Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pittsburgh-based Global Links Named Best Environmental Non-Profit in Northeast

Pittsburgh-based Global Links has been named the best environmental non-profit in the Northeast by GreatNonprofits, a California organization that rates and reviews non-profit performance nationwide for volunteers and donors.

Founded in 1989, Global Links is a medical relief and development organization dedicated to a two-fold mission of environmental stewardship and improving health in developing countries. Global Links collaborates with U.S. hospitals to redirect still useful materials away from the waste stream to public health improvement efforts in targeted countries throughout the hemisphere.

Global Links recovers over 100 tons of medical materials a year that otherwise would have ended up in landfills or incinerators. It receives donations of medical supplies from all of the major hospitals in the Pittsburgh area. The organization has also developed a vibrant and growing volunteer program, with 1,541 volunteers serving more than 6,000 hours in 2007.

Global Links has cultivated long-term relationships with the World Health Organization as well as ministries of health and hospitals and clinics in Bolivia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, Guyana, Jamaica and Nicaragua.

Recipient institutions in the nine focus countries receive 40-foot sea containers of carefully selected medical supplies chosen to meet their specific needs.

Recipient hospitals around the world receive an annual allotment of suture, a critical medical supply that is all too often lacking in hospitals. Global Links is the only recovery organization with a dedicated suture program in the United States.

Global Links fulfills requests for medical supplies from individuals, organizations or institutions in the Pittsburgh area who travel to developing countries to provide medical assistance. It supports 40-50 such trips every year.

Learn more at


Canada is an Important Partner and Investor in the Pittsburgh Region's Economic Growth

Like the United States, Canada held national elections last year, and like Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper faces a long list of challenges, including a struggling world economy, complex energy and environmental issues, the nation’s soldiers standing in harm’s way in far-away conflicts, and competing demands and differing agendas in the halls of government.

There are many good reasons for both administrations to share concerns about their mutual challenges. The U.S. and Canada have one of the largest, most integrated economic partnerships in the world, including the largest two-way trading relationship.

Canada is this country’s top export destination, meaning Canadians buy more from the U.S. than all European Union countries combined, and four times more than China. Pennsylvania, like more than two-thirds of U.S. states, exports more products to Canada than any other country, exceeding $9 billion per year.

Pittsburghers should be very interested in trade with Canada since two-way trade between Canada and the Commonwealth topped $20 billion in 2007, supporting more than 295,250 jobs in Pennsylvania.

The Pittsburgh region shipped over $2.1 billion worth of goods to Canada in 2007, nearly three times more than any other country.

Canadian investment in Pennsylvania has grown every year, and the Pittsburgh region is home to 36 companies with Canadian ties, including NOVA Chemicals, Bombardier Transportation and Hatch Engineering. Canadian firms employ 4,300 people at 59 locations in the region. Canadian visitors to Pennsylvania numbered more than 750,000 last year and spent more than $130 million.

Canada is a major partner in U.S. energy security. Canada has the second-largest oil reserves in the world. Only Saudi Arabia has more. The U.S. imports far more oil and energy products from Canada than from any other country. Canada supplies more crude oil to the U.S. than Saudi Arabia and Iraq combined. Canadian oil companies are major investors in the U.S. petroleum industry, providing jobs and income for Americans.

Since the Canada–U.S. Free Trade Agreement was signed in 1988 — and then NAFTA in 1992 — there is evidence that bilateral trade has been a major driver of economic growth on both sides of the border. Over the last two decades, Canada-U.S. trade has tripled. Investment flows have also increased substantially.

Given the scale of this success, the path to continued economic growth for the two countries may lie in the North American supply chains.
These are the highly-integrated international networks through which components or services are acquired, transformed and delivered to customers — rather than within one country.

North America's competitive position in the global marketplace relies on the strength and efficiency of these cross-border supply chains. This does not mean that the U.S. drops container-loads of finished products on Canadian shores. The essence of these supply chains is that the two countries make things together—thereby improving the competitiveness of the final product through lower cost, better technology or better design.

For more information, CLICK HERE to go to the website of the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo. READ FULL ARTICLE

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Nonstop Flights to LA/San Francisco will Enhance Pittsburgh Access to Asia Destinations

New nonstop flights to San Francisco and Los Angeles on United Airlines will create easier access from Pittsburgh to growing markets in Asia and the Pacific Rim.

