Bonnie Pfister

Christopher Heinz — heir to the famous ketchup fortune, son of a senator and stepson of a secretary of state — will move to Pittsburgh from New York City by fall 2016.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Sunday that the 42-year-old investment advisor is house-shopping in the East End for himself, his wife and their children, ages 5 and 2.

Heinz told the newspaper that he wanted “a better life for my kids” in a city that “offers a lot of what I’m interested in: a financial sector, a nonprofit sector and great sports.”

Heinz was born and raised primarily in Washington D.C. where his father, H. John Heinz III, served as a congressman and U.S. senator for 20 years until his death in a small aircraft crash in 1991. Sen. Heinz was a noted philanthropist and environmentalist who played a leading role in bringing the Andy Warhol Museum to Pittsburgh. Chris Heinz’s mother, Teresa, later married John Kerry, a former U.S. senator who became U.S. Secretary of State in 2013. Both mother and sons were active campaigners during Kerry’s 2004 presidential bid.

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The Heinz History Center in the Strip District is just one regional venue where the ketchup-making family’s philanthropic legacy continues.

Chris Heinz and his brothers spent summers at Rosemont, the family estate in Fox Chapel (which played host to Michelle Obama and other international leaders’ spouses during the 2009 G-20 summit here). He visits frequently for meetings of The Heinz Endowments, one of the family’s charitable foundations. (Learn more about Chris Heinz in the P-G story here.)

In Pittsburgh as everywhere, the Heinz name is synonymous with ketchup. But through philanthropy, the family’s name has made a mark throughout the community, including the nearly-hundred-year-old concert hall that was saved from the wrecking ball in the late 1960s by preservationists and funders lead by H.J. “Jack” Heinz II (Chris’s grandfather). Jack Heinz helped drive creation of what is now called the Cultural District, a once-blighted area downtown Pittsburgh between Liberty Avenue and the Allegheny River. A generation later, it’s recognized by economic development experts worldwide for having set the stage for rehabilitation of the city core and providing vitality that draws visitors, inventive restaurateurs and, increasingly, residents.

Other examples of the family legacy include the Senator John Heinz History Center in the Strip District (a Smithsonian affiliate), the public policy college at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh’s memorial chapel – a highly sought-after venue for weddings of Pitt alumni. Visible from North Side highways just up the Allegheny River from Heinz Field are several of the original factory buildings dating from 1912 that are now luxury loft apartments, as well as the original Sarah Heinz House, a Boys & Girls Club.

H.J. Heinz began with a horseradish recipe in 1869 in Sharpsburg, about five miles northeast of downtown. (Ketchup came along seven years later, according to the Heinz website.) The headquarters has been in Pittsburgh since soon after the company’s founding, although most of its local food production has been sold to other companies for more than a decade.

Pittsburgh is home to about 800 local employees of today’s Kraft Heinz Company, which resulted from the July merger with Chicago-based Kraft Food Group. The Heinz family is not involved in the business; Teresa Heinz Kerry sold most of her inherited stock in the mid-1990s.

Bonnie Pfister

Every week it seems another national publication deems Pittsburgh to be the “next” Brooklyn, Portland, San Francisco, etc. It’s mostly flattering, although we don’t happen to think we need to be the next anything. The attention just underscores what we already knew: good things are percolating here. Cool jobs. Hot industries. Longstanding employers doing cutting-edge R&D in healthcare and with materials and metals that will make airplanes and autos faster and more fuel-efficient.

The point is, isn’t it time you came home and became a part of it all? Um, yes. Because jobs.

There are more than 20,000 jobs open today across southwestern PA. You can explore them all at one place: That’s the region’s digital hub for information about hot careers, industries and employers. Our custom-built aggregator pulls listings from such sites as LinkedIn, Career Builder, Monster and quite literally a thousand others – so you don’t have to. Here are just a few of nifty places now hiring on our site: 

For talented techies, creatives and professionals, Pittsburgh has jobs at the local offices of Google and Apple. It’s home to the headquarters of fashion retailers ModCloth and American Eagle.

