 30 college credits once established, according to a release.” Read more

Covestro Gifts $400,000 to Robert Morris University for Employee Voluteerism
“Covestro has invested $400,000 in programs based at Robert Morris University (RMU) that aim to boost corporate employee volunteerism, train people to serve on charitable boards of directors, and ignite other ways the region’s businesses can achieve social purpose. The investment will fund the new Covestro Center for Community Engagement at RMU.” Read more

CalU Receives Nearly $400,000 Grant to Help Low-Income Students with Child Care
“California University of Pennsylvania received a four-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help low-income students with child care. The grant, known as Child Care Access Means Parents in School, will total more than $389,000 to the university, which gets about a dozen requests each year about child care assistance from students who are parents.” Read more

Pitt Prof Gets $300,000 for Biology Research
“A researcher and instructor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has been named a 2018 Searle Scholar. As part of the Searle Scholars Program, Anne-Ruxandra Carvunis, assistant professor of computational and systems biology, will receive $300,000 over the next three years to support her research in evolutionary biology.” Read more

Local Makerspace, Assemble, Receives $50,000 from GE
“Assemble, a nonprofit makerspace in Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood, was awarded a $50,000 grant from the GE Foundation to better prepare students for future careers in STEM.” Read more

AI Startup, Zensors, Wins McGinnis Venture Competition at CMU
“Zensors, a startup using an artificial intillegence-powered visual sensing on existing cameras to make smart shops, offices and restaurants, won Carnegie Mellon University’s McGinnis Venture Competition Tuesday evening. As first place winner of the graduate level, the startup was awarded a $25,000 convertible note and given an additional $2,500 from Rough Draft Ventures.” Read more

RIDC Partners with PIDA to Expand Low-Interest Loan Program to More Businesses
“Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania is partnering with the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) to market an expanded offering of PIDA’s programs of low-interest loans and lines of credit for businesses. By offering a wider range of PIDA assistance, a larger number of Pennsylvania businesses can commit to creating and retaining full-time jobs within the commonwealth.” Read more

Pittsburgh is a Hot Spot for New Grads
“A new survey by SmartAsset, a personal finance technology company, ranked Pittsburgh as the fourth best city for new college graduates.” Read more

A Think Tank from France Loves Pittsburgh’s Comeback Story
“Why Pittsburgh? Because no city in the world has our comeback story — and because Mayor Peduto went to Nice a few years ago and put Pittsburgh on the group’s radar. It helps to get the word out. La Fabrique de la Cité, meaning City Factory, is a French think tank comprised of architects, urban planners, builders, directors of institutes — enough people in the know to create a city, as their chair, Cécile Maisonneuve, put it.” Read more

Why Google, Uber and Facebook Are Flocking to Pittsburgh
“Biotech, self-driving cars, and robotics? Pittsburgh, the Steel city, is the best-kept secret east of Silicon Valley.” Read more

Washington and Greene Help State Surge to No. 2 Gas Producer
“Pennsylvania set a record for marketed natural gas production in 2017, making it the No. 2 producer in the nation, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported.” Read more

Seton Hill and University of Pitt-Greensburg among Colleges of Distinction
“Seton Hill University in Greensburg and the University of Pittsburgh–Greensburg are among 10 colleges and universities in western Pennsylvania and 41 in the state that have made the Colleges of Distinction list, a national guide recognizing excellence in undergraduate-focused education.” 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.




May 9-10NCDMM 2018 Summit
NCDMM’s premier annual event for encouraging collaboration and partnerships among manufacturers, government, industry, and academia to advance manufacturing technologies. The event is tailored to manufacturers; engineers; innovators; defense and aerospace program managers; academics and researchers; government partners; and technology developers. May 9th will be an interactive day of presentations, networking, and technology displays. Following the day’s presentations, there will be an evening reception for attendees to continue networking, gain an understanding of the technologies displays, and build mutually beneficial partnerships. On May 10th, a Golf Outing will conclude NCDMM’s SUMMIT 2018 event. Golfers will enjoy a great day on the links while continuing to network with fellow SUMMIT attendees. For more information and registration details, visit the summit website.


May 102018 STEM Summit
The 2018 STEM Summit, hosted by the Pittsburgh Technology Council, 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 not only talk about cutting-edge STEM education practices, but all attendees will have the opportunity to hear from and visit some of the most exciting technology companies in the region to get a taste of what it is like to work in the STEM sector. Visit the event website for more information.


May 14Makers to the Digital Marketplace
This three-part lunch and learn series is brought to you by the University of Pittsburgh’s Small Business Development Center and PantherlabWorks, both housed within the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence. We invite artists, makers, and entrepreneurs alike to join us for an all-inclusive seminar series to prepare you to sell your goods online! For more information, visit the event website.


