PRA Post

PRA Post is the Pittsburgh Region’s Economic Development Newsletter

September 2016

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Retal PA, LLC Establishes HQ Operations in Pittsburgh Region; Creates 88 New Jobs

Retal PA, LLC, an international plastics packaging manufacturer, will establish a U.S. headquarters and manufacturing facility in the Donora Industrial Park in Washington County, creating 88 new jobs. The company makes plastic containers and lids for the beverage industry. Its investment includes a 140,000-square-foot former manufacturing plant, equipment and job training for new employees. The investment project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA).

“It’s a great time to welcome Retal to Donora and the Mon Valley,” said PRA President David Ruppersberger. “Retal’s investment further strengthens the plastics industry’s presence here, which leverages our manufacturing heritage; current advanced manufacturing capacity; ample supply of reliable, low-cost natural gas for fuel; and soon, in-region production of polyethylene. These assets, coupled with southwestern Pennsylvania’s strategic location close to Retal’s customers and markets, set the stage for successful plastics fabrication.”

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Peoples Natural Gas Increasing Space, Expanding North Shore Presence
“Pittsburgh-based utility company, Peoples Natural Gas, is adding space to its North shore operations. The company announced that it will take 135,000 square feet of space in the former Del Monte building to accommodate growth.” Read more

Shadyside-Based Guardian Storage Expands Footprint in Pittsburgh, Plans to Hire
“Shadyside-based Guardian Storage LLC has raised $2.2 million from investors toward expansion as it prepares to open three new facilities in the Pittsburgh area during the first half of 2017. The company also plans to hire 10 employees locally.” Read more

Hefren-Tillotson Expands; Opens New Office in Pine Township
“Pittsburgh-based independent investment advisory and financial planning firm, Hefren-Tillotson Inc., has opened a new office – its fifth location – in Pine Township, Allegheny County, to serve Pittsburgh’s northern suburbs.” Read more

Hefren-Tillotson Expands; Opens New Office in Pine Township
“Pittsburgh-based independent investment advisory and financial planning firm, Hefren-Tillotson Inc., has opened a new office – its fifth location – in Pine Township, Allegheny County, to serve Pittsburgh’s northern suburbs.” Read more

Highmark Health Establishes For-Profit Company; Plans to Add 15 Jobs
"Highmark Health announced the formation of HM Home and Community Services LLC – a company designed to reconfigure and improve healthcare for patients after their hospital stays conclude – and will initially employ 15 people." Read more

One Village Square Opens in Business District of Sewickley
"The 8,498-square-foot One Village Square, a contemporary office building, has opened at 417 Walnut Street in the main business district of Sewickley, Allegheny County." Read more

Shell Chemical Co. Purchases Two Properties Totaling 1.5 Acres
"Shell Chemical Co. has purchased two additional properties in Potter Township, totaling 1.5 acres, near where the company plans to build a multibillion-dollar ethane cracker facility." Read more

Shell Subsidiary to Build Three-State, 94-Mile Ethane Pipeline to Feed Beaver County Cracker Facility
"Shell Pipeline Co., a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, intends on building a 94-mile ethane supply pipeline that will feed into the multibillion-dollar cracker facility in Beaver County. The pipeline will run through southwestern Pennsylvania as well as Ohio and West Virginia." Read more

Next Phase Nears in Westmoreland County’s Monsour Site Preparation
"Jeannette and Westmoreland County economic development officials are on the cusp of the next phase in the six-acre Monsour Medical Center site project." Read more

Regional Industrial Development Corporation Conveyance of Two Properties in North Fayette Township
"The Regional Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC), North Fayette Township and the Montour Trail Council announce the RIDC conveyance of two properties for public recreational facilities and green space to North Fayette Township and the Montour Trail Council." Read more

Seegrid Raises $25 Million for Self-Driving Industrial Vehicles; Giant Eagle Major Shareholder
"Seegrid – the Pittsburgh-based robotics firm that develops automated industrial vehicles used by Whirlpool, Daimler and Jaguar Land Rover – has secured $25 million in financing. Seegrid said it raised $12 million from its majority shareholder, supermarket chain Giant Eagle Inc. Giant Eagle also committed an additional $13 million to support Seegrid’s growth." Read more

U.S. Department of Transportation Grant Gives $19 Million to Reconnect Hill District, City
“Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and their joint Sports and Exhibition Authority have been awarded $19 million in federal transportation funds to re-connect the Hill District to Downtown. The TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation is the final piece of funding needed to build the long-proposed “Cap” over I-579.” Read more

Yelp Invests $8 Million in Pittsburgh-Based Nowait
“Nowait has announced a partnership with Yelp Inc., which is making an $8 million strategic investment in the Pittsburgh-based mobile network for casual dining restaurants.” Read more

Carnegie Mellon Spinoff, ForAllSecure, Lands $2 Million Prize for MAYHEM Project
“A team from ForAllSecure, a startup spinoff from Carnegie Mellon University, won a $2 million prize from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for the system it created to identify security issues in internet-connected devices before hackers exploit weaknesses.” Read more

Pittsburgh-Based Leaf Shave Co. Raises $100,000
“Leaf Shave Co. – a Pittsburgh-based startup with a new take on shaving and cofounded by former Blue Belt Holdings Inc. executives – has reached its $100,000 goal on Kickstarter.” Read more

University of Pittsburgh Gets $5.5 Million Grant to Test Flu Vaccine’s Effectivenessd
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is giving the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) Vaccine Research Group – a collaboration that includes a team from Pitt as well as divisions of UPMC – $5.5 million to continue to test the effectiveness of the annual flu vaccine.” Read more