Beginning Sept. 2, United will offer daily nonstop service between Pittsburgh International Airport and United’s hubs in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Flights can be booked at

“Flying nonstop to United’s West Coast hubs of Los Angeles and San Francisco will give Pittsburgh air travelers more choices to reach important destinations for business and leisure,” said Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato. “These new flights expand options for reaching Hawaii, Vancouver and Edmonton, Canada, Asia and Australia with only one stop. United’s new air service will be a tremendous asset for our region and enable our businesses to compete even more efficiently on a global scale.”

The flights will be operated with an Airbus 319 aircraft on the following schedule:

Pittsburgh – Los Angeles on United

  • Flight Number UA 265, PIT-LAX, departs PIT 6 p.m., arrives LAX 8:16 p.m., daily
  • Flight Number UA 458, LAX-PIT, departs LAX 9 a.m., arrives PIT 5:17 p.m., daily

Pittsburgh – San Francisco on United

  • Flight Number UA 237, PIT-SFO, departs PIT 8:45 a.m., arrives SFO 11:13 a.m., daily
  • Flight Number UA 480, SFO-PIT, departs SFO 1 p.m., arrives PIT 8:49 p.m., daily

“These flights provide the business traveler with an ideal schedule for departures and arrivals. No red-eyes!” said Allegheny County Airport Authority Chairman Glenn R. Mahone. “Another distinction for this announcement: With this latest offering, United now offers flights to its five hubs from Pittsburgh International Airport, including Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. That creates many opportunities for convenient domestic and global connections.”

“For a number of years, public and private-sector leaders in the Pittsburgh region have focused on preserving service to critical U.S. business markets and restoring nonstop service to Europe,” said Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. “As a result, nonstop service to Europe will resume on June 3, and today’s announcement by United Airlines is an important step forward in our domestic efforts. Now we need to use these new routes, make them successful, and send a message to the airline industry that Pittsburgh International Airport is a profitable location to add service."


Luncheon Discussion Group

An American Diplomacy for the 21st Century
May 14, 2009
Luncheon – Noon
Adjourn – 1:45 p.m.

Speaker: Ambassador Marc Grossman, Vice Chairman, The Cohen Group; Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs; Chairman, World Affairs Councils of America

Location: Duquesne Club, Main Dining Room, 325 Sixth Ave, downtown Pittsburgh

Allen H. and Selma W. Berkman Memorial Lecture on International Law and Politics

Since 9.11, we have come to realize how fundamentally the world has changed, how the nature of America’s power in the world has changed, and that our foreign policy needs to adapt to these new realities. What role does diplomacy play in a world of globalized information, commerce, and even violence?

Please reserve your place by May 12th. Click here to register now!


iPort Program Continues to Encourage Business Interaction Between Pittsburgh Region & India

The iPort program, which encourages business and investment connections between the Pittsburgh region and India, continues to grow with a trade mission to India scheduled for October 2009.

As part of the joint iPort program founded and managed by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE)-Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, the mission will focus on two sectors: infrastructure (including power generation, energy, water, environmental) and Education (Tertiary Level).

The mission will provide an opportunity for business leaders from Western Pennsylvania to explore market opportunities, joint ventures and partnerships, understand India’s increasingly important role in the global economy and the related challenges and opportunities, and understand the business culture and systems.

TiE-Pittsburgh is a not-for-profit organization, chartered by entrepreneurs, corporate executives and senior professionals. TiE’s goal is to promote entrepreneurship and regional business development through events, networking and mentoring.

Specifically, the program seeks to attract investments from Indian companies planning to set up or increase their presence in the United States, and assisting Pittsburgh companies with their expansion strategies to take advantage of the booming economy in India.

Founded in 2000, TiE-Pittsburgh has over 100 members with 20 charter members. TiE-Pittsburgh members have created over 10,000 jobs and have brought in over $600 million in venture capital. TiE-Pittsburgh is a regional chapter of TiE, one of the largest global organization promoting entrepreneurship, with over 45 chapters in 9 countries.

For more information, go to iPort, TiE-Pittsburgh or the PRA.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lawrenceville Highlighted by Financial Times of London

The Financial Times of London calls Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville neighborhood a "Diamond in the Rust," and quotes former CMU professor Richard Florida's continuing admiration for the area.

"He did the research for the book that made his name, The Rise of the Creative Class, there, and he thinks Lawrenceville – with its inexpensive housing stock, growing number of restaurants, bars, arts outlets and specialty shops – has what it takes to attract and keep precisely the type of people he describes in that book – the designers, engineers, technology workers and artists he sees as the drivers of contemporary economic growth," the article states.

