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Pittsburgh: Once again a leader in innovation

Pittsburgh, being a national leader in research and development (R & D), has so much upside because of the university ecosystem the region boasts.
Jan 21, 2013

We’re not talking innovation in the Steel Industry here ladies and gentlemen. That was a few decades ago. We’re talking about Pittsburgh’s rebirth as a dynamic economic leader!

Our team at Dagostino Electronic Services was REALLY excited when we came across this eye-opening article on Site Selection Online.

Here’s a short excerpt of the article:

“Throughout the region, top talent is not just being attracted to established energy companies and innovative entrepreneurial startups; it is being grown from within by a confluence of higher education; government, academic and corporate technology research; and private firms seeking a leadership position in the new global energy marketplace.

From household brand names like Westinghouse Electric Co., U.S. Steel and Alcoa to emerging energy technology leaders like Aquion Energy, BPL Global and kWantera, Pittsburgh is well on its way to being known as the new center of American energy.

If that sounds like a stretch, consider this: the first oil well in the U.S. was discovered in this region of the Keystone State; workers have been mining the famous Pittsburgh Seam for coal for 250-plus years; and North America’s largest reserve of natural gas — the Marcellus Shale — has ignited a surge in energy exploration investment that is unprecedented in continental history.

On top of these abundant natural resources lies a supply chain that is robust and growing. The concentration of advanced materials manufacturing companies, heavy equipment makers and chemical firms in the Pittsburgh region is unmatched anywhere else in the nation.”

Read the complete article here.

What does this mean for us?

A whole lot of excitement!

Later in the article, Ron Starner talks about the Pittsburgh Region & its 10-county, 2.5 million people. Starner attributes the recent development of the region’s energy industry to the long history of coal development, and to steel & iron manufacturing.

This time around, Starner highlights, Pittsburgh’s differentiator is innovation.

Pittsburgh, being a national leader in research and development (R & D), has so much upside because of the university ecosystem the region boasts. With colleges and universities such as Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and University of Pittsburgh among several others, the Pittsburgh region is now positioned to not only boast loads of top-talent for the energy industry, but the region is positioned to also retain such top-talent for local industries:

“Why were all the steel mills built here? It wasn’t because iron ore was here. It was because coal was here. Now we have coal, nuclear, solar, wind, and energy management companies like Eaton, in addition to a great university system to support them.”

Talent will always keep Pittsburgh in the running for high-tech energy projects, notes Loucks. “We are training the power system engineers of the future,” he says. “There is a large percentage of power engineers who are retiring in just a few years. We have 55-to-65-year-olds, and we have 25-year-olds, and there is no one in between.”

Loucks adds that “we hire three or four engineering graduates from local colleges and universities every year.”

Mark Horner, senior manager of global communications for Eaton, says, “There is an energy hub emerging here and there is a tremendous talent pool in this region. Pittsburgh is becoming a place on the map. The old lament was that all of our young talent would leave. Now Pittsburgh is considered a very cool place to be. It also has a reputation as a green hub. We have more LEED certified buildings per capita than any other city in America. And Pittsburgh has become a test lab for innovation.”

If you want to find out how DES factors in to the Energy Management industry in the Pittsburgh Region take a look at what we have to offer in the energy industry!

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