Seton Hill Receives $500,000 Grant to Create an Office of Academic Innovation and Planning
“Seton Hill University has received a $500,000 grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation to create an Office of Academic Innovation and Planning to explore new academic programs and partnerships that will provide southwestern Pennsylvania with skilled workers to take on the jobs of the future.” Read more

Catalyst Connection Receives $400,000 Federal EDA Grant to Create Manufacturing Jobs
“Catalyst Connection, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit that provides consulting and training services to small manufacturers in 12 southwestern Pennsylvania counties, recently received $400,000 from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership and EDA’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization initiative.” Read more

Mellon Foundation Awards $700,000 Grant to Carnegie Museum of Natural History
“A $700,000 grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, which operates Powdermill Natural Reserve in Westmoreland County – the region’s premiere ecological research center – will support two years of research projects and provide necessary technological tools.” Read more

$437,500 Grant Awarded to the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy for McKinley Park Green Infrastructure
“McKinley Park, a 79-acre park located in Pittsburgh’s Beltzhoover neighborhood and the largest Pittsburgh Citipark south of the Monongahela River, will get help for its green infrastructure projects from a $437,500 grant provided by the National Recreation and Park Association and the American Planning Association.” Read more

Uber’s Autonomous Vehicles Begin Picking Up Passengers in Pittsburgh
“The pure testing stage of self-driving cars is over: ridesharing startup Uber debuted autonomous vehicles from Volvo for taxi rides in Pittsburgh.” Read more

Pittsburgh is America’s City of the Future
“The Steel City is the first place in the world where people will be able to grab a ride in a robotic car, thanks to Uber. [Pittsburgh] is becoming more than the country’s next great innovation hub; it’s a model of revival for many cities in the Rust Belt.” Read more

Tech Startups Surprised to Find Pittsburgh’s Assets Add Up
“Tech companies like Boxzy, NetBeez, Identified Technologies, Wombat Security Technologies and Schell Games are choosing Pittsburgh over other markets and are finding success here due to the region’s workforce and education strengths, cost of living and other incentives.” Read more

Google Leader Sees Pittsburgh as “Engine of Innovation
“Jeremy Kubica, a Carnegie Mellon University alumnus and a principal engineer and co-director of the Google office that employs nearly 500 techies, shares how the company is ‘benefiting from the renaissance Pittsburgh is seeing.'” Read more

Pittsburgh’s Rivers & Riverlife Featured in WIRED Magazine’s “7 Cities Transforming Their Rivers From Blights to BeautiesWIRED magazine among seven cities transforming their once-mocked rivers and river ecosystems from blight to beauty for economic and recreational reuse.” Read more

Millennials are Flocking to Pittsburgh, Pew Research Shows
“A study from Pew Charitable Trusts analyzed U.S. census data between 2000 and 2014 and found that Pittsburgh is number three on a list of 20 large cities experiencing a millennial boom.” Read more

UPMC Hospital Ranked 12th Best in U.S.
“UPMC Presbyterian-Shadyside has been ranked the 12th best hospital in America in the U.S. News and World Report‘s annual listing, receiving excellence rankings in 15 of 16 specialty areas.” Read more

Carnegie Mellon University’s NextManufacturing Center Launches Consortium to Promote Additive Manufacturing
“The NextManufacturing Center at Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) College of Engineering recently announced the creation of the NextManufacturing Center Consortium, a gathering of major government, industry and nonprofit partners interested in unlocking the true potential of additive manufacturing.” Read more

Three Pittsburgh Companies Leading the Way in Advanced Manufacturing
“The future of advanced manufacturing in Pittsburgh is bright indeed and flourishing, local companies such as Aerotech, Inc., Interstacks and BOSS Controls are leading the way.” Read more

Pittsburgh International Airport Touts Fast Growth
“June saw strong passenger growth at Pittsburgh International Airport, with new service boosting numbers along with the hubbub surrounding the Stanley Cup Finals and the U.S. Open.” Read more

Allegiant Air to Expand Service from Pittsburgh to Austin, San Juan
"Allegiant Air has been growing rapidly in Pittsburgh. The ultra-low-fare carrier will add two more destinations – Austin and San Juan – as well as more jobs and another plane at Pittsburgh International Airport in December, a year after establishing a base of operations here." Read more

Southwest Airlines Plans to Add as Many as Six Flights from Pittsburgh
"Southwest Airlines is considering adding as many as six more destinations from Pittsburgh International Airport in the years ahead." Read more

Southwest Begins Nonstop Service to Los Angeles
“Pittsburgh International Airport and Southwest Airlines officials celebrated the start of new nonstop service to Los Angeles (LAX), now the second available nonstop option to the west coast.” Read more

Southern Airways Express Begins Three Daily Flights to Harrisburg from Pittsburgh International
“Allegheny County Airport Authority officials announced that Southern Airways Express will be starting three daily flights to Harrisburg on weekdays and one each weekend.” Read more

Pennsylvania Shows Record Output of Natural Gas
“The volume of natural gas produced in Pennsylvania last year increased to a record level despite a drastic downturn nationwide. The state Department of Environmental Protection released its annual report showing more than 4.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas produced last year.” Read more

Couple Turns Former Miners into Workers in Region’s Growing Tech Sector
“Transplanted Chicago residents Amanda Laucher and her husband Jonathan Graham are offering coding classes to former coal miners through a partnership between their nonprofit, Mined Minds, and the Community College of Allegheny County.” Read more