Bonnie Pfister

Check out our Facebook photo album for more images from the fall 2016 Pittsburgh student tours.

ImaginePittsburgh.com is getting Pittsburgh students off campus and on location at some of the coolest employers anywhere.

Google, UPMC Enterprises, PNC, startup incubator AlphaLab Gear, software maker Truefit and design/engineering studio Deeplocal were among the workplaces visited in two tours this fall.

Student journalists visit Deeplocal in the Strip District.
Student journalists visit Deeplocal in the Strip District.

“These students are getting up-close and personal with hiring managers, heads of startups and innovators in organizations large and small,” said Linda Topoleski, vice president of workforce programs for the Allegheny Conference, which operates ImaginePittsburgh.com. “These companies are hiring dynamic college graduates as well as attracting young professionals from around the country who’ve heard about Pittsburgh as next Brooklyn.”

The hope is that young journalists, podcasters and bloggers will share insights about career and lifestyle opportunities in the region with their readers, viewers, listeners and social media followers. Computer science students participated in a tour earlier this fall, because their skills are in especially high demand across all industry sectors and in nearly every company.

It can be hard for students to make time to explore beyond campus, and ImaginePittsburgh.com research indicates that even people who grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania are often unaware of the wealth of career opportunities right under their noses. Among the jobs in high demand across the 10-county region include information security analysts, software engineers, accountants, auditors, HR specialists, nurses, medical assistants, engineers and industrial technicians.

formal-group-shot-it-tour
In October, computer science students from Pittsburgh colleges toured regional employers with including UPMC Enterprises high up in the U.S. Steel building.

Pittsburgh is also a fun place to launch a career. The new Graduate Opportunity Index compiled by LinkedIn and Trulia ranked Pittsburgh as a top city for new entrants into the workforce because of its affordability and wealth of entry-level jobs and educated Millennials. The most recent tour broke for lunch at The Andy Warhol Museum – a destination for visitors from around the globe. Students got to mingle with young professionals who have chosen Pittsburgh about the career opportunities here, as well as and hear from Venture Outdoors staff about the wealth of outdoor recreation options here – including great skiing and snowboarding less than an hour’s drive from Oakland.

ImaginePittsburgh.com

Just a few tickets are left for the Monday, Sept. 26 ATHENA Awards luncheon! Get yours today at Athena-Pittsburgh.com

Eight women – five veteran managers and three emerging leaders – have been selected as finalists for the 2016 ATHENA Awards Program of Greater Pittsburgh. They will be among the many nominees recognized for their professional excellence, contributions to the community and mentorship of other women at the annual ATHENA Awards luncheon on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. The awards are presented by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development at the Westin Convention Center Hotel. One finalist from each category – the traditional ATHENA award, and the ATHENA Young Professional Award – will receive her respective award at the event.

The finalists for the traditional ATHENA award compose a varied and distinguished group. Each woman uses her leadership to create professional excellence and positive regional impact. The finalists are:

  • Audrey Dunning, CEO, Summa Technologies, Inc.
  • Kelly Gray, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, FedEx Ground
  • Diana Reid, Executive Vice President, PNC Real Estate
  • Tracy Vitale, Superintendent of Schools, Seneca Valley School District
  • Yvette Williams, Senior Patient Advocate/Program Manager, Allegheny Health Network/The Open Door, Inc.

The ATHENA Young Professional Award (AYPA) will be presented to a woman 35 years of age or younger who exemplifies the traditional ATHENA qualities, with an emphasis on being a role model. The finalists are:

  • Marteen Garay, Director of Entrepreneurship Programming, Urban Innovation21
  • Caitlin Green, Vice President, PNC Bank, N.A.
  • Katie Kopczynski, Marketing Analyst, Eaton

A complete list of nominees can be found at ATHENA-Pittsburgh.com.

Also at the luncheon, ATHENA officials will announce the recipient of the new Barbara McNees Spirit of ATHENA Scholarship, named for the ATHENA program’s founder and retired president of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce (an Allegheny Conference affiliate). The scholarship will be awarded annually to one woman age 35 or younger to attend, tuition-free, the Carnegie Mellon Leadership and Negotiation Academy for Women. The deadline to apply is July 29 for the academy session that begins Sept. 23. Learn more about the scholarship and the academy here.