Florida, now director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and professor of business and creativity at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, has called Lawrenceville "an example of the kind of place that can be a ‘next neighborhood’.

"The air is clearer now and the city has regrouped around its concentration of urban universities, research facilities, hospitals, health services and the headquarters of eight Fortune 500 companies," writes author Henry Hamman. "And, in a way, the departure of the big industrial employers was actually a boon, allowing Pittsburgh to avoid the latest, massive rounds of layoffs and downsizings that have brought many Rust Belt cities to their knees.

"For urbanist Florida, Lawrenceville and Pittsburgh face the same challenge: to attract and hold enough of the new "creative class, building a critical mass and taking advantage of the new geography of work. Success at this will be the key to ensuring that the hard times really do 'come again no more.'"

CLICK HERE to read the full article


Monday, April 27, 2009

Compunetics' CEO Coraluppi to Keynote Duquesne Entrepreneur's Conference June 4

Giorgio Coraluppi, founder, president and CEO of Monroeville, PA-based Compunetics, Inc., will be the keynote speaker at the 11th annual Entrepreneur’s Growth Conference hosted by the Duquesne University Small Business Development Center on June 4, 2009.

Italian-born Coraluppi started Compunetics 40 years ago and has built it into a global player in the fields of printed circuit design and manufacturing and worldwide teleconferencing.

Since its debut in 1998, the Entrepreneur’s Growth Conference has been providing ideas and information designed to spark business growth for new and seasoned entrepreneurs.

Over the past 10 years, the EGC has risen in prominence and is now among Pennsylvania’s pre-eminent entrepreneurship events, annually attracting more than 500 attendees, many of whom return year after year to reignite their entrepreneurial spirit and receive the latest information on building entrepreneurial growth and wealth.

For anyone starting a business or transitioning one to the next level, this is a once-a-year opportunity to discover the latest business-building tools, resources and ideas – information that you can implement in your business the very next day.

Why Attend?

  • Dozens of Expert-Led Workshops on the Hottest Topics in Business Today, and Live Demonstrations.
  • A Business Building Tradeshow Featuring More than 50 Support Organizations
  • Unparalleled Networking Opportunities with Entrepreneurial Veterans, Top Level Service Providers and the Region's Most Promising Entrepreneurs
  • World-Renowned Keynote Speakers

Who Should Attend?

The EGC attracts a diverse audience of entrepreneurs—from start-ups through million dollar ventures and everything in between—across a wide range of industries. With workshops designed exclusively to serve specific size companies and market niches, the EGC is a valuable resource for the entrepreneurial community at large.

Specifically, the event features workshops for new ventures, million dollar enterprises, growth-oriented companies, technology and life science enterprises, sole proprietors and other specialized market segments.

In addition to business owners, the EGC is a desirable destination for service providers, aspiring entrepreneurs, and corporate executives and employees interested in capitalizing on the newest entrepreneurial trends and ideas.

All programs are being held on the Duquesne campus located on the edge of downtown Pittsburgh at 600 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15282. Registration and general sessions will be on the 2nd floor of the Student Union Building.

For more information, call 412-396-6233 or go to .


A Europe Day Discussion

Global Business Breakfast Briefing
Panel Discussion & Networking Event

May 7, 2009

No Charge - Registration Required

A Europe Day Discussion: Pittsburgh’s Ties To Europe - Sponsored by a grant from the European Union

Join the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh and globally-minded Pittsburgh professionals for a conversation about the area’s ties to Europe. Economic, political, and cultural relations will be discussed in a panel discussion with European leaders in the region. The discussion will be moderated by Jean-Pierre Collet, Head of the Pittsburgh Consular Association. There is no charge for this program.

7:30 a.m. – Breakfast
8:00 a.m. – Discussion
9:00 a.m. – Networking
9:30 a.m. – Adjourn

Location: Rivers Club, 301 Grant Street,
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Please reserve your place by May 5th. Click here to register now! READ FULL ARTICLE

Friday, April 24, 2009

Broadband For All Western PA Communities is the Goal of World Affairs Council Program

Bringing broadband connectivity to underserved communities in Western Pennsylvania is the goal of a state-funded program overseen by the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.

The WAC Broadband Outreach program assists members of communities not served by high-speed Internet service in taking advantage of state legislation requiring phone companies to provide such service if demand reaches a designated level.

The Pennsylvania legislature recently enacted a new law requiring Verizon and other telephone companies to give their Pennsylvania customers an opportunity to complete a Bona Fide Retail Request (BFRR) for high-speed Internet service.

