Phil Cynar
Arte’s video web report is divided into five chapters that look at Pittsburgh’s image, heroes, economy, democracy and lifestyle. Click the image above to view them all.

Late in 2012,  a two-man creative team from Arte (Association Relative à la Télévision Européenne) – a Franco-German television network that’s akin to the U.S.’s PBS – spent a week in Pittsburgh, filming interviews and footage of Pittsburgh today, vis a vis the famous black-and-white images of the city captured during the 1950s by the great American photographer W. Eugene Smith. These images are iconic of post-war America and illustrate the evolution in Pittsburgh and its environmental and economic transformation that spans over half a century.

The footage was used to create a short TV documentary that aired in France and Germany, as well as a five-episode web report on the Pittsburgh then and now – probing how this transformation was realized and the work that remains to be done.  Promoting the project on Arte’s website, Producer Vladimir Vasak notes, “Pittsburgh is a city that has undergone total transformation: from a city of steel, industrialized and polluted, it is now green and high-tech … a miracle of which Americans are proud.”

With France and Germany being among the top global destinations for foreign direct investment into the Pittsburgh region, Arte’s program and web report provide reinforcement in those countries about the region’s 21st-century strengths and illustrate why Pittsburgh is a choice destination for business investment, as well as tourism.  As it’s been said, “everything [including investment] begins with a visit.”

For regional residents, the web report is a great reminder of how easy it is to overlook what we have.  Seeing the region through the eyes of our visitors from Arte makes it nearly impossible to not proclaim,  “J’adore Pittsburgh!”

Check out two of the episodes below (“Visit Pittsburgh” and “Pittsburgh’s Renaissance”) and view the complete web report here. It’s divided into five chapters that look at Pittsburgh’s image, heroes, economy, democracy and lifestyle.

Ben Kamber

Overlooking the gorgeous downtown skyline on the banks of the Mon River is Pittsburgh’s newest sports and recreation destination — Highmark Stadium in Station Square. The 3,500 seat stadium will welcome the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Pittsburgh’s nearly 15 year old USL Pro soccer team, in the spring. Jason Kutney, a player with the Riverhounds and CEO of the team, sits down to discuss soccer’s growth in popularity in our region and why Highmark Stadium will be the nicest USL Pro stadium in the nation.

Cafe Kolache: A Decade of Sweet Success for Beaver, PA Business

As a corporate climber in Houston, Texas, Kristi Harper became acquainted with the Kolache — a slightly sweetened Czech pastry that holds a variety of sweet and savory fillings. But it wasn’t until she moved back home to Beaver, Pa. and met her husband Hugh that she decided to open her own Kolache shop in downtown Beaver. A decade later, Café Kolache is a thriving bakery and meeting spot for those in need of a Kolache fix. Kristi and Hugh discuss the café’s rise and why it has been such a hit in Beaver.

The Role of Private Wealth in Society

As chairman and managing director of Greycourt, a Pittsburgh-based boutique financial management firm, Greg Curtis has spent much of his career advising the ultra-wealthy, like the Mellon family, on how to smartly invest their fortunes. Now he’s out with a new book, “The Stewardship of Wealth” which aims to educate wealthy and middle-income individuals on smart investment practices and the broader role that private capital plays in society. Curtis discusses the book and a new app out called “Moneybags,” that provides smart investment advice for everyone.

Our Region’s Business airs Sundays at 11 a.m. on WPXI-TV. Hosted by the Allegheny Conference’s Bill Flanagan, the 30-minute business affairs program is co-produced with Cox Broadcasting. The program is rebroadcast on PCNC-TV at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sundays, and at 3:30 p.m. Mondays. It also airs Sundays on WJAC-TV (Johnstown-Altoona) at 6 a.m. and WTOV-TV (Wheeling-Steubenville) at 6:30 a.m.

ImaginePittsburghNow

Elliott Group may be 113 years old, but its new headquarters are anything but old fashioned.

The manufacturer opened a new $16 million administration building adjacent to its factory in Jeannette in 2012. The airy space features brightly colored furnishings, casual spaces for meetings and vibrant flags from the many nations where Elliott does business.

A unit of Ebara Corporation of Japan, Elliott supplies and services turbo-machinery used by the oil and gas, refining, LNG and petrochemical industries, as well as in process and power applications. While the regional shale gas boom has benefited the company, more than 70 percent of the products built at the Westmoreland County campus are sold overseas, as Elliott’s Tom Brown explains in the video below.

The company employs about 2,100 people worldwide, with about 1,100 in southwestern Pennsylvania. Some 400 people work in the manufacturing facility on Elliott’s 100-acre campus. The new headquarters, dubbed the Centennial Building, is home to engineers, draftsmen, programmers and administrative workers previously spread out across multiple buildings.

Get a look at the building in the video below, and hear Brown explain why Elliott is thriving – as well as his shout-out to Lawrenceville architects Kingsland Scott Bauer Associates and contractor Landau Building Company of Wexford.