Last year’s Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Awards luncheon drew nearly 900 attendees. That makes it among the largest stand-alone events of its kind among the 500-plus communities around the globe that present the award each year.

Tickets for the luncheon can be purchased online at ATHENA-Pittsburgh.com. Sponsorships are still available; contact ATHENA@alleghenyconference.org.

The ATHENA Awards are the networking event of the season for men and women of all backgrounds! Tickets available here: Athena-Pittsburgh.com

Eight women – five veteran managers and three emerging leaders – have been selected as finalists for the 2016 ATHENA Awards Program of Greater Pittsburgh. They will be among the many nominees recognized for their professional excellence, contributions to the community and mentorship of other women at the annual ATHENA Awards luncheon on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. The awards are presented by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development at the Westin Convention Center Hotel. One finalist from each category – the traditional ATHENA award, and the ATHENA Young Professional Award – will receive her respective award at the event.

The finalists for the traditional ATHENA award compose a varied and distinguished group. Each woman uses her leadership to create professional excellence and positive regional impact. The finalists are:

  • Audrey Dunning, CEO, Summa Technologies, Inc.
  • Kelly Gray, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, FedEx Ground
  • Diana Reid, Executive Vice President, PNC Real Estate
  • Tracy Vitale, Superintendent of Schools, Seneca Valley School District
  • Yvette Williams, Senior Patient Advocate/Program Manager, Allegheny Health Network/The Open Door, Inc.

The ATHENA Young Professional Award (AYPA) will be presented to a woman 35 years of age or younger who exemplifies the traditional ATHENA qualities, with an emphasis on being a role model. The finalists are:

  • Marteen Garay, Director of Entrepreneurship Programming, Urban Innovation21
  • Caitlin Green, Vice President, PNC Bank, N.A.
  • Katie Kopczynski, Marketing Analyst, Eaton

A complete list of nominees can be found at ATHENA-Pittsburgh.com.

Also at the luncheon, ATHENA officials will announce the recipient of the new Barbara McNees Spirit of ATHENA Scholarship, named for the ATHENA program’s founder and retired president of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce (an Allegheny Conference affiliate). The scholarship will be awarded annually to one woman age 35 or younger to attend, tuition-free, the Carnegie Mellon Leadership and Negotiation Academy for Women. The deadline to apply is July 29 for the academy session that begins Sept. 23. Learn more about the scholarship and the academy here.

Last year’s Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Awards luncheon drew nearly 900 attendees. That makes it among the largest stand-alone events of its kind among the 500-plus communities around the globe that present the award each year.

Tickets for the luncheon can be purchased online at ATHENA-Pittsburgh.com. Sponsorships are still available; contact ATHENA@alleghenyconference.org.

Bonnie Pfister

Whether it’s because of — or in spite of! — the presence of family, to enjoy four seasons amid distinctive topography, or to advance a career, Pittsburgh is increasingly a place that people come back to.

And why not?

PensStanleyCupmemeThere’s plenty going on in the Pittsburgh region to keep you busy and happy in terms of career and fun. We’re affordable enough that you won’t be a slave to your rent or mortgage. Got an idea for a new product or service? Our entrepreneurial ecosystem — including such incubators and supporters as  AlphaLab, AlphaLab Gear, TechShop, the Three Rivers Venture Fair and the SBDC (at Duquesne University, but open to all) – is notable for its camaraderie. As AlphaLab alum and Jazz Founder Don Charlton puts it, “if you can get a bit of momentum, you’ll have an entire city trying to help you.” The annual Thrival Innovation + Music Festival has grown into a not-to-miss event. And our restaurant scene is awesome.

Cool jobs. Hot industries. Longstanding employers doing cutting-edge R&D in healthcare and with materials and metals that will make airplanes and autos faster and more fuel-efficient.

