Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday Musings on the Pittsburgh Job Front

The beers that saved Pittsburgh? Not quite, but the news of Pittsburgh Brewing finally working out a deal with the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is welcome as it has saved about 250 well paying jobs in the city. This in conjunction with a previous announcement of a contract signed between the former Latrobe Brewing (now City Brewing Co. of La Crosse, WI.) and Samuel Adams to begin brewing beer will help preserve an additional 100 to 150 jobs in southwest PA.

For the second time in 22 years, Pittsburgh has been cited as the Most Livable City in America by the Places Rates Almanac. While not finishing in the top 20 of any single category, the city was consistently high enough in all categories to come away with the award, last won in 1985. Our strengths include cost of living, recreation and education. Although jobs are a category, we did not rank low enough to hurt our number one ranking.

Joe Grata of the Post Gazette did a good job with an article on the problems of finishing the Mon-Fayette Expressway. Already half built (or under construction) another 3.6 billion dollars will be needed to complete the project. Estimates are that a minimum of 10 years will elapse before the possibility of finishing due to lack of funding. This will come as welcome news to thousands of area residents who would be impacted by having a major highway divide their neighborhoods (and their houses) but to the region as a whole it is an embarrassment that will mean much slower economic growth for not only the Mon Valley area but all of Southwest PA.


andrea boykowycz said...

I'm not sure where you come by the assertion that the fact that the Mon Fayette probably won't be built is bad for the region's economic growth. Care to back that up with any research?

According to research by Glatting Jackson, the Mon Fayette (at least the 24-mile 51-to-Pittsburgh section) would provide no job growth and would actively obstruct community re-development. The Turnpike is on record agreeing that nothing in their plan for this road is going to foster economic development. Furthermore, the massive investment that the existing sections of the Mon Fayette and Southern Beltway have required (over $1.5 billion to date) has sucked resources away from transportation projects, including maintenance and safety upgrades, all over the Southwestern Pennsylvania region. Seems to me like the cancellation of this project is very good news for economic growth here.

Pittsburgh Employment Guide, The Burgh Works said...

We have read numerous reports for and against the building of this road, including valid opinions that not enough research has been done to quantify just what economic benefits this highway might bring. There has also been no valid research (including the example you referred to, we don't feel the sponsoring organization is an unbiased source)saying this highway would do no good. Whether pro or con, most opinion is based on conjecture (and also on whether one's own home or neighborhood would be negatively impacted). What we stated is our opinion formed after reading dozens of articles overt the years and having direct experience with employers and manufacturers in the Mon Valley. We feel there must be a reason people who stand to make money from the added accessibility of the area are so much in favor of completion. We feel it is common sense to believe that if you greatly increase the accessibility of an underused but talented labor pool, "they" will come!

Truly a 'Burgh Thing!

Truly a 'Burgh Thing!
by Randy Bish, Pittsburgh Tribune Review

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