Saturday, January 30, 2010

Korean And Canadian Delegations Come to Pittsburgh to Learn Lessons of G-20 Summit Preparations

A seven-member delegation from Korea led by Ambassador Si-hyung Lee, head of protocol for the Korean Presidential Committee for the G-20 Seoul Summit, arrived in Pittsburgh Thursday for a whirlwind visit to learn the lessons of the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit.

The delegation was hosted by the Pittsburgh G-20 Partnership, of which GlobalPittsburgh is a contributing member, and welcomed by Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.

The president of Korea dispatched the delegation because of "the great success" of the Pittsburgh Summit. During their visit the delegation toured the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and met with Mike Huss, the public safety director of the City of Pittsburgh. Shawn Fox represented the Allegheny County Executive at the luncheon, along with key staff from the Conference and VisitPittsburgh.

The ambassador said the group was especially impressed by the public-private partnership that supported the Pittsburgh Summit, our hospitality program, and also our websites, which he said had set a "high standard" for Korea.

"The visit was whirlwind - we learned about it only 72 hours ago, and they were just here for the day," the Conference's Bill Flanagan wrote in a message to G-20 Partnership followers. "I think it's fair to say that the Pittsburghers in the room were humbled by the compliment."

Yablonsky offered continuing support as planning for the Seoul Summit evolves, Flanagan said.

Coincidentally, a small delegation came from Toronto on Tuesday for a meeting with VisitPittsburgh. The Canadians are preparing for the next G-20 summit in June.

"In parallel, we were contacted by the agency that spearheads foreign direct investment for the city of Toronto, also seeking lessons learned," Flanagan wrote. "We anticipate fielding similar calls in the months to come. We hope that both Canada and Korea will enjoy productive and peaceful summits and we are happy to do whatever we can to help."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pittsburgh-Based Global Links Receives $250,000 Grant to Provide Ongoing Medical Relief in Haiti

Pittsburgh-based non-profit Global Links will provide ongoing medical relief efforts in Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake that has devastated the island nation, with support from a $250,000 grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies.

Global Links is working with staff at Hôpital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti and local physicians deploying with disaster relief agencies to procure donations of needed medical materials, medicines and equipment. In addition to providing donations of supplies and equipment from its own inventory, Global Links is fielding and directing solicitations to UPMC and their network of vendors.

Global Links also is working with Pan American Health Organization/ World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba (MEDICC) to support the efforts of Haitian doctors educated at the Latin American Medical School in Cuba.

These physicians are providing care around the country including Port Au Prince and other quake-affected areas; supporting their work will be a long-term effort for Global Links.

Items most commonly needed by medical personnel in Haiti range from sutures and crutches, antibiotics, bandages, surgical instrumentation, X-ray film and more. Global Links is directing the collection, preparation, packing and shipping of these supplies, which are shipping out via air shipments and by crisis-response physicians who are hand-carrying supplies with them.

"Supporting an organization with the capacity to address both the short- and long-term needs of the thousands of Haitians affected by the disaster was a priority for Atlantic," said Marcia Smith, Senior Vice President, The Atlantic Philanthropies.

"We recognize Global Links’ experience in international medical relief. They have a track record of directing a swift, organized response to specific medical good needs as well as a long-standing commitment to improving the quality of care afforded to the poorest segments of populations in developing countries through providing healthcare supplies to hospitals and clinics."

For more information, or to support Global Links' work in Haiti, go

Global Links is a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that collaborates with U.S. institutions to recover surplus medical materials before consignment to land-fills and makes them available to hospitals abroad through their ongoing programs.

Because poorly planned donations can be worse than no aid at all, each donation is carefully tailored to meet the needs of the recipient institution. Dedicated volunteers help Global Links to maintain high quality standards and low costs. Since its founding in 1989, Global Links has provided more than $160 million in critical medical aid to developing nations, including Bolivia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica and Nicaragua.

The Atlantic Philanthropies are dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Atlantic focuses on four critical social problems: Aging, Children & Youth, Population Health and Reconciliation & Human Rights.

