Pittsburgh’s arts and cultural organizations and businesses are pulling together with the city, county and state to focus attention on what’s “world best” about Pittsburgh in 2012. The initiative – dubbed the “Best of the World Pittsburgh Partnership” – aims to increase visits and economic investments to the region by leveraging attention brought by a National Geographic Traveler article that named Pittsburgh among the world’s 20 must-see places to visit in 2012.
The initiative begins in March and runs through October, as the region welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world for a series of conferences, events and programs highlighting innovation in the arts and industry. Among this year’s major conventions are the National Society of Black Engineers (March 28 – April 1), the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (May 13 – 18), National Association of Counties (July 13 – 17) and the One Young World Summit (October 18 – 22). The Allegheny Conference on Community Development and VisitPittsburgh are collaborating as part of the partnership to encourage attendees to consider seeking career or business investment opportunities in the region.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett kicked off the campaign in a community event March 9 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center by recognizing the unique collaboration as he prepares for first international business mission as governor. He will lead a delegation of Pennsylvania business leaders to France and Germany to help businesses abroad imagine their opportunity here. France and Germany combined represent the state’s fourth largest export market, and leading in foreign direct investors in the state.
“The Commonwealth in general and Pittsburgh in particular deliver a high quality of life and enormous economic opportunity,” Corbett said. On his trip he will emphasize Pittsburgh and the state’s strengths in advanced manufacturing, financial and business services, health care and life sciences, information and communications technology, with a special focus on and energy.
Greg Babe, vice chairman of the Allegheny Conference and president and CEO of Bayer Corporation USA, noted that the Pittsburgh region consistently ranks in the top 10 in business expansions and relocations. “Through this new initiative we are encouraging business leaders and talented professionals coming to Pittsburgh this year to consider our region as a place with plentiful – and outstanding – opportunities for careers and business investment,” Babe said.
Doris Carson Williams, chairman of the board of VisitPittsburgh and president of the African American Chamber of Commerce, said VisitPittsburgh will leverage its presence inside the convention center to highlight the National Geographic listing and encourage visitors to consider Pittsburgh as a place to live and invest.
“Each year, as many as 10 million people visit, attend a convention, conference or meeting here,” she said. “This partnership ‘Best of the World Pittsburgh Partnership’ will present the region in the best possible light, as well as advance the region’s economic development competitiveness and help to fill its workforce pipeline with highly talented and skilled individuals.”
The “Best of the World” effort will also reach out worldwide, including placement of a five-minute in-flight video showcasing the Pittsburgh region to Delta Air Lines’ passengers, beginning in May. Also, a special Pittsburgh region report will be published in the June issue of Delta’s in-flight magazine, Sky. The region will be featured in fDi in the fall. In addition, Pittsburgh will be showcased as “Best of the World” during press tours of the city with national and international journalists in conjunction with the opening of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ Center for Sustainable Landscapes in May.