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It’s that time again — time to recognize the extraordinary women in the Pittsburgh region who go above and beyond in their work and mentorship of other women. Nominations for the 2016 Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Awards will be accepted (online only) until 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 30.

Taking its name from the Greek goddess of strength and wisdom, the traditional ATHENA Award recognizes a woman who demonstrates excellence in her profession, contributes to her community and helps other women to succeed. Last year’s recipient was  Lynn M. Banaszak, executive director at Health Innovation in Pennsylvania Disruptive Health Technology Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Josie Badger, Parent Education and Advocacy Leadership (PEAL) Center’s youth development director, received the ATHENA Young Professional Award for emerging leaders age 35 or younger.

Wondering how to craft a winning nomination? Check out this tip sheet put together by Pittsburgh Magazine Publisher Betsy Benson.

There are hundreds of ATHENA International-affiliated events presented around the world each year, but Pittsburgh’s gathering is one of the largest. More than 900 women and men are expected to attend this year’s luncheon on Monday, Sept. 26 at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Interested in sponsorship? Contact sgaal@alleghenyconference.org.

Watch videos, learn more at Athena-Pittsburgh.com. / Look for updates under #PghAthena on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Bonnie Pfister
Rainbow Rain by Dong Yang Pinterest
Rainbow Rain by Dong Yang / Pinterest

Got the rainy-day blahs? Maybe it’s your job. Could be that you’re due for a refresh, a new challenge — or at least the spirit-lift that can come from seeing what other opportunities are out there, and adjusting your view accordingly. Pittsburgh’s got thousands of great jobs open today: more than 29,000 jobs across the 10-county region. Here are just a smattering from our awesome Featured Employers:

Financial Analyst at Alcoa

Project Engineer at Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc.

Talent Acquisition Specialist at EQT Corp.

Lead Technical Specialist at Federated Investors

Asphalt Plant Operator at PJ Dick / Lindy Paving

Not quite what you had in mind? Another approach is to see who in Pittsburgh is doing interesting work. Check out our Neighbors — interesting, dynamic people from around the corner and around the globe who have chosen Pittsburgh as the place to build their career and life. You can ping them via their LinkedIn profiles to chat about what they love about their gig or their workplace, and use that human intelligence as you mull your own path. Get on it!

NEXTpittsburgh

Powered by NEXTpittsburgh / Written by Brian Conway

From single-day neighborhood festivals to weeklong extravaganzas, summer music festivals in Pittsburgh take on all shapes and sizes. Here’s a closer look at each of the festivals, with information on the performers and what makes each festival unique.

Pittsburgh Festival of New Music

Now through May 30, throughout town. Pricing varies by event.

This one is already underway. There was a pop-up performance of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite in Market Square. Otherwise, glancing at the full festival lineup, there are a lot of world premieres and descriptors like “minimalist” and “avant-garde.” Take, for example, the Pittsburgh premiere of Cornelius Cardew’s The Great Learning, described as being composed for “a large number of trained and untrained musicians, based on on texts by Confucius in Ezra Pound’s translations.” Kudos to anyone doing something outre and new in Pittsburgh. Get the full lineup at the Festival website.

Layer Cake Festival

June 3-4, Mr. Smalls (21+); Cattivo (21+); Spirit (21+); James St. Gastropub (all ages). $15 (single venue) – $30 (all venues). 

Last year, Layer Cake Festival took the neighborhood tour model and packed it inside James St. Gastropub, with over 30 bands spread across 3 different stages. Like Deutstchtown, Layer Cake expands to 2 nights this year. Over 120 bands will play across 4 different venues, each with multiple stages. A shuttle will run between venues. Layer Cake stands out for featuring a large number of local hip-hop acts, as well as a smattering of regional bands. More info, including set times, will be announced on the Layer Cake Facebook page.

 

Three Rivers Arts Festival

June 3-12, Point State Park. Free. 

The unofficial start to summer in Pittsburgh, this year’s Arts Fest lineup falls in the same mold as years past—heavy on folk, bluegrass and soul; light on hip-hop, heavy metal, or rock that’s any harder than Guster (see them June 10). Some of this year’s standout headliners include Parisian twin sister duo Ibeyi (June 5), retro jazz/soul outfit Lake Street Dive (June 12), and “the screaming eagle of soul,” Charles Bradley (June 8). Check out NEXT’s full-length TRAF preview for more information on the headliners, and visit the Arts Fest website for full festival details.

 

Allegheny County Parks Summer Concert Series

Fridays, June 3-September 4 (South Park); Sundays, June 5-September 6 (Hartwood Acres). Free.

With free concerts running every week from June through September, there are bound to be both hits and misses when it comes to the Summer Concert Series at South Park and Hartwood Acres. Some standouts include The Ohio Players (7/17, Hartwood), Booker T’s Stax Revue (8/14, Hartwood), a pair of performances by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (6/3 South Park; 7/3 Hartwood), as well as Randy Baumann’s Ramble (7/31 Hartwood), an all-star local rock band revue. Each concert is free, except for the Allegheny County Music Festival, September 4, featuring Rusted Root with Nevada Color, Jim Donovan & Sun King Warriors ($20 suggested donation). See the entire summer concert series lineup at the Allegheny County website.

Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival

June 24-26, Downtown. Pricing Varies.

Of course the city that gave the world Stanley Turrentine, Ahmad Jamal, Errol Garner and Billy Eckstine would have a top-notch international jazz festival representative of all types of jazz. Taking place in the Cultural District, this year’s JazzLive spans three days and is headlined by former Miles Davis pianist, Chick Corea, alongside drummer Brian Blade and bassist Christian McBride. Also appearing: the Eddie Palmieri Big Salsa Orchestra, and Pittsburgh’s own, Jeff “Tain” Watts. Outdoor performances are free; indoor performances will be ticketed. Keep an eye on the Pittsburgh JazzLive website for schedules and ticket prices as they are made available.

 

WYEP Summer Music Festival 2016

June 25; Schenley Plaza, Oakland. Free.

This year’s lineup is solid: opener Margaret Glaspy’s debut album comes out in June on ATO Records (home to Alabama Shakes and My Morning Jacket), and headliner Lucius is one of the more innovative indie pop bands to emerge from Brooklyn in recent memory. And while Summer Music Fest is one of the best local festivals at providing equal headlining space to female-fronted musical acts, since 2008, when the festival first moved to Schenley Plaza, there has been but a single minority musical performer on the bill. There is also a kid-friendly Reimagination Showcase in the afternoon, which itself features a very diverse lineup, including the East Liberty Presbyterian Church’s Hope Academy Teen Theater Company, as well as the Funky Fly Project (ages 10-14). More info at the WYEP website.

 

 

Jam On Walnut

June 25; July 23; August 20. 5442 Walnut Street. Free.

However you felt about the 2015 Jam on Walnut, you’ll feel the same about it this year, too: all three headliners are repeats from last year, including “Pittsburgh’s Premier Disco Party Band,” Dancing Queen (June 25); country singer/fiddler, Chris Higbee (July 23); and local cover band, Radio Tokyo (August 20). (They could have at least brought back Bon Journey.)Happy Hour is from 7-8:30; proceeds from the event benefit Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Western PA Chapter. This is the block party’s 20th anniversary. More information on the Jam on Walnut Facebook page.

 

 

Vine Rewind: A Penn Avenue Picnic

June 26, 2800 Block Penn Ave. Free. 

The inaugural Vine Rewind, an initiative of the Pittsburgh Winery, takes place the day of OpenStreetsPGH. Beginning in the morning, at 10 a.m., the 2800 block of Penn Avenue will remain closed to traffic all day, even after OpenStreets ends. The free block party features local food, beer, and a pair of outdoor stages. Clinton Clegg’s The Commonheart headlines, while over a dozen Pittsburgh heavy-hitters take to the stage throughout the day, including Joy Ike, Nevada Color, and Morgan Erina. There’ll even be a performance by the Buzz Poets. Set times and more information on the Vine Rewind Facebook page.

 

Deutschtown Music Festival 

July 8-9, Deutschtown (multiple venues). Free. 

Deutschtown is essentially the Northside version of Lawrenceville’s Rock All Night Tour: take a couple dozen venues, open them to the public and let local bands play sets inside, free of charge, all day (and all night) long. Now in its fourth year, Deutschtown has expanded into a two-day festival, both Friday and Saturday, complete with food trucks, outdoor stages, and over 180(!) local performers. There’s no better crash course to Pittsburgh’s local music. More information is available at the Deutschtown website.

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Looking for a job? ImaginePittsburgh.com‘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: ImaginePittsburgh.com.

 

Joshua Devine

RemakeLearning RallyRemake Learning Week concluded on May 13, with snacks and entertainment at PNC Park. Participants at the free event tried  out virtual reality gear, program robots that make art, designed and created doo-dads on a 3D printer, used circuitry and LEDs to bring jewelry to life, broadcasted their voices on internet radio and more.

Rally attendees also heard a recap of some of #RemakeDays panels, workshops and parties from the week-long Remake Learning Days, which featured more than 150 future-ready, hands-on, relevant and engaging educational experiences for kids and their families, caregivers and educators across the Greater Pittsburgh Region.

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Wondering about your career future? Check out ImaginePittsburgh.com to explore southwestern PA’s trending careers, industries and the more than 20,000 jobs open now on our custom-built aggregator, updated nightly.

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

Bonnie Pfister

Four months of spirited competition concluded Wednesday as San Jose, Calif-based Lucid VR won the $50,000 grand prize in the AlphaLab Gear National Hardware Cup.

Second-place winner BotFactory took home $5,000, according to AlphaLab Gear’s Twitter feed, while DogParker (my personal favorite) fetched the $3,000 third prize. (More info about the contestants are below.)

Pittsburgh-based robotics venture capital firm Startbot funded the prize money in the second-annual contest to find and support the best ideas in innovative new products. The final showdown played out to a sold-out crowd at AlphaLab Gear’s offices in East Liberty. Each inventor had four minutes to pitch and five minutes to answer questions from the panel of judges, who will weighed commercial viability, team capability and demonstrated commitment.