That means a certain portion of residents in a specified community must commit to purchase high-speed Internet service for a year. The required number is 50 customers or 25 percent of the telephone lines in the community, whichever is less. If that number is met, the carrier is required to provide high-speed Internet service in that area within 12 months.

Through the BFRR program, Verizon said it will make high-speed Internet service available in up to 40 Carrier Serving Areas each year.

As part of its ongoing educational outreach programs, the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh is working with the PA Department of Community & Economic Development to help people in the region get connected.

"Today’s students will grow up as citizens of a global power and participants in an increasingly global marketplace," said Brandon Wallace, Community Programs Director at the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. "Being connected to the rest of the world is key to the growth of our students, enhancing instruction, raising their standards of achievement, and preparing them to compete for the best jobs.

"Having access to high-speed internet is, therefore, a priority for our state in its ability to compete globally. Much of our region currently has access to broadband, but many areas where there is low population density and physical remoteness lack access to this connectivity."

For more information and access to the necessary forms, go to the World Affairs Council website at READ FULL ARTICLE

New Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Follows World-Leading "Green" Standards

The new Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, which officially opens on May 2, is designed as a "green" campus, meaning that buildings will use key resources such as energy, water, materials, and land more efficiently than buildings erected simply to building code.

Green (or environmentally sustainable) buildings contribute to improved health, comfort, and productivity of their residents by utilizing more natural light and promoting better air quality.

And while two buildings will be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, Children's is committed to employing green practices extends well beyond its bricks and mortar. This means Children's will employ new operating policies and procedures regarding facility maintenance, housekeeping, food service, and waste management.

Children's will also foster its green philosophy by working with its clinicians, academicians, and community to conduct research on the subject of sustainability and its health effects on children.

Here's a brief look at how Children's will be environmentally friendly:

  • Easy access to public transportation
  • Availability of bike racks and showers
  • Preferred parking for van pools
  • Discounted parking for car pools
  • Water efficient landscaping
  • Recycling of water (when appropriate)
  • Use of building materials with recycled content (including recycled post-consumer structural steel)
  • Use of local/regional construction material to reduce transportation issues
  • Use of low VOC materials such as sealants, adhesives, paints, and carpets
  • Installation of air filtration systems that increase indoor air quality.
  • Installation of water fixtures that reduce water use
  • Maximum use of daylight and views

Children's is also committed to environmental responsibility by:

  • Employing a "green" education program for staff, patients, and visitors
  • Installing a healing garden/rooftop gardens
  • Continued use of recycled content and local materials whenever possible
For more information, go to the Children's Hospital website

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Some See Immigration Key In Pittsburgh's Future, Says KDKA TV

The debate over the importance of immigration makes it to KDKA-TV News. Reporter Andy Sheehan does a nice job telling the story of how some people believe immigrants will solve the city's future worker shortages, while others see immigrants as a threat to current job security.

GlobalPittsburgh believes that immigrants will help build the local economy and create new job opportunities for everyone. And if local residents can't fill the jobs that are currently available, especially in the tech sector, then we need to examine our education system and make sure we're providing adequate training for the workers of tomorrow.

See the KDKA report by clicking HERE.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pittsburgh-based SMaSh Receives $1.35 Million Investment From Group Led by Mark Cuban

Pittsburgh-based SMaSh Technologies, provider of a new mobile application server for text messaging, announced it has received a $1.35 million investment to expand its product development and delivery of customer solutions from a group led by billionaire businessman, entrepreneur, and technology investor Mark Cuban.

Other investors include seed-stage investment group Innovation Works of Pittsburgh, and Dr. Ihor Lys, who was named 2008 National Inventor of the Year by the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation.

“SMaSh fuels a way to get more out of text messaging by eliminating many of its traditional constraints – essentially, enabling cookies for mobile,” Cuban said. “What I like is that consumers don’t need to change a thing about their phones, and they still benefit from engaging mobile applications.”

Cuban is chairman of HDNet, owner of the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks, co-owner of 2929 Entertainment, and author of the popular Blog Maverick blog. “I am also excited to back SMaSh as a Pittsburgh-based startup, it’s a region with many advantages and I’m excited to help grow the company there,” he said.

“We are extremely pleased to have Mark Cuban lead this round as a significant investor in SMaSh. Mark brings a proven track record of recognizing game-changing opportunities, and we look forward to working with him to bring more powerful text applications to connect businesses and mobile users,” said SMaSh CEO, Eric Boduch.