May 17Huntington Breakfast Briefing: Covestro North America/Jerry MacCleary
The Pittsburgh Technology Council is pleased to present Jerry MacCleary, Chief Executive Officer of Covestro North America. Since inventing polyurethanes and polycarbonates decades ago, Covestro has continued to be driven by innovation, delivering new technologies and solutions that help make a positive impact on people’s lives every day. MacCleary will discuss Covestro’s vision to make the world a brighter place with products that benefit society and reduce the impact on the environment. Attendees will learn about how he leads the business on innovation strategies, sustainability and community engagement initiatives in Pittsburgh and beyond. Visit the event website for more information.


May 23AI/Robotics Venture Fair
Join Carnegie Mellon University, the #1 ranked computer science school, its nationally acclaimed Robotics Institute and Innovation Works, Inc., one of the top seed investors in the country, for a one-day event on May 23 showcasing 15-20 of the region’s most exciting artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics startups! Over the past few years, local research universities have put Pittsburgh on the map for AI and robotics start-up activity which has attracted the research offices of some of the most innovative companies including Google, Uber, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Ford, Delphi, GE, Autodesk, Bosch, Tata, Target and investment from top-tier VCs from around the world. Click here for more information.


May 23Venture In: Eniac Ventures
Join the Pittsburgh Technology Council on May 23rd as we welcome Eniac Ventures to Pittsburgh. With the recent launch of a $100 million seed fund, Eniac is visiting Pittsburgh in search of bold founders who are using code to build transformational businesses. Areas of focus for Fund IV include the following: Augmented reality/VR; robotics; conversational user interfaces; software that disrupts mature industries (finance, construction, insurance, and healthcare); and AI and new automated technologies focused on manufacturing, transportation, and other large industries.


June 2Pittsburgh TechFest 2018
Pittsburgh TechFest is a one-day event on Saturday, June 2nd, 2018 where software development professionals from Southwestern Pennsylvania and surrounding areas will get together to talk and learn about perfecting our craft. Topics will include coding, tools, agile, project management, etc. All development disciplines (devs, testers, PMs, DBAs, BAs etc.) and all development stacks (Ruby, Java, .Net, JavaScript, Python, SQL Server, Oracle, etc.) are welcome.


June 13Corridors of Opportunity – South Fayette
Join the Pittsburgh Business Times as it continues its event series highlighting Pittsburgh’s most important growth corridors – focusing on the growth of the South Fayette area and its current and future developments. Click here for more information.


June 19Cyburgh, PA
The Cyburgh, PA initiative is a partnership between the CERT Division of the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University and the Pittsburgh Technology Council with a mission of bringing together academia, government, and the private sector to provide Pittsburgh with solutions to cybersecurity challenges across people, process, and technology while simultaneously deliberately advancing Pittsburgh as an internationally recognized leader in cybersecurity. Click for more information on the day-long event.


June 19-21DUG East
Virtually every major Appalachian producer is increasing natural gas production as the full potential of the “Beast in the East” is unleashed. Pipelines underway for years are being commissioned at a regular clip, the Cove Point LNG export terminal is shipping, and Shell’s long-touted ethane cracker is under construction. This June, find out how upstream producers and midstream operators in North America’s top natural gas-producing region are gassing up for growth in 2018 and beyond by attending DUG East. Click here for more information.


June 20VisionPittsburgh – Stefani Pashman
The Pittsburgh Business Times is proud to present Stefani Pashman, chief executive officer of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, as she details her unique vision for our region. For almost 75 years, the Conference, one of the United States foremost civic leadership organizations, has been bringing together public and private sector leaders to drive an agenda to improve the economic future and quality of life in the 10-county Pittsburgh region. The Conference continues in that role today, and Ms. Pashman will detail its plans and how its collaborating for the improvement of Pittsburgh’s future. Click here for more information.


June 21Huntington Breakfast Briefing: ATI
The Pittsburgh Technology Council is pleased to present Rich Harshman, Chairman, President and CEO of ATI. With annual revenue of $3.4 billion, ATI is a global manufacturer of technically advanced specialty materials and complex components. Their products support diverse markets and industries such as aerospace and defense, oil & gas, electrical energy, medical, automotive and other industrial markets. Rich will discuss ATI’s activities as a global manufacturer and his vision for ATI moving forward. Enjoy breakfast and networking as you learn about technology innovation at ATI, trends in the specialty materials industry, and what this means to Pittsburgh. Click here for more information.


June 256th Annual Corporate Equity & Inclusion Roundtable
The Corporate Equity and Inclusion Roundtable (CEIR) is holding its Sixth Annual Conference hosted by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and the CEIR Working Group. The forum gathers regional leaders to discuss a culture of diversity and inclusion in Pittsburgh. This year’s event features Candi Castleberry-Singleton, vice president of inclusion and diversity at Twitter. For registration information for the June 25th event, visit the website.