Allegheny Conference on Community Development

As designated up-and-coming neighborhoods, Homewood and Sharpsburg have been added to the Allegheny Conference’s Strengthening Communities Partnership program.

The program pools private sector resources to invest in local community growth and also leverages state tax credits as incentive.

  Native Pittsburgher Jim Joseph knew he couldn’t go to a bank to meet his needs, “to check the box, so to speak,” on small land improvements that would tip the scale for companies excited to lease portions of his 80-acre, West Virginia property for distribution plants or manufacturing work.

It’s a catch-22, he said. His company, Trimodal Terminal, can’t renovate its rail access or install water and gas lines without cash, and he doesn’t qualify for a loan if the land isn’t up to code.

The Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce has announced that current state Sen. Matt Smith (D-Allegheny) will be its next president. Before being elected to the Senate, Smith served three terms in the state House of Representatives.

He said the work before him as head of the Chamber won’t be much different than what he’s used to.

“Workforce development, education issues, economic development and community-based issues as well as transportation infrastructure issues that we’ve worked on over the last couple of years at the state level,” said Smith.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

The advanced manufacturing sector led the 10-county Pittsburgh region in the number of investment deals last year, according to the yearly Business Investment Scorecard from the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, the marketing affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development (ACCD).

PRA CEO Dennis Yablonsky said it was a “typical, solid year” for Pittsburgh, with $2.3 billion in capital investment and more than 10,000 jobs created. He said 70 percent of investment deals funded the expansion of existing companies.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Minority workers hold 11 percent of the jobs in the greater Pittsburgh area, compared with about 25 percent of the jobs in 15 comparable regions. That’s according to “Behind the Times: The Limited Role of Minorities in the Greater Pittsburgh Workforce,” a report released by a group of community organizations. In addition to a lower-than-average number of black, Hispanic and Asian workers, the jobs they do have point to another trend.

Zach Frailey / Flickr

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.

The documentary "We Built This City: How the Allegheny Conference Remade Pittsburgh" chronicles the private-public partnership that transformed the city and the region.

The documentary was directed by our guest Michael DiLauro. We'll also talk with Bill Flanagan Executive Vice President of the Allegheny Conference talks about the past, present and future of the partnerships and the communities they serve.

The Allegheny Conference on Community Development launched a job search website Monday designed to connect veterans with energy and manufacturing opportunities in the region.

The Service to Opportunity initiative, which is free for veterans and employers, allows vets to upload their resumes and helps connect them with career opportunities based on their individual skill set.

A recent survey of 37 energy companies in southwestern Pennsylvania found some 7,000 jobs will need to be filled between now and 2020, jobs that are critical to ongoing operations.

That’s according to the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, which conducted the survey. CEO Dennis Yablonsky said with more than 1,000 energy companies in the greater region, the job needs are likely much higher. The problem is finding enough skilled workers to fill those jobs.

Enter the Appalachia Partnership Initiative.

Building Ties Between Pittsburgh and Puerto Rico

Jun 20, 2014

Music can bring people together, but can it inspire people to travel almost 2,000 miles to find work in a new city?

16 Pittsburgh community organizations are sponsoring the appearance of Puerto Rican salsa band El Gran Combo at the JazzLive International Festival this weekend to launch a  project to promote Pittsburgh as a destination for Puerto Rican workers, especially professionals, migrating from the island to mainland U.S. 

The Allegheny Conference on Community Development welcomed their new chair at the organization’s annual meeting Wednesday evening.

Morgan K. O’Brien, CEO of Peoples Natural Gas, chair of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce and current vice chair of the conference, will take over as chair on Jan. 1, 2014.

O’Brien said he looks forward to continuing the mission of the conference to improve the quality of life in the greater Pittsburgh region.

The EQT Three Rivers Regatta is famous for its powerboat races, concerts and fireworks, but this year, the largest collaborative mosaic flash mural ever will make an appearance.

“Moving the Lives of Kids Community Mural project” (MLK Mural) and ImaginePittsburgh.com have teamed up to create the EnviroMural.

“It’s unlike any we have ever done at MLK Mural Project and unlike any we’ve seen around the country or around the world," said executive artist Kyle Holbrook. "The reason is it involves 2,400 participants, this is families, people of all ages, kids to seniors.”

The Allegheny County Conference on Community Development launched a new website today in an effort to fill 30,000 jobs available in Pittsburgh.

The announcement was made inside PNC Park — capacity 38,362 — about one seat for every available job.

The Allegheny Conference on Community Development has announced the new Strengthening Communities Partnership, an endeavor aimed at spurring private investment in five communities that are already working to revitalize.

“What it enables is for a corporation to provide a significant donation, up to $500,000 annually, and in return for a six-year commitment at that level, they can receive an 80 percent state tax credit and an additional federal benefit,” said Taris Vrcek, executive director of McKees Rocks Community Development Corporation (CDC).

The Allegheny Conference on Community Development (ACCD) will analyze industry needs to create education programs in growing job sectors with the help of $390,000 from the Alcoa Foundation.

Laura Fisher, ACCD Senior Vice President of Special Projects, said they plan to first attract talent to the region in order to fill positions in advanced fields. From there they plan to work with colleges and companies to build a curriculum that meets the energy industry’s needs.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh region was one of three U.S. metro areas to be deemed fully recovered from the 2008 recession by the Brookings Institution in late 2012.

A report released Tuesday shows the region has sustained five years of economic growth, including 2012, which was a benchmark year for employment.