Programs funded by Atlantic operate in Australia, Bermuda, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United States and Viet Nam. To learn more, go to


Monday, January 18, 2010

GlobalPittsburgh Offers Businesses the Opportunity to Host a Free Intern from India for 6 Weeks

GlobalPittsburgh is working collaboratively with the Association for International Practical Training (AIPT) to offer businesses in the Pittsburgh region the opportunity to participate in Global Career Launch India, a program that places university students from India in unpaid 6-week career-focused internships in the United States.

Dates for the Internship: May 4 – June 18, 2010

The interns will be:
• Between 18-30 years old
• Attending an accredited university in India
• Returning to universities in India at program completion
• Strong in English language skills (particularly in their field of study)

GlobalPittsburgh will arrange:
• Housing for the intern
• Transportation to and from the internship site
• Weekend or free time activities for the intern

The intern should work at your business (no home offices, please) for at least 30 hours per week, but no more than 40 hours per week.

Your request for an intern will reach students majoring in a wide variety of subjects, including:
• Business Administration
• Management
• Finance / Accounting
• Marketing
• Hospitality / Hotel Management
• Information Technology
• Law
• Science & Engineering
• English and other languages

The internship should:
• Provide a learning experience to enhance each student’s professional knowledge
• Contribute to the normal operations or administration processes of your business
• Allow students to start and/or complete projects for the organization
• Provide your company with greater insights into Indian markets and culture

Is your company interested? If so, please feel free to contact Gail Shrott at GlobalPittsburgh or fill out this simple online application no later than January 15, 2010 When you fill out the form online, please indicate that you learned about this opportunity from GlobalPittsburgh!

GlobalPittsburgh will assist the interns with housing, transportation and activities. We will also monitor the internship and help intern hosts throughout the application and hosting process.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sewickley Academy Launches Global Studies Program

Sewickley Academy announced that it has launched a new Global Studies program, which offers students the opportunity to earn a Global Studies Certificate upon graduation. In addition to the completion of various curriculum components and required travel of at least four weeks, the certificate also signifies that students have gone above and beyond the requirements needed to earn an Academy diploma.

Through the Global Studies program, students will:

* Recognize and understand the interrelationships among international organizations, nation-states, economic entities, socio-cultural groups, and individuals;
* Be able to communicate with people of different cultures in their own languages and in shared languages;
* Participate in a home stay experience that provides cultural immersion;
* Conduct community service that directly affects the country they visit;
* Research and present a project based on a global issue or artistic endeavor as a capstone to their experiences in the Global Studies program.

"We see it as part of our mission at Sewickley Academy to educate global citizens," says Head of School Kolia O’Connor. "We want students to develop an understanding and appreciation of other cultures, languages, and histories, and to operate with increased comfort across international boundaries. These intercultural competencies are very important in a world that is increasingly interconnected."

A unique characteristic of the Global Studies program is that each student is able to tailor his or her global studies track to his or her individual interests. "For example, a student can choose to study how West African politics differ from South African politics, or compare the stock market in France to that of the U.S.," said Director of Diversity & Global Education Neal Holmes.

Upcoming student travel includes a four-week language and cultural immersion program in Grenada, Spain, a cultural and artistic program in Sydney, Australia, and a service learning program in Ghana, Africa.

Scholarship aid is also available to help students pay for the costs associated with travel, with priority given to those students who demonstrate financial need.

To learn more about the Global Studies program at Sewickley Academy, go to

Celebrate Robert Burns Night Jan. 21 With Whisky, Bagpipes and Haggis

Come and celebrate all things Scottish
JANUARY 21, 2010
at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association (PAA)
4215 Fifth Avenue, Oakland

All around the globe, Robert Burns, the great Scottish poet, is remembered each year on his birthday by thousands of people merrymaking at traditional Burns Suppers~

Gather all ye lads and lassies and join in the fun!
We’ve put our own spin on the occasion~
The Evening's Festivities Bagpiping by World Champion Alasdair Gillies
Special Music by David Shelow
A Sampling of the Finest Whiskies
Scrumptious Hors d’oeuvres and Shortbread
A wee bit o’Haggis
Coffee & Tea Bar
Silent Auction
Venue: Pittsburgh Athletic Association (PAA)
4215 Fifth Avenue, Oakland

$50 per person

CLICK HERE to make reservations.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh Seeks Green Internship Placements For Irish Graduate-Level Engineering Students

The Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh is engaged in a career development initiative for Northern Ireland post-graduate environmental engineers that could create opportunities for local companies by forging international connections leading to business opportunities and partnerships in the future.