Technology meets design meets user experience at home-grown hotties like art/tech/design/ad studio Deeplocal, award-winning translation app developer Duolingo, event-ticketing pioneer ShowClix and robotic stroller-maker to the stars 4Moms.

Wonksters thrive at global talent management consultancy DDI (Development Dimensions International), change-management company TiER1The RAND Corp. and offices of the major global management consultancies.

And these are just a few of the thousands of opportunities available at There are jobs for communicators at finance companies, for accountants at design firms, and for SAP specialists and other IT-focused positions virtually everywhere. Us, we’re partial to our Featured Employers, companies large and small who seriously care about building a talented workforce that will keeps Pittsburgh on this positive trajectory.

Click on, add us to your favorite read-it-later app and check out our jobs and other offerings while you’re on the plane, train, Megabus, etc. back to the place you’re currently calling home. We want you back!




As our friends over at PittsburghTODAY point out, southwestern Pennsylvanians in general have much to be thankful for this year. (PittsburghTODAY compares the region with  14 other U.S. metropolitan areas and regions in 11 quality-of-life categories.) Here are a few reasons to appreciate the region in which we live that they’ve highlighted, with links for additional information.

1. Safer than most

If being safe from crime is important – and who doesn’t think it is – then be thankful you live in southwestern Pennsylvania. Crime rates vary by neighborhood. But, overall, our region’s rate of major crimes is the lowest of the 15 regions PittsburghTODAY benchmarks. And be thankful you don’t live in Indianapolis, where the overall crime rate is 85 percent higher than ours.

2. A home of our own

Nearly seven out of 10 homes in the Pittsburgh region are occupied by their owners, giving Pittsburgh the second highest homeownership rate among our benchmark regions. Only Minneapolis has a higher rate. High Homeownership rates indicate neighborhood stability and correlate with higher levels of educational attainment.

3. And it’s worth more

Homeowners in the region have even more reason to give thanks—the value of their homes has risen consistently in the past 10 years. Pittsburgh has the second highest housing appreciation rate among our benchmark regions over that period. Only home values in Denver have risen more.

4. Fewer are impoverished

Poverty in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area fell over a year’s time from 12.8 percent of the population to 12.4 percent. That’s fifth lowest among our benchmark regions. While the national rate stood at 11.3 percent in 2000, even a short-term decline in the number of people living in poverty is reason to give thanks.

5. Good sports

Yes, we are. According to our new Sports Town Index, we’re one of the best sports towns of our benchmark region, ranking fourth when total team winning percentage, championships, franchise support and other factors are considered. And we’re closing in on Philly for third.

6. More money in our pockets

In the past year, the Pittsburgh region has had the largest year-over-year percent increase in average weekly wages of all our benchmark regions — extra money in the bank to pay for the turkey on the table or on Black Friday sales.

7. Good vibes

Pittsburgh has been bathed in positive vibes on Twitter. We have the fourth-most positive tweets so far this year among the 15 cities ranked in our Positivity Index, which measures such things. Yes, the ranking owes a lot to happy talk about entertainment and our sports teams. But it also reflects a relative lack of ill will toward the city and its people. And for that, we’re thankful.


Powered by NEXTpittsburgh Written by Kim Lyons / All photos courtesy Bjarke Ingels Group

Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and their partners have unveiled their long-awaited master plan for 28 acres in the Hill District, which will include 1,200 housing units, 1 million square feet of commercial space and more than twice the green space of the original plan.Eight new buildings are planned for the housing units, all providing views of the city. Construction of the housing—20 percent to be reserved as affordable housing—is slated to begin in late 2016 if the plans are approved.The plan is bold and innovative, but sensitive to the community’s needs as well, seeking to physically reconnect the Hill District neighborhood with the rest of the urban core, says Kai-Uwe Bergmann, BIG Partner, who presented the plan to the community this week.


Wylie Avenue would be extended to connect with Downtown. Photo courtesy Bjarke Ingels Group

Wylie Avenue would be extended to connect with Downtown. 

