“One big thing about Pittsburgh is its sense of pride, of caring about each other. People matter here.”
Michael Barone is a proud Pittsburgh advocate. A self-described yinzer – a native fluent in the distinct regional accent – the Baldwin Township native often drops into Pittsburgh-ese with friends and neighbors to prompt laughter and conversations about the city’s history.
A fan of all kinds of music, Michael played drums for Baldwin High School’s Highlander Marching Band. Upon graduation and considering various career paths, he came to back to his childhood fascination with truck driving, earning a commercial driver’s license from All-State Career School in West Mifflin.
After a brief stint with another company that had him motoring in Mississippi and Tennessee, his longing for his hometown could no longer be ignored. “I often say I was born in Pittsburgh, I was raised in Pittsburgh and I’ll probably die in Pittsburgh.”
Michael now works as a tractor-trailer driver for PITT OHIO, frequently voted as one of the region’s top workplaces. Based out of PITT OHIO’s terminal in Harmarville in northeastern Allegheny County, Michael appreciates that every day is bit different, finding him making deliveries to buisness owners from all walks of life. He respects is the company’s close relationship with its customer base – and with its workers. “The company’s slogan, ‘We are always there for you,’ isn’t just about the customers; it goes for employees too.”
Part of the fun of the job is that it offers Michael a window into so many parts of the region he wouldn’t discover otherwise. “I’m always noticing things I haven’t seen before. I especially love discovering all the little mom-and-pop shops you’ll find in in places like the Strip District.”
When he isn’t driving, Michael is usually exploring various regional treasures. He loves catching new bands in concert at Stage AE in Pittsburgh’s North Shore – or taking his younger brother, Vincent, to watch baseball at PNC Park or hockey at PPG Paints Arena. You can also find him on nights out with friends on the South Side or occasionally visiting the Andy Warhol Museum. A friend who works at the museum devoted to the Pittsburgh-born pop-art pioneer has introduced him to many cool – and often free events at the museum and elsewhere.
Michael has a real affinity for the small, unique neighborhoods both in the city and around it. “Places like Baldwin, Brentwood and McKees Rocks… being from there means so much to people. There’s a sense of pride, of caring about each other. That is the one big thing about Pittsburgh: People matter.”