Pittsburgh Works Together to release agenda to make Pittsburgh region post-pandemic economic power

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June 29 2020 - Pittsburgh Works

PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh Works Together, a coalition of labor, business and civic leaders, today unveiled a five part policy agenda for the region, saying western Pennsylvania can become the epicenter of the nation’s post pandemic economic recovery.

“The Pittsburgh region can lead the country if we are smart, nimble, and above all, bold enough to prepare for a new reality,” the document declares. “We can either take advantage of southwestern Pennsylvania’s world-class assets in energy, manufacturing, construction, technology, research, and a skilled workforce unafraid of hard work, or we can watch this generational opportunity pass us by, leaving our future up to others.”

The group unveiled the plan in a video press conference, a reflection of the ongoing problems posed by the continuing spread of Covid-19. The plan’s release follows a television advertising campaign touting the region’s potential, based on its manufacturing, technology and energy sectors.

The plan calls for:

  • Full development of the region’s growing energy sector, focusing on its natural gas resources.
  • Vocational and technical education for young people who opt not to attend college and enter skilled trades.
  • A concentration on rebuilding the region’s infrastructure, from its transportation and power grid to water treatment and broadband capacity.
  • Fresh investment by reducing regulatory and excessive tax-burdens on job creators.
  • A Pennsylvania-First policy of tax-credits and other incentives for publicly underwritten projects.

“This plan offers the essential elements for not just restarting the economy in western Pennsylvania, but providing hope for those who find themselves left behind by positioning our region as the nucleus of a new surge in reclaiming our world wide lead in manufacturing and technology,” said Morgan O’Brien, co-chairman of the organization.

While the document offers no projected job numbers, one labor leader said the broad policy outlined would likely encourage a surge of new employment.

“The areas this document touches on is definitely union territory,” said co-chair Tom Melcher, business manager for the Pittsburgh Regional Building Trades Council.

“Any time we talk about infrastructure and manufacturing, we’re encouraging the good-paying jobs that have supported working families and set the pace for wages and salaries in other sectors,” Melcher added.

Jeff Nobers, executive director of Pittsburgh Works Together, said the document will be presented to the region’s elected and civic leaders in hopes of sparking a discussion on how best to proceed in rebuilding the economy in the months ahead.

“We think this policy statement is something on which this region can build,” he said. “This is an important juncture in the national economy and Pittsburgh and we need to seize it.”

View Plan online: https://pghworks.com/our-plan/

Contact: Dennis Roddy
Phone: 412-855-2676
Email: press@pghworks.com

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Jeff Nobers | Executive Director | Jeff@pghworks.com
Ken Zapiniski | Director of Research and Public Policy | ken@pghworks.com
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