Bonnie Pfister
Ned Schano (left) with xxx
Ned Schano (left) with Pirates Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski

George Washington’s peace pipe. Mister Rogers’ television set. World Series-winning baseballs. As director of communications for the Heinz History Center and co-director of the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, Ned Schano spends his workday helping to tell the story of the Pittsburgh region. In his spare time, he’s active with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and plays tennis on a U.S. Tennis Association league team that includes players Italy and Colombia.

Schano is a Neighbor at ImaginePittsburgh.com, a virtual concierge that highlights the great live, work and play options in the 10-county region. Like the dozens of other Neighbors, he helps newcomers and natives alike find their way in the the region. Surf around or take the “Find Yourself in Pittsburgh” quiz to be matched up with Neighbors who may share your interests and have tips on what’s fun and engaging to do in the region. Use the powerful job search aggregator featuring tens of thousands of jobs open right now in the region, to consider your next career move, or check out our Featured Employers to find out what jobs they’ve got open and what they’re looking for in people they hire and promote.

 

 

Bonnie Pfister
Josh Stewart (right) with husband Chuck and son Thatcher at the 2013 Pittsburgh Pride festival.
Josh Stewart (right) with husband Chuck and son Thatcher at the 2013 Pittsburgh Pride festival.

Pittsburgh may not have as large or concentrated an LGBT community as some larger cities, but for Josh Stewart, that’s OK.

“ Pittsburgh is a welcoming city in general,” says Stewart, who lives in Baldwin with his husband, Charles, and son, Thatcher. They find the region to be friendly, with a strong sense of community. “Pittsburgh is great place to live and work for an LGBT family.”

Learn more about Stewart, one of the Neighbors at ImaginePittsburgh.com, a virtual concierge that highlights work, play and live options in the 10-county region. On the site you can look for a job among the nearly 30,000 gathered by our powerful job aggregator, sign up for updates about the region through our social media channels or RRS feeds and take the “Find Yourself in Pittsburgh!” quiz to be matched up with Neighbors who may share your interests and have tips on what’s fun and engaging to do in the region.

 

Ben Kamber

On Location at the Quality of Life Technology Center

A unique collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, the Quality of Life Technology Center (QoLT) at Bakery Square is working to make life easier for people with disabilities and older adults. QoLT brings together the word-class assets of both universities to research and design cutting-edge robots and other technologies to allow people from all walks of life to live more independently. Dr. Rory Cooper, the center’s co-director from Pitt and Dr. Daniel Siewiorek, the center’s CMU co-director, discuss the mission of QoLT and why this university partnership makes sense.

From Lab to Market: Commercializing Quality of Life Technologies

What does it take to make the cutting-edge technologies being developed at the Quality of Life Technology Center (QoLT) available to the broader public? Randy Eager, QoLT’s industrial liaison officer joins Dr. Rory Cooper and Dr. Daniel Siewiorek to chat about the process of commercializing technologies and to showcase a few QoLT innovations that are being brought to market.

Bakery Square 2.0 Breaks Ground

With the success of Bakery Square (nearly all office space is leased), the time has come for Bakery Square 2.0 – the newest residential / office space development in Pittsburgh’s East End. Construction has begun on the 12-acre site of the former Reizenstein School, which is just across the street from the existing Bakery Square complex. Gregg Perelman, principal of Walnut Capital and Todd Reidbord, president of Walnut Capital, discuss the project’s scale and scope and the many green and sustainable features that will become part of the development.

Our Region’s Business airs Sundays at 11 a.m. on WPXI-TV. Hosted by the Allegheny Conference’s Bill Flanagan, the 30-minute business affairs program is co-produced with Cox Broadcasting. The program is rebroadcast on PCNC-TV at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sundays, and at 3:30 p.m. Mondays. It also airs Sundays on WJAC-TV (Johnstown-Altoona) at 6 a.m. and WTOV-TV (Wheeling-Steubenville) at 6:30 a.m.

Bonnie Pfister

The work of further aligning education with workforce development moves forward this month, as the Energy Innovation Center’s first training sessions begin.

Rendering of Energy Innovation Center in former Connelley Trade School, Hill District
Rendering of Energy Innovation Center in former Connelley Trade School, Hill District

The center, or EIC, is a collaboration of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, the Pittsburgh region’s research universities, economic development organizations and corporations, including Eaton Corp., Bayer MaterialScience, EQT, Duquesne Light Co., PPG Industries, Johnson Controls, Burns & Scalo and Mascaro Construction.  In addition to the Penn State Center, the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University, other partners in the center include Operating Engineers Local 95 and Urban Innovation21.

The center aims to bring together proof-of-concept energy technology demonstration laboratories, an early-stage business incubator and targeted workforce training programs. Corporate partners will showcase new products and deploy advanced energy management systems. Construction is underway for the center’s eventual home, a LEED-Platinum facility on the site of former Connelley Trade School in the Hill District. The center is to be complete in 2014.

In the meantime, courses are being offered around the region, beginning with a five-part series in project management for the energy industry at the Sigmas Conference Center on Babcock Boulevard in Shaler.

A training course on retro-commissioning for commercial and industrial buildings is scheduled to begin March 18 at the Eaton Power Systems Experience Center in Warrendale. Additional information on this and nearly a dozen other trainings are available here.