With more than 20,000 jobs open today across southwestern PA, surely there’s one — or many — that would be winners for you. Come on; the if the Pens could bring the Stanley Cup back to Pittsburgh, isn’t it time for you to come back, too?

Find your new job at ImaginePittsburgh.com.

 

Alison Treaster

For decades, the Pittsburgh region has been a haven for refugees fleeing violence and oppression in their home countries. Refugee families, children and individuals have put down roots in southwestern Pennsylvania with the help of local resettlement agencies, religious organizations and nondenominational groups. Today, our region is dotted with vibrant communities of hard-working Bhutanese, Bosnian, Burmese, Congolese, Iraqi, Somali, Sudanese and Syrian refugees, among others.

While adapting to a new home with different languages and customs is difficult even in the best of circumstances, refugees positively contribute to the Pittsburgh community in a variety of ways. On June 17, Pittsburgh’s World Refugee Day in Market Square celebrated those contributions with musical and dance performances, as well as “Refugee Voices” presentations and food and fares from the local communities.

WRD_Poster_2016Who are refugees? A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence. While returning home is often a goal, many refugees spend years in temporary camps in third countries before either returning home or being approved for resettlement in an adopted country. Their plight has been brought to wider public attention over the past year as conflict in Syria and ongoing violence around the world has forced more than 15 million people to flee their country of origin. The United Nations’ Refugee Agency calls this the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

Through it all, Pittsburgh has remained a welcoming city. Thanks to the tireless efforts of various organizations, our region continues to help more than 500 refugees create homes here each year. The U.S. refugee process is grueling and typically takes years. Refugees remain among the most highly vetted population to enter our country, undergoing screenings by the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and one-on-one interviews abroad before they may be approved to enter the United States.

For more information or to help refugees in the Pittsburgh region, contact a local refugee resettlement agency such as  AJAPOCatholic CharitiesJewish Family & Children’s Services or the Northern Area Multi-Service Center.

Bonnie Pfister

The event noted below occurred in the past. But that means ATHENA season is officially on!

Go to Athena-Pittsburgh.com to learn about the awards program.

Pittsburgh routinely leads national rankings for everything from its increasingly youthful talent pool, its tech startups, its affordability and its wealth of innovative restaurants. But how are women faring in these emerging industries? Is our region fully leveraging the competitive strengths of women?

As the ATHENA Awards Program opens its annual call for nominations, its host committee invites men and women who care about equity to the Fairmont Pittsburgh hotel from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 11 for a lively discussion among women who are pioneers in disruptive innovation, emerging technologies and cuisine. NEXTpittsburgh Publisher Tracy Certo will moderate the panel, which includes:

  • Summer C. Fowler, Director of Cybersecurity Risk & Resilience at CERT, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Jennifer Krusius, General Manager, Pittsburgh + PA Expansion of Uber Technologies, Inc.
  • Priya Narasimhan, CEO & Founder, YinzCam, Inc.; Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor at Carnegie Mellon University
  • Ling Wollenschlaeger, Founder and Head Chef of Pittsburgh Fresh LLC
  • Bethany Zozula, Executive Chef at Whitfield within Ace Hotel Pittsburgh

Tickets are $30 and include continental breakfast. The event is the annual kickoff to the ATHENA season, opening the doors for nominations for awards nominations. The traditional ATHENA Award, now in its 26th year, recognizes a woman who demonstrates excellence in her profession, contributes to her community and helps other women to succeed. The ATHENA Young Professional Award is geared toward emerging leaders age 35 or younger. Nominations may be submitted online between May 11 and June 30.

Named for the Greek goddess of strength and wisdom, the Athena Awards of Greater Pittsburgh are unique among regional honors for professional women because of the focus on developing the next generation of female leaders through mentorship. The awards luncheon, scheduled this year for Sept. 26, is attended by more than 900 men and women and is one of the largest ATHENA events worldwide. The awards are convened by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, of which ImaginePittsburgh.com is a program.

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Pittsburgh has jobs: more than 20,000 across 10 counties. Tap into ImaginePittsburgh.com to explore southwestern PA’s trending careers and industries.