The Institute is working with Irish colleges and the Irish government to arrange one-year internships at Pittsburgh-area companies in the fields of sustainable technology and alternative energy.

Northern Ireland has emerged from one of the most intractable conflicts of the last century. After 30 years of the dirty sectarian war known as "the Troubles," leaders there took a brave step towards peace and reconciliation in 1998 by signing on to a US-brokered agreement, effectively ending military operations there. Combatants on both sides then began to decommission their arsenals, bringing a new way of life and new opportunities to advance civil society and international partnership.

With that in mind, Northern Ireland leaders are now supporting a proposal to deliver a strategic program in the area of sustainable technology and alternative energy, according to Jim Lamb, President of the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh.

Coordinators of this program, aware of the rich and diverse sustainable technology sector of Pittsburgh, have asked the Ireland Institute to identify and solicit local companies involved in various alternative energy technologies, including, but not limited to wind technology, energy from waste and/or biomass, and clean energy storage, Lamb said.

Student engineers come to Pittsburgh to spend one year in these companies, working and learning on the job. While there is no obligation to participate, companies that wish to do so can interview interns via video-conference. This gives companies and interns an opportunity to learn about each other and discuss specific skill sets and job duties. Companies agree to provide a modest living wage ($10 per hour).

The Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh will provide orientation, soft-landing, a series of educational, social, and recreational activities, and other support throughout the twelve-month program. The Institute also will encourage participating companies to consider Northern Ireland with a view to markets across Europe and beyond. Authorities there offer excellent packages for direct investment and partnership, Lamb said.

Prior to the exchange, candidates will attend five 90-minute pre-departure training sessions facilitated by South West College and the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh. Sessions will be conducted while visas, internships, housing, and other program needs are processed. Following these sessions the 12 students from Northern Ireland migrate to the U.S. After a one-week orientation, participants begin their full-time (40 hours per week) internships in various companies and organizations.

Throughout the year the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh will host gatherings and arrange for speakers to present ideas on sustainability, clean energy, green technology, corporate responsibility, entrepreneurship, and leadership. Attendance to these gatherings will be compulsory.

Upon completion of the one-year internship, participants return home to enter the workforce and/or post-graduate study. The Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh and its local partners will follow up with participants three times (after one month; after three months; and after six months) to gauge success and measure the impact of the program in the Northern Ireland economy.

For more information, call 412-394-3900, send email to or click on

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Citizen Diplomats On The Road: From Western Pennsylvania to Vietnam, With Love - PART II

J. Ross Stewart, Pittsburgh-born and educated, made a trip to Vietnam from December 3-21, 2009, that included meetings with family, friends and business contacts. He was asked to journal his experiences and to provide insight into Vietnamese culture from both a personal and business perspective. Stewart currently serves as a Contracts Administrator for Concurrent Technologies Corp. (CTC) that is headquartered in Johnstown, PA, about 70 miles east of Pittsburgh. The views expressed here are his own. (Second of two parts.)

I write this post back safe and sound in western Pennsylvania. My wife, infant daughter and I have returned to Johnstown in time to spend the Christmas holiday with our stateside friends and family.

Though the return trip from Ho Chi Minh City to Johnstown has been even longer than the initial trip over -- 30-plus hours with short layovers in Seoul Incheon, Tokyo Narita and Washington Dulles airports -- everything again went relatively smoothly and uneventfully.

The last few days of our annual trips to Vietnam are always hectic. There is the need to pack several weeks worth of clothing, along with the souvenirs and gifts that we are bringing back for our stateside friends and family.

However, my father-in-law gave my wife and me a special and soothing treat for the evening of our last full day in Vietnam. He bought us tickets for the Christmas Carol concert at the landmark French colonial-era Saigon Opera House on Dong Khoi Street in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1. The Christmas concert was a joint performance of the Ho Chi Minh City Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Chorus and Ballet.