The EIC joins ShaleNET in preparing people in the region for careers in the growing energy sector. Launched three years ago as an entry-level training program, ShaleNET has since placed more than 2,000 people in jobs. In late 2012, it was awarded an additional federal grant to expand its geographic reach and develop training for certificate programs and two-year degrees for careers beyond the drill rigs, in oil and natural gas processing. You can read more about that here.

Phil Cynar

Despite a brewing Hurricane Sandy, chemical engineers from all over the world – some 6,000 men and women, including about 1,600 students – blew into Pittsburgh for the week-long American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ (AIChE) 2012 Annual Meeting, held Oct. 28 – Nov. 2 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

AIChE is the world’s leading organization for chemical engineering professionals, with more than 40,000 members from 90+ countries. Its Pittsburgh meeting was touted by association leaders as having record-breaking attendance – in spite of the stormy weather here. Additionally, leaders at VisitPittsburgh, the region’s convention and visitors’ bureau, estimated that the delegates could have spent $8.5 million while in town.

Pittsburgh, in 2012, has seen a bit of a lion’s share of science and technology-based conventions and meetings. Among these were the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) – both in the spring. And more recently, nearly 300 undergrad masterminds from some of the best colleges and universities in the eastern United States to participate in the International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) Americas East regional jamboree here, showcasing their best in molecular engineering advances impacting medicine, energy, the environment and more.

Pittsburgh is a destination of choice for these groups, association leaders and meeting planners say, because it’s a model that reflects many of their key interests. Among these are a thriving innovation-driven economy, plentiful R&D investments and activity and a regional commitment to advancing energy solutions across a portfolio of energy resources, including a keen focus on sustainability and green technologies.

Because it “walks the talk,” Pittsburgh is more than your typical convention destination; it’s a living laboratory where visitors can see Pittsburgh’s expertise play out in real-world settings.

In the video below, Anthony Cugini, Ph.D., the head of the regionally located federal National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) shares insights about the region’s leadership in sustainability, higher education and the government-industry-academia partnerships that attracted AIChE to Pittsburgh.

AIChE President David Rosenthal and Steven Little, chair of the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering share thoughts on why Pittsburgh attracts conventions like AIChe. Beyond fueling the local economy, conferences such as the AIChE meeting and others provide an opportunity to showcase (and perhaps sell) Pittsburgh as a destination with all the right things – low cost of living, high quality of life, stable economy – and, most important, thousands of open jobs, including lots of engineering jobs.

Seeing is believing, as the saying goes, so we’ll continue to chase key conventions and capitalize on them. We’ll showcase what the region has to offer to professionals and businesses from all over planet: careers aplenty and relevant investment opportunities.

Phil Cynar
Nobel Laureate (and Pitt grad) Maathai Wangari

Pittsburgh has inspired and enabled great achievements by pioneers in environmental justice, medicine, art and sports. You can learn more here, but a sampling is below.

Kenya-born Wangari Maathai was a global leader on environmental and anti-poverty issues. She earned a master’s degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh and received the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.

A native of Springdale, a community along the Allegheny River just 18 miles northeast of the City of Pittsburgh and a 1929 alumna of Pittsburgh’s Chatham University, Rachel Carson was a marine biologist, conservationist and author. Her book, Silent Spring, is credited with advancing the global environmental movement. 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of its publication.

University of Pittsburgh researcher and professor Dr. Jonas Salk developed the first vaccine for polio – one of America’s most frightening public health crises – on March 26, 1953 in Pittsburgh. Widespread use of his vaccine is expected to globally eradicate this crippling disease.

Pittsburgh Pirates Right Fielder Roberto Clemente‘s breathtaking skills as a hitter helped the Pirates win two World Series. A native of Puerto Rico, Clemente was the first Latino in U.S. baseball to receive Most Valuable Player and World Series MVP awards and to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Pittsburgh-born leader of the pop-art movement beginning in the 1960s, Andy Warhol blurred the lines between art and life, commerce, film and celebrity. “The pop idea was that anybody could do anything.” Warhol is also often remembered for his quip, “everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” Pittsburgh is home to The Andy Warhol Museum, the largest museum in the U.S. dedicated to one artist.

Born on Pittsburgh’s North Side in a neighborhood now called Allegheny West, Gertrude Stein was a writer, poet, art collector and feminist. She spent most of her life in Paris, nurturing such now-famous avant-garde artists as Matisse and Picasso, and expatriate American writers during the first half of the 20th century.

A native of Guatemala, Luis Von Ahn is a Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor and MacArthur “Genius” grant winner. He pioneered crowd-sourcing and the reCAPTCHA software used to digitize books and other printed text. His latest venture is Duolingo, a free language-learning website and crowd-sourced text translation platform.

Born to Portuguese parents in Mozambique, Teresa Heinz is an American businesswoman and philanthropist. She chairs The Heinz Endowments and Heinz Family Philanthropies, which help the Pittsburgh region thrive economically, ecologically, educationally and culturally.

Called “the father of modern transplantation,” Dr. Thomas Starzl, was the first to perform human liver transplants. A physician, researcher and organ transplant expert, Dr. Starzl has called Pittsburgh his home since 1981.

An American entrepreneur and engineer, George Westinghouse is the inventor of the railway air brake. This device enabled trains to be stopped – for the first time – with fail-safe accuracy by locomotive engineers and was eventually adopted on the majority of the world’s railroads. Westinghouse was also a pioneer of the electrical industry and one of Thomas Edison’s main rivals. A transplant to the Pittsburgh region from his native New York state, Westinghouse and his wife, made their first home in Pittsburgh in 1868.