Pittsburgh's Economic Transformation

Pittsburgh, home to the 2009 G20 Summit, is a showcase for the "New America."

The Pittsburgh region has survived wrenching economic change and has transformed itself with a balanced, innovation-driven economy based upon historic strengths in advanced manufacturing, information and communications technology, health care and life sciences, higher education and research, financial services and energy solutions.

Recently hailed by TIME as "one bright spot on Main Street," Pittsburgh avoided much of the real estate bubble that produced the global financial crisis. In fact, property values in Pittsburgh continue to rise, bucking the national trend. And, despite the global recession, Pittsburgh has a regional unemployment rate that continues to track below the national average, and the gap between the rising jobless rate in the United States and Pittsburgh's rate is growing.

The convergence of the above-mentioned industries in the Pittsburgh region creates a hot bed for exciting ideas and innovations that are propelled by the region's wealth of intellectual capital, connected to renowned educational and research institutions including Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh's knowledge and innovation economy is also a global economy. More than 100 multi-billion dollar global companies are headquartered or base major business units here. From the exceptional to the everyday, Pittsburgh-based products, services and solutions touch the lives of people worldwide. Regional employers with a global reach include Allegheny Technologies, Alcoa, ANSYS, ATI, Black Box, BNY Mellon, Google, H.J. Heinz, Kennametal, Matthews, MSA, PNC, PPG Industries, Respironics, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), U. S. Steel and Westinghouse.

An icon of economic transformation, Pittsburgh is also a case study for sustainability and a national leader in green development. We have a 65-year history of renewing, reclaiming and redeveloping our environment through a series of lasting public-private partnerships. The region is the birthplace of the nation's first air quality legislation and the nation's first water treatment facility.

Pittsburgh is creating better-performing green products and building technologies for the planet's greener future. The David L. Lawrence Convention Center, where the G20 Summit will be held, is the world's first and largest gold LEED®-certified convention center, and the region is among the top 10 in the nation for its number of green buildings. Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group operates buildings with more green square footage than any other corporation in America.

But Pittsburgh is so much more than a forward-looking industrial city with a rich history. The technology and industry you'll find in Pittsburgh are infused with a vibrant cultural scene that celebrates arts from around the world.

Named among the top 25 arts destinations by American Arts Magazine in 2001 and 2005, and consistently ranked among the best arts destinations in the United States by American Style Magazine, it's easy to see why Pittsburgh is one of the most vital cultural centers in America. From Pittsburgh's Cultural District, home to the Benedum Center for Performing Arts, Byham Theater, Heinz Hall, O'Reilly Theater and the new August Wilson Center for African American Culture, to the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Andy Warhol Museum, the Frick Art + Historical Center and one-of-a-kind installation art exhibits at the world-renowned Mattress Factory, you'll be immersed in a cultural scene that is second to none.

The lessons learned - and the gains made - by Pittsburgh can provide hope and insight for the global economy.

"It's an area that has seen its share of economic woes in the past, but because of foresight and investment, is now renewed - giving birth to renewed industries that are creating the jobs of the future." - White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs

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