150 companies consider operations in W. Pa.
By Kim Leonard
Published: Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
About 150 companies mulling a move or expansion in Western Pennsylvania are in contact with recruiters from the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, a local agency that works to bring business here.
That's up from a typical 90, said Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, the parent agency of the PRA and other area economic development affiliates.
Anyone might figure the region's booming energy industry accounts for the increase in companies expanding here, he said. While the Marcellus shale and other energy businesses are the biggest sector, “there also are advanced manufacturing and finance and information technology and life sciences” companies.
“I think it's the constant accolades the region has been getting about the business climate and quality of life, and the education of people” here, Yablonsky said. ”There are more people aware of Pittsburgh as a site to do business.”
That's the message Yablonsky was to deliver to an expected 600 people at the conference's annual meeting Thursday night at the Fairmont Pittsburgh Hotel, Downtown. He also planned to discuss needed improvements to transit, taxes, employment opportunities and other issues.
The 66-year-old conference is headed by the region's top business and civic leaders. It strives to promote economic development in 10 area counties. Charles E. Bunch, CEO of PPG Industries Inc., is the chairman of the conference.
The expected crowd at the meeting is an increase from 450 for the 2011 meeting and one of the best turnouts in recent years.
It's a sign that interest in regional issues is increasing, Yablonsky said.
Some of those issues are:
• Pittsburgh International Airport must increase service. Delta's flight to Paris was renewed and Southwest added flights to Houston and West Palm Beach, and a longer-term goal is to pull connecting traffic from congested East Coast airports to empty gates at the Findlay complex, Yablonsky said.
• Port Authority avoided deep service cuts this year with short-term funding, but if the state raised fees for driver's licenses and auto registrations and the tax on wholesale gasoline sales, then the issue of service cuts might not resurface, he said. The fees and tax haven't gone up in many years and could generate $2.5 billion for infrastructure and transit statewide. “We're planning a renewed push in January to get this moving,” he said of the proposal by a governor's advisory committee.
• More than 1,700 energy-related companies employ more than 60,000 workers in Western Pennsylvania and nearby regions, generating $25 billion in economic activity, a Pennsylvania Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh study found. The conference commissioned Development Dimensions International in Bridgeville to analyze future energy workforce needs.
• The conference partnered with 113 Industries Inc., a South Oakland innovation promotion company, to study entrepreneurial programs nationwide that help black entrepreneurs. The conference's Pittsburgh Impact initiative promotes women- and minority-owned companies, along with other promising ventures.
Kim Leonard is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5606 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kovacevic: Enough of these Steelers already
- Penguins’ Orpik out; Neal to have phone hearing
- Penguins players are not out looking for fights
- Ligonier Theatre looking to upgrade to digital equipment
- Farmer to continue in leadership role
- Gettysburg journey finally complete for Honor Guard members
- Late Thanksgiving diminishes jingle of Salvation Army kettles
- Steelers’ NFL playoff hopes are all but gone in loss to Dolphins
- Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, Westmoreland counties weigh shale gas drilling on public land
- Cranberry woman wins Miss Pennsylvania USA pageant
- Steelers WR Brown says ‘I thought I had it clean’ after wild, near-miss finish