“For 60 years this area has been mostly asphalt,” Bergmann says, “and we want to stitch it back together.” He adds that he knows of no other major American city that has nearly 30 acres of land adjacent to its downtown so ripe for development.

An aerial view of the proposed plan. Courtesy Bjarke Ingels Group.

An aerial view of the proposed plan. Courtesy Bjarke Ingels Group.

The Penguins and Pittsburgh Arena Real Estate Development, which are overseeing the commercial phase of the development and McCormack Baron Salazar, developer of the housing phase, hired BIG to design the residences and public spaces at the site.

Using the area’s existing topography, the plan’s design connects the site to Downtown, Uptown and the rest of the Hill District, with a series of pedestrian-friendly walking paths, park spaces, and a plaza.


Courtesy BIG.

“What’s amazing about Pittsburgh is its topography,” says Bergmann. “But it makes the Hill District area inaccessible, you can’t push a baby carriage or a wheelchair up a 14 percent slope.”

This plan would fix that problem, with all of the walking areas adjusted to no greater than a 5 percent slope, Bergmann says, using zig-zagged walkways.

The $500 million project calls for a hotel, retail shops and office space, and includes underground parking.


Washington Place reimagined as a pedestrian plaza. Courtesy Bjarke Ingels Group.

Washington Place reimagined as a pedestrian plaza. 

The public  spaces were designed by West 8, an urban landscape architecture firm with offices in Rotterdam, New York and Belgium.

“The site, with its slopes and views, is perfectly suited for bringing an experience of the native landscape to this urban condition,” Jamie Maslyn, Partner at West 8 said in a statement. “The design creates a new open space identity but more importantly gives neighbors and visitors the sensations of nature in the heart of the city.”

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Looking for a job?‘s got ‘em — more than 20,000 open positions on our powerful, 10-county job search aggregator, updated nightly.

Find a job, advance your career, build a life you’ll love:

Yes, Viriginia, there will be holiday windows on display at Nov. 20′s Light Up Night.

Despite the closing of Macy’s (formerly Kaufmann’s) department store earlier this year, the good folks at Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership have made sure the holiday window show on Smithfield Street would go on. At 5:30 p.m., Mayor Bill Peduto and Gibsonia’s own Meghan Klingenberg of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team will unveil the windows, two of which feature Pittsburgh-specific scenes.

The annual kickoff to the holiday season starts around noon with tree lighting ceremonies at the City-County Building, followed by U.S. Steel Plaza’s unveiling of its nativity scene. Live music will be performed on five stages across downtown, the European-style holiday market returns to Market Square with dozens of vendors of handcrafted trinkets and Santa will make his arrival in a blast of pyrotechnics at Point State Park.

Many downtown streets will be closed, so take public transit or try out the nifty bike share program It only costs a few bucks, and bike stations are all over the city.

Here’s a complete guide to all things Light Up Night from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Scott Mervis. Enjoy! 

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Looking for a job? Pittsburgh’s got ‘em — more than 20,000 open positions across the 10-county region. Check out our powerful job search aggregator at

Find a job, advance your career, build a life you’ll love:


With Veterans Day commemorations underway, we thought it’d be a good time to remind you about our sister program, Service To Opportunity®. Like, STO is an effort of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development to connect people with family-sustaining careers in southwestern Pennsylvania. The website,, is a uniquely powerful matching tool that connects job-seeking veterans directly to managers ready to hire for in-demand jobs at regional energy and manufacturing companies. When you use your profile to click on an STO employer’s open job, you are assured of hearing from an actual HR professional ready to help you find your best opportunity at that company.

Even if you’re not job-hunting right now, it’s always a good career move to have your resume out in places where recruiters are looking for talented, hardworking veterans. Sign up here, or pass the word to veterans or returning servicemen or women in your personal and professional networks, on Service To Opportunity®’s  social media platforms: and Or contact STO Outreach Manager James Yauger (Army, First Calvary Division) at or 412-281-4783 x3129.

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