PITTSBURGH – Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, along with Bayer Corporation President & CEO Greg Babe and Allegheny Conference on Community Development CEO Dennis Yablonsky participated in today’s U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Chamber Foundation Jobs Summit, where they had the opportunity to talk about job creation and innovation at the local level.
“Participating in the Jobs Summit is a great honor for our region, as we are represented on a national stage for the positive steps that we are taking to make our communities attractive for businesses to locate, relocate and expand,” said Fitzgerald. “We have a great story to tell which really comes from the ‘Power of Pittsburgh’ – our willingness to work together for the benefit of our region. Big business and labor unions, developers and environmentalists, elected officials and community organizers are all at the same table making decisions to put people to work.”
Pittsburgh’s diversified regional economy has recovered all the jobs lost to the recession and is adding more – with a job growth of 3.9% from the first quarter of 2010 through the first quarter of 2012, among the leading metropolitan areas in the U.S. – and is on a record-setting employment pace. Housing price appreciation over the past five years is 6.7%, leading every comparable region in the country. The region has seen a resurgence in U.S. manufacturing with U.S. Steel and Allegheny Technologies investing over $1 billion in regional facilities and Shell planning a multi-billion dollar world-scale petrochemical complex.
During the one-hour roundtable, “Growth, Jobs and Innovation at the Local Level,” Fitzgerald talked about workforce development being the top need of companies and how imperative training that is coordinated with workforce needs is for the region. Dennis Yablonsky emphasized the impact that small business and start-ups have had upon the region’s economy. With feeder universities like Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, the region’s innovations often result in new business and new jobs. Greg Babe highlighted the importance of quality of life issues for a company. The Pittsburgh region has riverfront trails and waterfront development; world-class arts and culture amenities; cutting-edge medical services, facilities and doctors; quality higher education institutions; affordable housing and a low cost of living, to name just a few. The roundtable also featured Mayor Michael Hancock of Denver, Kelly Jean Brough of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, and Chris Riopelle of DaVita, Inc.
“I’m really proud of the fact that when the U.S. Chamber looked for regional economies leading the way out of the recession with job creation, they turned to us. It was a lot of fun to boast about the great things that we are doing here and the continued success stories that we are able to celebrate,” said Fitzgerald.
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