Advanced Manufacturing Helps Pittsburgh Economy Grow

March 15, 2012
286 economic development deals attracted $1.5 billion in capital investment and will create 17,000 jobs

Pittsburgh is expanding and moving towards its pre-recession levels of business activity. Last year the city landed 286 economic development deals. In 2010, there were 272 projects and in 2008 there were 290.

"Existing businesses in the region are expanding accounting for nearly 70% of the deals in 2011, but relocation projects also increased over the past year to 58, up from 47 in 2010. This total tops the numbers logged since we started tracking wins five years ago," said Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its affiliates, including the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA).

And advanced manufacturing is playing an important role with 53 wins in 2011, down a little from 69 in 2010. "For the fifth consecutive year, advanced manufacturing ranked among the region's top-performing sectors," said Jim Futrell, vice president of market research and analysis at the PRA. "We still make things here. Pittsburgh continues to be a manufacturer to the world, but the region today is not the manufacturer that your grandparents or great grandparents knew.

"Manufacturing now is advanced, high-tech and highly efficient - requiring less capacity than in yesteryear. Today's manufacturers don't need huge facilities and workforces of thousands. What they need is skilled, educated talent -- individuals at ease with technology or willing and able to learn."

The "wins" of 2011 represent nearly $1.5 billion in capital investment and are expected to create 11,440 new jobs as well as retain 5,620 jobs.

Energy was also a key sector for the region. There were 40 wins related to energy. Thirteen were in advanced manufacturing, reinforcing a strong energy supply chain. Additionally, 17 were in the financial and business services sector, indicating a growing demand for a network of corporate support services (e.g., finance, legal) relative to the energy sector.

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