SMaSh’s patent-pending platform enables mobile applications based on SMS (short message service) that are feature-rich and transactional. Using SMaSh, businesses can easily develop and quickly launch pre-configured text-based applications that can include: menu-based information navigation, multiple-touch interactions, reminders, “add to favorites” functionality, subscription to notifications, sharing of messages with friends/colleagues, lookups, scheduling, transactions, and more.

With headquarters in Pittsburgh and offices in San Francisco, SMaSh is actively working with agencies, brands, and developers today to develop powerful mobile applications that can be used by anyone who can text message.

For more information text “smash” to smash (76274) or visit


Robot Exhibition Coming to Carnegie Science Center

Roboworld, the world’s largest and most comprehensive permanent robotics exhibition, is coming to the Carnegie Science Center this spring.

The $3.4 million exhibition will permanently occupy a 6,000 square-foot exhibit area on the second floor of Carnegie Science Center currently used for touring exhibitions and will feature more than 30 hands-on, interactive exhibit stations in three thematic areas focusing on robotic sensing, thinking and acting.

Roboworld will be both educational and entertaining,” said Joanna Haas, director of Carnegie Science Center. “It will showcase the latest in robotics technology -- much of which has been developed in this region -- and help visitors understand the tremendous impact robotics has on everyday life for each and every one of us."

"For decades, Pittsburgh has been leading the charge in the development of robotics technology,” said Donald Jones, roboworld advisory committee chair and Chairman, Draper Triangle Ventures. “Public and private entities in the region have played significant roles in the rapidly growing field of robotics, and this technology is recognized as one of the most important engines for economic growth and vitality in Pittsburgh. Carnegie Science Center’s new roboworld exhibit will introduce the public to robotics in an innovative, hands-on way unlike anything currently available."

In addition to the three major thematic areas, roboworld will feature two specialized areas allowing visitors to interact with robotics technology as it is being developed and to visit with some of the world’s most famous robots. Within the roboworld exhibition gallery will be a dedicated Robot Workshop providing companies and roboticists the opportunity to test their latest innovations and for Science Center visitors the opportunity to experience the latest in robotics technology and interact with scientists working in the field. This space will also serve as an area for visitors to create and test their own robots.

Click here to learn more about roboworld


Pittsburgh Excellent Example of How Globalization is Essential to Growth, Radio Report Says

Pittsburgh is an excellent example of how globalization is essential to succesful economic growth in the new millenium, according to a report by American RadioWorks.

In case you missed this excellent report by Robert Krulwich and Chris Farrell, it's a great summary of the changes that have taken place in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade.

"After Big Steel went away, service industries grew from one-fifth of the Pittsburgh economy to one-third," the report says. "This was back in the time when lower-paying service jobs replaced factory work in much of the country. Pittsburgh hasn't come close to replacing its lost manufacturing jobs. But it's gained thousands of new jobs in healthcare, finance, service and high-tech industries. Led by its universities, the city is working to shake its rustbelt image and become an IT leader."

The report features everything from Primanti sandwiches to high-tech research.

"And this is why this globalization is really different than the previous waves of globalization, that the talent is all over the world, and the innovation, the ideas, are all coming around the world. So it's no longer that the best and brightest come here to the United States, if you want to pursue an idea this is the freest environment. It has really changed. The game is much more level."

Check out the program at American RadioWorks Global 3.0. READ FULL ARTICLE

Vietnamese Dinner Raises Funds for School Project

A traditional Vietnamese dinner will be served on Sunday, April 26, 2009 from 3-6:30 p.m. at the Bethel Park Community Center to raise money for a school project in Vietnam.

Sponsored by the Friends of Danang, a local group made up of war veterans, members of the region's Vietnamese community and friends, the dinner will feature spring rolls, pho soup, coconut shrimp and other Vietnamese cuisine.

Cost of the dinner is $25, which also includes door prizes. Takeouts are available. Baked goods and Vietnamese handcrafted items also will be on sale, along with additional fresh-made spring rolls and gourmet Vietnamese coffee.

The Bethel Park Community Center is located at 5151 Park Ave., Bethel Park, PA 15102.

For information, contact Thanh T. Armagost at 814-653-2129 or, or Mary Lou Vater at 412-481-6133. Learn more at

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pittsburgh Boasts One of World's Greatest Skylines, Says Forbes Traveler Magazine

Pittsburgh features one of the world's greatest skylines, according to Forbes Traveler magazine.