You can read more about Elliott Group here.

Ben Kamber

Duquesne University has a lot to be proud of these days. At 1,500, this year’s freshman class is the largest and one of the most selective ever for the 134 year-old uptown university. Dr. Charles Dougherty, Duquesne’s president, sits down to discuss what’s behind this growth and why Pittsburgh and the university’s urban setting have become huge selling points for recruitment.

Superstorm Sandy Puts Spotlight on Nation’s Electrical Grid

As Superstorm Sandy painfully indicated, power outages represent a lot more than just an inconvenience for those impacted. It’s not until a crisis like a natural disaster that we realize how dependent we are on the nation’s energy grid and other energy infrastructure – and just how much it’s all in dire need of modernization. Greg Reed, director of Pitt’s Center of Energy at the Swanson School of Engineering, discusses the type of improvements that are needed to bring our energy infrastructure into the 21st century.

Grand Theft Auto Creator Harnesses Empathy in New Social Media Venture

Donora native J. Moses, who green-lighted Grand Theft Auto, is out with a new social media venture that aims to revolutionize the way we interact on the web. WeChi and GoodChi tap into the behavioral realm of users to encourage empathetic connections across the Internet. Moses sat down to discuss these products and what led him to explore empathy across online social networks.

Our Region’s Business airs Sundays at 11 a.m. on WPXI-TV. Hosted by the Allegheny Conference’s Bill Flanagan, the 30-minute business affairs program is co-produced with Cox Broadcasting. The program is rebroadcast on PCNC-TV at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sundays, and at 3:30 p.m. Mondays. It also airs Sundays on WJAC-TV (Johnstown-Altoona) at 6 a.m. and WTOV-TV (Wheeling-Steubenville) at 6:30 a.m.

Bonnie Pfister
Don Charlton, founder of The Resumator

Among the persistent myths about Pittsburgh is the notion that our young bright people leave town as soon as they’re able. For a good 20 years that was true; after steel hit bottom in 1983, our overall regional economy floundered painfully and an exodus of skilled and educated workers ensued. In the past decade, however, that trend has reversed. As Jim Futrell, vice president of market research and analysis for the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance has noted, our population – particularly of college-educated 18- to 34-year-olds – is increasing. It’s a pattern that’s expected to continue.

Here at ImaginePittsburghNow.com, we’ve done a lot of stories and videos about the startups and the young professionals who are finding Pittsburgh to be a creative, affordable place to work, invest and build a life. Another example is Don Charlton, a Fayette County native who left the region for college but came back to launch a career and ultimately an idea that’s taken off in a big way. His software company, the Resumator, provides integrated, easy-to-use recruiting tools and social media features to make finding, sorting and reviewing job applicants easy. It’s prized by companies without big HR departments that need to ramp up staffing quickly, and is used by such customers as HootSuite, Mashable, Instagram and Tumblr– as well as the 2012 presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

The Resumator itself is growing fast, and many bright young and mid-career professionals are moving to – or opting to stay in – the Pittsburgh region to be a part of this work. Check out this interview with Charlton, marketing director Laurie Barkman and other Resumator staffers in their cheery offices just north of downtown Pittsburgh.

The Resumator got started with the help of AlphaLab, a business incubator on the South Side. Learn more about it in this recent Atlantic article.

Ben Kamber

Specialty chemicals company Reaxis is growing its operations with a new production facility in U-PARK in Harmarville. The $40 million company, which is headquartered in Washington County, relies on global exports for half of its business, with customers throughout Europe, Asia and Brazil. Marco van der Poel, president and CEO of Reaxis, discusses the company’s recent expansion and ongoing trends in the global chemicals industry.

AEC Group: Creating Impact in the Pittsburgh Region

Designated by the Pittsburgh Business Times as one of the region’s 100 fastest growing companies, AEC Group provides a broad range of technology solutions to businesses near and far. The 20-year old company, which has facilities in McKeesport and Bridgeville, is planning to double the size of its technology division with the purchase of a new building near the airport. Cathy Mary, the company’s president and Ken Rindt, senior VP of sales and strategic alliances, discuss what’s behind AEC’s growth.

Gateway Rehab: Combating Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Our Region

According to Dr. Neal Capretto, western Pennsylvania is currently experiencing a record number of people addicted to prescription narcotics. And he should know. As medical director at Gateway Rehab, a drug and alcohol treatment center with facilities throughout the region, Dr. Capretto is responsible for treating those with addiction each and every day. He discusses this growing problem in our region and how it needs to be tackled.

Our Region’s Business airs Sundays at 11 a.m. on WPXI-TV. Hosted by the Allegheny Conference’s Bill Flanagan, the 30-minute business affairs program is co-produced with Cox Broadcasting. The program is rebroadcast on PCNC-TV at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sundays, and at 3:30 p.m. Mondays. It also airs Sundays on WJAC-TV (Johnstown-Altoona) at 6 a.m. and WTOV-TV (Wheeling-Steubenville) at 6:30 a.m.