Among the manufacturing hubs of the 20th century, few are as strongly identified with their industrial legacy as the Steel City. With continued innovation and investment, Pittsburgh is well positioned to build on its past success to become a manufacturing leader in the 21st century.
Starting in the early 1900s, as skyscrapers rose to shape the contours of the great American cities, steel and related industries powered the economy of southwestern Pennsylvania. By the time American steel production peaked in the 1950s, the Pittsburgh area was the epicenter of the industry.
Over the last couple of decades, our city has become a model for economic diversification — creating a hospitable business environment to attract new companies and adding jobs in health care, technology, education and other sectors. The White House shined an international spotlight on these efforts in 2009 when it selected Pittsburgh to host the G20 Summit.
While diversification efforts have revitalized the city’s image and attracted new industries, manufacturing is still a significant economic driver in the region. It accounted for $13.74 billion of Pittsburgh’s GDP in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and employed 1.18 million people in the area as of October 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Given the infrastructure, available real estate and skilled labor already in place, Pittsburgh’s manufacturing legacy gives the area a competitive edge in becoming a leader in advanced manufacturing. Local universities like Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh are leading the way in researching advanced technologies and training individuals for the manufacturing processes of tomorrow. In the past year alone, General Electric took advantage of its proximity to our rich resources to open a new center devoted to additive manufacturing.
The U.S. Department of Commerce demonstrated support for the future of Pittsburgh manufacturing by selecting it as one of 12 cities for the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) in 2015. Under the initiative, the Greater Pittsburgh Metals Manufacturing Community received special federal assistance for its economic development plans, including support for job training, business growth and research into advanced manufacturing technology. As Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said at the time of the selection, “An IMCP designation is an important signal to potential investors that these communities are a good place to spend their money.”
At Chase, we’re incredibly proud of this local community, and we’re dedicated to investing in the future of Pittsburgh’s manufacturing industry. Get in touch with me directly to learn more about how we can work together, or visit chase.com/executiveconnect for insights to help power your business.
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