"Pittsburgh has one of America’s great unsung skylines. The reason? According to architects Peter Stamberg and Paul Aferiat, it’s because Pittsburgh is 'right at the intersection of three fairly large rivers, and you approach it through a mountain, so you arrive completely deprived of a view, through a tunnel. And then you’re on a bridge looking at the city. It’s very beautifully proportioned the way it starts fairly low at the river and then climbs to the U.S. Steel building, which is the tallest there.'"

"What makes a skyline great? It has to be more than merely memorable, it must have some exceptional characteristics: It not only should be instantly recognizable but, from the traveler’s perspective particularly, it should be an enticing view of great buildings and monuments. If it’s really special, you want to be a part of it."

Read Article


World Music Highlights Three Rivers Arts Festival June 5-14

Reggae stars The Wailers and world performing artists Toubab Krewe from West Africa are among the free concerts at the 2009 Three Rivers Arts Festival, scheduled for June 5-14 on the Dollar Bank Stage at Point State Park in downtown Pittsburgh. For information, call 412-456-6666 or visit

Friday, June 5: The Black Keys (7:30 pm)
The Black Keys blend sounds from Delta blues and British classic rock. With special guest Jessica Lea Mayfield (6:30 pm)

Saturday, June 6: Medeski, Martin & Wood (7:30 pm)
Keyboardist John Medeski, bassist Chris Wood and percussionist Billy Martin. With special guests Zee Avi (5 pm) and The Wood Brothers (6:30 pm)

Sunday, June 7: Trombone Shorty (6 pm)
Hailing from Treme, noted as the most musical neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews has made the leap from child prodigy to professional master musician.

Monday, June 8: Formula412 (8:15 pm)
By adding live guitar, bass and drums to the traditional set-up of a DJ and an emcee, Formula412 pushes the limits of the genre. With special guests The Boogie Hustlers (7 pm)

Tuesday, June 9: Donora (8:15 pm)
Donora has been on the fast track since making a splash on the local scene less than three years ago. With special guests Meeting of Important People (6 pm) and Apostle of Hustle (7 pm)

Wednesday, June 10: Toubab Krewe (7:30 pm)
Blending American and West African influences into a sound all their own, Toubab Krewe has set a new standard for fusions of rock and West African music.

Thursday, June 11: Booker T. (8 pm)
Booker T. Jones is a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Musicians Hall of Fame inductee, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and arguably the most famous Hammond B3 player in history. With special guest Hayes Carll (7 pm)

Friday, June 12: Robert Randolph and the Family Band (7:30 pm)
Steeped in the "Sacred Steel" tradition of the Pentecostal church, Robert Randolph has redefined the possibilities of the pedal steel guitar at his foot-stomping live performances.

Saturday, June 13: Shemekia Copeland (7:30 pm)
While still in her 20s, Shemekia Copeland has opened for the Rolling Stones, headlined at the Chicago Blues Festival, received a Grammy nomination and scored critics choice awards on both sides of the Atlantic.

Sunday, June 14: The Wailers (6 pm)
One of the last great reggae institutions, the Wailers have sold in excess of 250 million albums worldwide since forming in 1969 with Bob Marley. READ FULL ARTICLE

Thursday, April 16, 2009

High-Speed Rail Line Linking Pittsburgh & Philadelphia Proposed by President Obama

A new high-speed rail system proposed by President Obama includes a line linking Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia.

The president proposes to help address the nation's transportation challenges by launching an efficient, high-speed passenger rail network in 100-600 mile corridors that connect communities across America.

The Strategic Plan outlines the President’s vision that would transform the nation’s transportation system by rebuilding existing rail infrastructure while developing a comprehensive high-speed intercity passenger rail network through a long-term commitment at both the federal and state levels. This plan draws from the successful highway and aviation development models with a 21st century solution that focuses on clean, energy-efficient rail transportation.

Implementing High-Speed Rail promotes economic expansion (including new manufacturing jobs), creates new choices for travelers in addition to flying or driving, reduces national dependence on oil, and fosters urban and rural livable communities.

A number of high-speed rail corridors are being planned by States that range from upgrades to existing rail lines to entirely new rail lines exclusively devoted to 150 to 250 mph trains.

In addition to the Pittsburgh-Philadelphia line, the program calls for: a northern New England line; an Empire line running east to west in New York State; a southeast network connecting the District of Columbia to Florida and the Gulf Coast; a Gulf Coast line extending from eastern Texas to western Alabama; a corridor in central and southern Florida; a Texas-to-Oklahoma line; a California corridor where voters have already approved a line that will allow travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles in two and a half hours; and a corridor in the Pacific Northwest.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More Than 20,000 Jobs Posted For Pittsburgh Region

A new website lists more than 20,000 jobs available in the Pittsburgh region. Employers are hiring in Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler, Beaver, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

These are the high-tech, high-paying careers in engineering, research and development, architecture, information technology, health care, advanced manufacturing, accounting, life sciences and more.

