The diverse, balanced and innovation-driven economy that made Pittsburgh a great American comeback story continues to deliver value by capturing 302 economic development deals during 2013 – a 12 percent increase in activity over the previous year.
The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, the 10-county Pittsburgh region’s economic development marketing organization, on March 25 presented its annual economic development performance scorecard – a snapshot of all of the deals, or “wins” announced in the previous year related to new facilities, expansions of existing companies, attraction/retention of companies and startups across southwestern Pennsylvania. [ImaginePittsburgh.com is an initiative of the PRA.]
“The robust economic development activity in the Pittsburgh region in 2013, including a surge of wins in the information and communications technology sector, is a strong vote of confidence by business decision-makers in the future of this region and a leading indicator of future job creation,” said David J. Malone, PRA Partnership Chair and President and CEO, Gateway Financial Group, Inc.
Capital Investments of $1B+ for Seven Straight Years
The 302 regional “wins” of 2013 spanned both announced investment and development projects totaling $2.4 billion in capital investment – the seventh consecutive year that this total has exceeded $1 billion.
Investment projects accounted for $671 million in announced capital outlay and were dominated by five projects costing in excess of $40 million. They include a regional headquarters expansion for Chevron, a distribution facility for Gordon Food Service and a CSX Corporation intermodal terminal. Development projects totaled $1.8 billion in announced outlay – the second highest amount on record.
“Each county has benefited from investment, as has each of the five key industry sectors, the foundation of the region’s economy. There are investment ebbs and flows between sectors from year to year, but overall there’s balance,” said Dewitt Peart, president of the PRA.
Existing regional businesses that are expanding account for the majority of announced deals, which has been a trend for the region. In 2013, 60 percent of the deals (124) involved the expansion of existing companies. Attraction wins increased from 44 in 2012 to 48 in 2013 and represent one-fourth of all the wins.
“The deals of 2013 will enlarge the regional business landscape with new and expanded existing facilities, as well as new real estate developments. This is alongside an anticipated total job impact of at least 8,700 – 1,669 jobs retained and the expectation of 6,983 jobs to be created as announced deals come to fruition,” said Peart.
“Number One” Manufacturing Delivers 65 Wins to Bolster Regional Economy
Optimized by technology, advanced manufacturing is a key driver of Pittsburgh’s economy and the most active sector for deals in 2013,” Peart said. “There were 65 announced wins, an increase over the 59 recorded in 2012. “The Pittsburgh region still makes things: specialty metals, medical devices, robots and turbines – to name a few. We’re a manufacturer to the world.”
Information and Communications Technology Soars to Second Place; Tech Touches Everything
Seeing a dramatic increase from 33 deals in 2012 to 51 deals in 2013, the region’s information and communications technology sector saw its biggest growth spike since 2008 and took second place for number of deals. “The growth in this sector is impressive, but it’s an under-representation of information technology’s impact on the entire regional economy. Technology infuses just about everything for which we’re recognized – manufacturing, healthcare, financial services and more. Technology is integral to the successful operation of nearly every company in the region,” said Audrey Russo, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council.
More than Half of Region’s Open Jobs Require Tech Skills
Proof of how integral information technology is to the overall regional economy is the number of available jobs with a technology component posted on ImaginePittsburgh.com – a web-based gateway to professional and personal opportunities in the region. Of the 21,824 available jobs now listed on the site, 57 percent require skills and experience with technology, with the majority of these jobs not with tech enterprises but in workplaces that include hospitals, banks, law firms, the chemical industry and energy companies.
Read the remainder of sector-specific highlights in the complete release here. Find the 2013 Wins-related spreadsheets here. News media contact pcynar AT pittsburghregion DOT org or at 412-281-4783, ext. 4573.
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Find a job, advance your career in the Pittsburgh region at ImaginePittsburgh.com.