“This is the perfect place to raise a family.”
As chemical engineers working in one of the world’s leading chemical engineering hubs -- at a refinery in northern New Jersey -- Danielle Carlini and her husband, Dave, thought their careers were off to a promising start. There was just one problem: the location is among the most expensive places to live in the U.S. “We couldn’t get over the fact that we both had such great jobs, yet we couldn’t afford to buy a house.”
That dilemma eventually drove them to new jobs in Pennsylvania where they could be near family, buy the home they wanted and take advantage of a wide range of outdoor activities -- all within walking distance or an easy drive. They now have a son, David, and are even more certain they made the right move at the right time. “I think this is the perfect place to raise a family,” Danielle says, noting that her parents help with child care, easing the work/life balance a bit.
In her position at ATI Allegheny Ludlum in Leechburg, Danielle is more involved in materials science than chemical engineering, but she appreciates the broader opportunity that represents for her. The grain-oriented electrical steel she helps engineer ends up in residential transformers across the U.S. and other parts of the world. ATI is one of just two companies in the U.S. capable of making this product.
Life outside of work literally means outside for the Carlinis: skiing at Seven Springs in Somerset County and cycling at Ohiopyle in Fayette County and throughout the Laurel Highlands. Danielle is also an avid runner and enjoys such events as the Pittsburgh Great Race and Pittsburgh Half Marathon. The family takes in many outdoor concerts and festivals, including the Blues Festival at Hartwood Acres and Westmoreland County’s Fort Ligonier Days, which commemorates a key battle in the French and Indian War. Along the way, Danielle and Dave also enjoy the many local purveyors and their offerings such as La Casa Narcisi Winery in Gibsonia (Butler County) or Rivertowne Brewing for craft beer made by a chemist in Export.