Go to for free listings. READ FULL ARTICLE

Pittsburgh Economy Could Gain From Easing of US-Cuba Relations

If the trend toward easing of relations between the United States and Cuba continues, as many think it will, that would mean a boost to the Pittsburgh economy.

Experts say that Cuba is in serious need of help in many fields that play to Pittsburgh's strengths, including energy & power generation, mass transit, health care, manufacturing equipment & technology, financial services, telecommunications, software engineering - the list goes on and on.

Area Cuban-Americans are already glad to see relaxed travel restrictions for individuals wishing to visit family members. (Read a related article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)

We'll be hearing a lot more about Cuba in the months to come, and we can expect to see Pittsburgh business and economic development officials on the cutting edge. Watch this space for further updates. READ FULL ARTICLE

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pittsburgh's Growing Green Economy Catches World's Attention

Pittsburgh bets the “green sector” will resuscitate its economy in transition from old industrial structures. Local universities and nonprofit groups are engaged in creating jobs in energy-efficient building construction, high-performance metals, heating and cooling systems, biofuels, non-toxic cleaning products and waste disposal. The city boasts one of the country’s most innovative solar firms, Plextronics Inc.

Watch the excellent video about innovation in Pittsburgh at


Pittsburgh Symphony Tours of Asia & Europe Provide Valuable Economic Development Opportunities

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of its new music director, Manfred Honeck, will tour in Asia in May 2009 and in Europe in 2009 and 2010.

PSO tours have become a major economic development opportunity for the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, the marketing affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, which plans to join the PSO on both the Asia and Europe tours.

“Recent PRA successes in partnering with the PSO, a world-class cultural icon of the region, have demonstrated the ability of the PSO to open doors to international audiences of business leaders and influencers," the PRA stated. "This partnership with the PSO is an important part of the PRA’s long-term, multi-year Opportunity Asia and Opportunity Europe strategies. These aim to unlock business opportunities abroad for Pittsburgh region companies; to expand bilateral trade; and to position the Pittsburgh region as a preferred US investment destination."

The tour to Asia in May 2009 includes performances in Beijing and Shanghai, China and Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The tour is the Orchestra’s first international tour with Honeck at the helm. The National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing – also known as "The Egg" is the site for two concerts on May 14-15.

A concert on May 16 at the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center marks the Orchestra’s Shanghai debut. The Orchestra also makes its debut in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Kaohsiung will host the 2009 World Games in July, and the PSO has been invited to open the World Games Stadium with a concert on May 20.

Later in the year, Honeck and the PSO make their European debut together in performances to close the renowned Lucerne Festival in Switzerland in September. Also part of this trip are two concerts in Germany – one at the Philharmonie Essen and one at the Beethoven Festival in Bonn.

During the 2009-2010 season, Honeck leads the Orchestra in a one-night only concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter as soloist on February 9, 2010. A tour of Europe, including performances at Vienna’s Musikverein, is currently being planned for later in 2010.

This is the PSO’s first performance in Beijing since 1987, its only prior performance on mainland China.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Trade Rally to Promote Importance of Global Business for Pittsburgh and the State

Pittsburghers will join representatives from across the state and around the country for a rally on the steps of the State Capitol in Harrisburg on Tuesday, April 21 to promote the importance of international trade to the Pennsylvania economy.

The rally is the kick-off event for TradeRoots PA, a year-long, private sector initiative led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the PA Chamber of Business & Industry, the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, and other key chambers and business groups.

Exports, imports, and foreign direct investment are fundamental to the success of the Pennsylvania economy. The goal of TradeRoots PA is to educate consumers, businesses, workers, farmers, families and elected officials as to the importance of international trade in all aspects of the economy.

"Openness to international trade encourages productivity gains and improved competitiveness," according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "Doing business internationally has allowed U.S. businesses, including small and medium-size enterprises, to grow in markets outside of the United States and prosper globally."

TradeRoots PA will include a road tour in mid-May with stops in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, York/Harrisburg and Erie. Each stop will include a plant visit, news conference and town hall forum.

