Once again, advanced manufacturing is a major driver of growth and investment in the Pittsburgh region. The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance unveiled its annual Business Investment Scorecard at a press conference Thursday, which the organization says shows business development and capital investment in the region are both healthy and stable.
“Businesses that are growing here need other businesses to supply all that’s necessary to keep operations humming,” said PRA president David Ruppersberger. “It’s construction workers, truck drivers, makers of hardware and packaging, back office support and so much more. The supply chain in the region is where jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities really begin to multiply.”
The scorecard examines the region’s economic growth across five key sectors: Advanced manufacturing, health care, life sciences, technology and energy. Ruppersberger noted that the report is not comprehensive, but provides a snapshot of the area’s economy. Eighty-three percent of the business development projects in 2015 were within the sectors the PRA tracks.
Last year the 10-county Pittsburgh region saw 275 regional business investment deals, compared to 274 the year before. Among the sectors the PRA tracked, advanced manufacturing far outpaced the others with 68 investment deals. Most of those were business expansion and retention projects. According to the PRA, the advanced manufacturing deals equate to just over $450,000 in capital investment and some 5,400 new jobs.
The scorecard also found that total capital investment grew last year, to $2.9 billion. That’s up from the 2014 total of $2.3 billion in the year before, the ninth year the region’s capital investment topped $1 billion.
Across all five sectors, the total “employment anticipated” due to the investments was just under 15,000, with more than 5,400 new jobs and some 9,500 retained jobs. Those jobs are projected over the next several years.
Four companies joined the PRA at Thursday’s event to highlight their growth plans, including professional services and investment management firm, JLL; Carnegie Mellon University spinoff Wombat Security Technologies; Fischione Instruments, and ride-sharing company Uber.
Since arriving in Pittsburgh in 2014, Uber has expanded its footprint in Pittsburgh beyond its app-based ride sharing service to include its Advanced Technologies Center in Lawrenceville and research facility and test track at the Almono site in Hazelwood. Jennifer Krusius, Uber’s general manager for Pittsburgh, said the company is “laser-focused” on its future in the region.
“We’re confident that Pittsburgh will continue to deliver a strong pipeline of talented candidates as we continue to grow,” Krusius said. “Above all else, our investment in Pittsburgh is a bold bet on future transportation, which we’re committed to being a part of. Today, we’re prouder than ever to call Pittsburgh home and be part of this growing innovation ecosystem.”