My wife and I enjoy classical music and the concerts of our hometown Johnstown Symphony Orchestra. We have also sung with the Johnstown Symphony Chorus and performed along with the Johnstown Symphony and international opera stars at the Johnstown Symphony’s annual Opera Festival. Therefore, we are aware of what a quality performance should be, and know firsthand how much work is put in to such a concert. However, we were not sure what to expect from this Ho Chi Minh City concert when we first walked through the door and took our seats.

Suffice it to say we were blown away by the performance, which included classics such as Handel’s Messiah and Schubert’s Ave Maria. It also included traditional carols like O Holy Night, Silent Night, Jingle Bells, O Come, All Ye Faithful – all sung in English, no less.

When we walked out onto Dong Khoi Street following the performance, we were greeted by the beautiful and plentiful Christmas lights that blanket the buildings and trees that line the street. It seems that all of the main thoroughfares in Ho Chi Minh City are decorated with Christmas lights this year, more so than in previous years, and so much so that the decorations are greater in number and more elaborate than in a lot of cities and towns in the U.S. It is common to see a life-size mechanical dancing and singing Santa Claus in nearly every other store front or lobby.

Though Vietnam is a predominantly Buddhist country, it does have one of the largest Catholic populations in Asia after the Philippines, and has a significant and growing Protestant population.

The entire population of Ho Chi Minh City seems to be out enjoying the Christmas decorations along with us, as the streets are packed with Saturday night motorbike, taxi and foot traffic. The traffic is chaotic, as usual, and makes Manhattan traffic at rush hour seem like child’s play.

The soccer fanatical citizens of Ho Chi Minh City do not seem to be wallowing in too much pity following their national Under-23 soccer team’s loss to Malaysia in the gold medal game at the 2009 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Vientiane in neighboring Laos a couple of days earlier.

To get a sense of what was the Vietnamese national anticipation of this gold medal game, imagine if the Pittsburgh Steelers were playing in the Super Bowl, the Pittsburgh Penguins were playing game seven of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the Pittsburgh Pirates were playing game seven of the World Series all on the same day. And further, imagine that the support for these Pittsburgh teams is not limited to just western Pennsylvania or to the Steeler Nation, but that the entire country was supporting them. Yes, it is something like that.

However, the ability of the Vietnamese people to move past a loss of their beloved national U23 soccer team is illustrative of a larger aspect of Vietnamese culture – the ability to be forward-looking and not wallow in the past. This is the case for a people who have endured generations of war and choose not to dwell on past conflicts, but rather to look forward to new opportunities in partnership, cooperation and economic and business development with Americans and the rest of the world.

As I said, while everything is not perfect in Vietnam, and there is still work to be done, there are many positive developments on multiple fronts taking place throughout the country. This is Vietnam of the 21st century: a work in progress, and open for business.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Economic Club of Pittsburgh Annual Forecast Luncheon Scheduled for Jan. 21

The Economic Club of Pittsburgh will host its annual Economic Forecast Luncheon on Thursday, January 21, 2010 at the Omni William Penn Hotel at 11:45 a.m.

The event will feature a panel of nationally recognized experts presenting their outlooks on the global, national and regional economies for 2010.

The panel will include:

Stuart G. Hoffman
Chief Economist, The PNC Financial Services Group

Richard B. Hoey
Chief Economist, BNY Mellon

Moderator: Alan R. Miciak, Ph. D.
Dean, School of Business Administration, Duquesne University

The Omni William Penn Hotel is located at 530 William Penn Place, Downtown. The event is open to the public but reservations are required. Tickets are Members $30, Non-Members $40, Students $20. Seating is limited.

Co-sponsors of the event are Duquesne University School of Business Administration, the Risk Management Association, and the Pittsburgh Association for Financial Professionals.

Please make your reservations by email to no later than January 18, 2010. If you find that you cannot attend or arrange for an associate to attend, please cancel by January 18th or you will be billed for the cost of the luncheon. Please call (412) 762-2671 for cancellations. Please pay at the door, by cash or by check made payable to “The Economic Club of Pittsburgh.”