Pittsburgh just keeps popping up on impressive lists – most recently on Site Selection magazine’s newly released list of Top U.S. Economic Development Groups. The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA), southwestern Pennsylvania’s business investment marketing organization, is among the top 11 such organizations in the country for 2012 – and the only one in the Northeast U.S., according to this globally circulated magazine of corporate real estate strategy and area economic development.
“This year’s Best to Invest Top Groups in the U.S. all demonstrated a resiliency to bounce back from previous economic setbacks,” said Ron Starner, general manager and executive vice president of Conway Data Inc. and Site Selection, and author of the Top Groups report. “They also continued a long track record of supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in their communities. These organizations did not get ahead by following the herd.”
Local economic development groups, including the PRA, were first ranked according to four objective categories: new jobs, new jobs per 10,000 residents, new investment amount and new investment per 10,000 residents. Then they were scrutinized for more subjective attributes such as innovation, leadership and customer service.
“The Pittsburgh region has strength in numbers when it comes to sectors, partners and investment deals,” said PRA President Dewitt Peart. “We have hundreds of partners at allied organizations across all 10 counties of southwestern Pennsylvania, and 50 of these partners make up the PRA Partnership – professionals and leaders from the public and private sectors who work together to create a climate that’s competitive for business investment and to generate leads and secure deals.
“The efforts of all of these partners have paved the way for the PRA organization to secure project deals in 2012 representing capital investment of nearly $500 million and 3,731 total jobs – both created and retained. These deals translate to bricks and mortar facilities of all sorts and sizes that build up the Pittsburgh region’s business landscape and enhance our overall marketability,” he said.
“We swing higher than our weight. Pittsburgh competes with primary markets – Atlanta, New York, San Francisco and others – on projects where it has distinct advantages, like workforce, and where our competitive cost to do business is attractive. I congratulate all of the PRA team and its partners whose expertise in marketing the region helps to put Pittsburgh on many lists of top performers,” said Peart.
Additional recognition for efforts to attract business investment came last month from the London-based magazine of globalization, fDi (Foreign Direct Investment), a publication of the Financial Times. Among its annual American Cities of the Future, Pittsburgh was ranked No. 5 among large cities for foreign direct investment strategy.