For information about TradeRoots PA, contact Roger Cranville, Sr. VP at the PRA, at or by calling 412.392.4555 ext. 1030.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Immigrant Entrepreneurs Can Help Grow Economy

Foreign-born entrepreneurs have consistently contributed to our economy, to innovation and to new job creation. But current immigration policies are jeopardizing our ability to attract and retain these talented and highly driven individuals, said Mark Heesen, president of the National Venture Capital Association.

This could not be more true than in the Pittsburgh region, where foreign-born entrepreneurs have started such success stories as Thar Technologies (Lalit Chordia), Compunetix (Giorgio Coraluppi) and Vivisimo (Raul Valdes-Perez and Jerome Pesenti).

"If the best talent can’t come here and stay, they will surely take their skills, ideas and companies elsewhere," Heesen said. "The game is ours to lose. To maintain our competitive edge, we have to remain a magnet for global talent. Shutting our borders to these entrepreneurs is counterproductive. The more of them we can attract, the more jobs for everyone."

According to “American Made: The Impact of Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Professionals on U.S. Competitiveness,” 25 percent of the venture-backed public companies that were established in the last 15 years were started by one or more immigrant founders, reaching 40 percent in the high-tech sector.

"Foreign-born workers willing to leave their home countries tend to be risk takers and have the drive to start a business," Heesen said.

"The aggregate market capitalization of these companies, which includes Intel, Google, Yahoo!, Sun Microsystems and eBay, exceeds $500 billion. The 'American Made' study found that of private, venture-backed start-up companies in the U.S., some 47 percent have immigrant founders. Just 10 years ago, such companies would not have been able to grow outside the U.S., but that is no longer the case.

"Foreign-born entrepreneurs have been particularly successful in the start-up community for a number of reasons. First, these individuals, by their immigrant status alone, tend to be risk takers. Leaving their home countries suggests a level of tenacity and drive that is conducive to starting a business. Many have scientific backgrounds, and the focus and ability to invent breakthrough products and services. We want them here as students, workers and company builders.

"While immigration policies have encouraged foreign-born nationals to get a higher education here, they have discouraged highly-skilled immigrants from staying here once they have their degrees. There are serious issues with the current H-1B visa program, but the limited number (65,000 a year) has prevented start-up companies from getting the talent they need to grow. At the same time, countries like China and India are aggressively nurturing their technology start-up ecosystems because they understand how America has grown its economy and want to do the same for themselves."


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Non-Stop Flights To Europe Resuming June 3

New direct flights from Pittsburgh to Europe resume on June 3, 2009, on Delta Airlines. The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance is offering special business travel and networking packages for the business community to kick off the new service to Paris Charles de Gaulle.

CLICK HERE to read more.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Clean Tech Conference Brings World To Pittsburgh

A clean tech conference in Pittsburgh has focused world attention on the region’s ascendance as a leader in environmental technology and a trend-setter in the burgeoning green economy.

The CO2 Capture Technology for Existing Plants R&D Meeting, sponsored by the National Energy Technology Laboratory March 24-26, 2009, attracted researchers from around the world to discuss the latest in technologies to clean up coal-fired power plant emissions.

From its lab in Pittsburgh’s South Hills, NETL explores technologies capable of capturing greater than 90 percent of the CO2 from existing coal-fired power plants at less than a 35 percent increase in the cost of electrical services. These technologies are envisioned to be ready for commercial deployment by 2020.



Thursday, April 2, 2009

Promoting Pittsburgh as a World Media Arts Center

"Artists help create an environment attractive to the 'Creative Class' which encompasses some 25 percent of employed people." - Eric Miller

a presentation by Eric Miller about using social media to promote the Pittsburgh Region as a World Media Arts Center.

CLICK HERE to view presentation


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

How NAFTA Has Helped Pennsylvania

by Alan Reynolds - Cato Institute

The 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement, and free trade in general, emerged as hot campaign issues in the Democratic primary race. This is particularly odd in Pennsylvania because the state economy has done very well in exporting manufactured goods — something that would have been quite difficult if Canada and Mexico had not agreed to reduce their tariffs on U.S. goods.

Pennsylvania shipped $9.2 billion worth of export merchandise to Canada in 2007 — 32 percent of the state total — and $2.2 billion of goods to Mexico, according to the International Trade Administration.

Pennsylvania's exports to Mexico rose 81 percent from 1993 to 2003 and exports to Canada rose 61 percent. The ITA notes that export-supported jobs linked to manufacturing account for an estimated 4.3 percent of Pennsylvania's total private-sector employment. Nearly one-sixth (16.5 percent) of all manufacturing workers in Pennsylvania depend on exports for their jobs.

Click Here To Read More