The Pittsburgh Re gional Alliance
hosted Wins Day on Wednesday, presenting a performance scorecard capturing 302 economic development deals during 2013 — a 12 percent increase in activity over the previous year.
This was the PRA’s, an affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community, seventh Wins Day. The group describes their economic record of Pittsburgh as a “great American comeback story.” The event highlights what makes Pittsburgh an attractive place for business and expansion.
Growth was presented across five key sectors: manufacturing, information and communications technology, financial and business services, natural resources and healthcare and life sciences.Though the lines dividing various sectors are sometimes blurred.
“A lot of these sectors are intersecting together, that’s really the strength of Pittsburgh,” said Dewitt Peart, PRA president.
Manufacturing boasted the most “wins” at 65, which is a rise from the previous year’s scorecard of 59.
“Yes, manufacturing is growing,” announced Peart at the downtown event. Elaborating in a Wins Day press release, “The Pittsburgh region still makes things: specialty metals, medical devices, robots and turbines — to name a few. We’re a manufacturer to the world, capitalizing on technology to make processes precise, sophisticated and efficient.”
Pittsburgh has historically been a manufacturing hub, but has recently become known for its growth in technology, an emphasis on which crossed all sectors.
“Tech is ubiquitous,” said Wins Day speaker Audrey Russo, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council.
Peart said there are more than 20,000 current job openings in the Pittsburgh region — and more than half of these openings require technology skills and experience. These jobs are not just with tech agencies, but across several industries.
This movement was represented with the Wins Day speakers from “winning” area companies whose businesses spanned various disciplines. Development leaders John Thornton (CEO of Astrobotic Technology, Inc
.), Jarrod Siket (senior vice president and general manager of marketing at Netronome
), Tony Dodds (Ness Technologies
vice president finance and controller) and Patrick Colletti (president of Net Health
) spoke about the evolution of their organizations.
These testimonials gave insight to the ideas and products coming out of Pittsburgh from medical software to communications technology to the moon — Astrobotic is in a race to the moon with the Google Lunar X Prize.
Companies like the ones featured at Wins Day may have international reach —Astrobotic is working with multiple other countries and Ness is an Israeli-headquartered global corporation — but homegrown talent was a theme all speakers addressed, describing the rich pool of candidates graduating from Pittsburgh universities.
Writer: Caroline Gerdes
Source: Audrey Russo, Dewitt Peart, Pittsburgh Regional Alliance