“Our goal is to build a network of hardware startups everywhere and increase awareness and interest in investing in them,” AlphaLab Gear Managing Director Ilana Diamond told the Pittsburgh Business Times. “These companies need a community and investors.”

Erik Norwood, of Austin, was last year’s winner with his device CURB, a product that monitors household electricity use, offers money-saving tips and lets users control usage remotely.

“Taking home the Hardware Cup provided real validation from the investment community that we were on to something extremely valuable,” he said. “We were able to leverage that win into closing CURB’s full seed round investment of $1.5 million later in 2015.”

Pittsburgh was represented among the finalists. PalpAid is a medical device that uses a novel combination of soft tissue mechanics and computer vision techniques to make currently qualitative and subjective breast exams quantitative. It was developed by Molly Blank and James Antaki, mechanical engineers at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University.

Here’s the low-down on the competition:

  • Washington, D.C.: PrintLess Plans creates sleek yet rugged large-format e-paper devices made for the demands of architecture, engineering and construction professionals.
  • Boston: Water Hero creates a smart leak detection + prevention + conservation system to avoid costly water damage from burst pipes.
  • New York: Sort of like Zipcar for canines, Dog Parker creates on-demand neighborhood doghouses in dense urban areas, allowing humans to safely board their pets for short stints while they step inside a grocery store, cafe or other no-pet zone.
  • Los Angeles: Rufus Labs creates The Rufus Cuff, an advanced wearable device that also allows for voice and video calls, web browsing and more on its 3.2-inch screen.
  • San Jose: Lucid VR creates LucidCam, a stereoscopic 3D camera that captures the world as we see and hear it. Its 180° wide-angle lens enables an active view, with enhanced audio.
  • Austin: EllieGrid creates a smart pillbox that allows users to organize their medications in seconds.
  • Chicago: Mohop allows users to create customizable footwear via smartphone by combining on-demand 3D fabrication with emerging body scanning technology.
  • Wildcard (audience award winner): BotFactory (of New York) brings the future of electronic circuit fabrication to desktops with the introduction of Squink. Just like a 3D Printer, the small circuit printer allows users to prototype in minutes instead of weeks at the click of a button.

The finale was judged by seven nationally renowned venture capitalists, including Pittsburghers Josh McElhattan of Startbot, Tom Jones of Draper Triangle and David Motley of BlueTree Allied Angels.

Each of the regional winners won $1,000 cash, a yearlong TechShop membership, $500 in 3D printing from ExOne and a one-year license with Altium, which designs printed circuit boards used in electronic devices.

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Pittsburgh has jobs: more than 20,000 across 10 counties. Tap into ImaginePittsburgh.com to explore southwestern PA’s trending careers and industries. 

Over the next decade, job seekers in the Pittsburgh region will find abundant opportunities, particularly in cybersecurity, “FinTech” (financial technology) and predictive analytics for the healthcare and energy sectors, a report released today suggests.

Inflection Point: Supply, Demand and the Future of Work in the Pittsburgh Region notes that digital and customer-service competencies will cut across many of the jobs of the future. Job types that will see the largest increase in growth include healthcare support, healthcare practitioners and technicians, and IT jobs drawing on computer and mathematical skills.

IPFeature“The future of work in the region is an unprecedented opportunity for existing workers and our up-and-coming workforce now in K-12 and post-secondary education,” said Bill Demchak, chairman, president and CEO of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. He is the chair of the Workforce Strategy of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, which commissioned the report.

The need for talented individuals is already apparent on ImaginePittsburgh.com (a program of the Conference): there are more than 20,000 jobs open across the 10-county region, with cybersecurity and other IT professionals in highest demand.

“Technology is a big driver of this change, and it’s redefining the skills needed to be successful on the job,” Demchak added. “Every employer and worker must keep pace with this rapid change to remain competitive. We are at a critical moment for the future of our region.”

Baseline skills such as clear communication and problem solving, however, are also increasingly important as many companies are adopting a more customer-service-driven model. Those skills are also vital for teamwork and internal customer service, another trend already underway in high-demand careers.

The Conference commissioned the report to better understand what jobs will be available across the 10-county Pittsburgh region in coming decade. Boston-based Burning Glass Technologies and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, of Chicago, conducted focus groups with 130 CEOs and HR directors from 85 Pittsburgh region companies and educational institutions in early 2016. It combined those findings with traditional employment metrics and big data capabilities, including artificial intelligence algorithms, to parse tens of thousands of job postings across the Pittsburgh region.

“Not only are other regions trying to keep their talented people, they are looking to attract ours,” said Conference CEO Dennis Yablonsky. “We can’t afford to lose or leave anyone behind who has the desire, capacity and skills to be a part of the Pittsburgh region’s workforce.”

An inflection point is the place on a graph where a curve can change direction, typically with dramatic and widespread consequences over time.

The complete Inflection Point report is available at AlleghenyConference.org.