Friday, March 4, 2011

GlobalPittsburgh Hosting Group of Environmental Policymakers From Kazakhstan Studying Pittsburgh Region's Environmental Revitalization

GlobalPittsburgh recently hosted a group of environmental policy makers from Kazakhstan who came to study environmental programs and projects in the Pittsburgh region. The five Kazakh leaders arrived Feb. 26 and stayed to March 6.

The group came to Pittsburgh through the Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress, which enables emerging Eurasian political and civic leaders to work with their U.S. counterparts and experience American-style democracy at the local level.

While in Pittsburgh, the delegates met with their professional counterparts working on a variety of environmental issues in the region, learn about U.S. federal, regional, and local government initiatives that undertake environmental cleanup and promote environmentally friendly best practices, and learned about cooperative efforts involving nonprofit organizations, the private sector, and the general public.

The delegates, who included municipal and federal ministry officials, shared with their U.S. Counterparts environmental initiatives in Kazakhstan aimed at promoting cleaner air and water, brownfield remediation, cleaning up chemical and industrial waste, and how they’re dealing with environmental challenges.

Through the Open World program, the delegates and their U.S. Counterparts were able to learn new ways to protect the environment while benefiting the local and national economies. The program will lead to new collaborations between Pittsburgh organizations and organizations in Kazakhstan to help protect people’s health and the environment, and help better the economy of the United States and Kazakhstan.

The visiting delegates were Mr. Bolat Dalabayevich Beldebekov, Deputy Mayor of Tekeli, Almaty Province, Ms. Aliya Altayevna Sadvokasova, Expert on the Committee of Ecological Regulation and Control, Ministry of Environmental Protection in Astana, Ms. Asel Sagyndykovna Tokzhanova, Expert on the Committee of Ecological Regulation and Control, the Ministry of Environmental Protection in Astana, Ms. Yekaterina Georgiyevna Strikeleva, Manager of Programs of Environmental Policy and Management and the Coordinator of Programs in support of water initiatives for the Central Asian Regional Environmental Center, and Ms. Nazgul Yesmukhanovna Zhabasova, Deputy Head, Department of Natural Resources and Nature Management, West Kazakhstan province in Uralsk. Ms. Nadezhda Mikhailovna Polchenko from Stepnogorsk, Kazakhstan accompanied them as a facilitator.

In Pittsburgh, the delegation met with Ms. Jackie Erickson, Southwestern PA Regional Director, U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey Jr.’s Office, and Mr. Brad Harrison, District Director, Office of U.S. Representative Tim Murphy. The delegation also met with Councilman Bill Peduto, District 8, Pittsburgh City Council, Mr. George Jugovic, Regional Director, Southwest Regional Office of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Dr. Matthew Mehalik, Program Manager of Sustainable Pittsburgh, Mr. Richard Piacentini, Executive Director, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden, Mr. Jim Thompson, Air Program Mananger, Allegheny County Health Department, Ms. Rachel Filippini, Executive Director, Group Against Smog and Pollution, Ms. Danielle Crumrine, Executive Director, Tree Pittsburgh, Mr. John Riley, General Manager, Moon Township Municipal Authority, and Mr. William J. Bates Jr., Vice President of Real Estate, Eat N’ Park Group, Inc.

The delegation also traveled to West Virginia University for a half day of meetings with Dr. Gerald R. Iwan, Director, National Environmental Services Center, and Mr. Patrick Kirby, Director of North West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center at the West Virginia Water and Research Institute.

“GlobalPittsburgh is pleased to have the opportunity to introduce our distinguished visitors from Kazakhstan to their peers in Pittsburgh and hope that some ongoing linkages may be formed as a result of this Open World training session,” said Gail Shrott, Vice President, Program Services.

Homestays with local GlobalPittsburgh host member families allowed the delegates to experience American family life. They also took take part in several cultural and community activities, including a visit to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Carnegie Museum of Art and a performance by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

The Open World Program is a unique, nonpartisan initiative of the U.S. Congress designed to build mutual understanding between the United States and Eurasia. Over 16,000 Open World participants have been hosted in all 50 states since the program’s inception in 1999. Delegates range from members of parliament to mayors, from innovative nonprofit directors to experienced journalists, and from political party activists to regional administrators.

For more information, please contact Gail Shrott, GlobalPittsburgh’s Vice-President of Program Services, at 412-392-4513. For more information on GlobalPittsburgh, visit For more information on Open World, visit

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pittsburgh Among Top 10 Fastest Growing Metro Areas for Technology Jobs, According to Job Search Website

Pittsburgh ranks among the Top 10 fastest growing metro areas for technology jobs, according to job search website Graphic
"While Silicon Valley or New York may hold an irresistible allure for some, technology professionals can find interesting opportunities in cities as diverse as Detroit, Miami, Pittsburgh, or Cincinnati, the website said.

Pittsburgh technology professionals can expect to take home more than $65,000 a year with job opportunities in the area, up 45 percent year-to-year, according to Dice. Technology and engineering professionals can find opportunities in specialty metals, health care and financial services.

Here is the list of fastest growing metropolitan areas for technology jobs:

"Detroit tops the list with more than 800 available tech positions on any given day - that’s double the number posted last year. Let’s extend those two minutes of Detroit super bowl advertising goodness, by highlighting that technology professionals make on average $71,445 per year in the Motor City, up two percent from a year ago.

"Ohio has state bragging rights with three cities on the list, Cincinnati (#2), Cleveland (#3) and Columbus (#4). Technology professionals can find opportunities with financial services companies, retailers, manufactures and retailers in the region.

"Job openings in Seattle are up 54 percent year/year to more than 2,200 which makes it the fastest growing large market on the list. That demand is translating into slightly more pay as Seattle-based technology professionals earn on average $86,168 per year, an increase of two percent from last year.

"Two Florida cities make the list, with Miami at number seven (job postings at 533, up 43% yr/yr) and Jacksonville at number eight (job postings at 380, up 41% yr/yr). Technology professionals in these cities can expect to make at least $68,000 per year – and those in defense with security clearance much more.

"Job opportunities in Chicago (#9) and Silicon Valley (#10) are up 40 percent year/year – with more than 3,200 and nearly 4,800 jobs posted respectively. For these two major markets to be growing this fast a year into the recovery, only bodes well for new career opportunities and increasing wages."

Conference Celebrating 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day Scheduled for March 8 - Free, Registration Required

Women Around the World:
Achievements and Challenges Today

March 8, 2011
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Rivers Club, 301 Grant Street, 4th Floor, Pittsburgh, PA
Register Now!
The World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh and the YWCA’s Center for Race and Gender Equity invite you to a panel discussion and reception commemorating the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.

Join us for an interactive panel discussion with a diverse group of international women who will provide their perspectives on major contemporary issues confronting women around the world.  What are some “success stories” that highlight how women’s lives are improving on a global scale?  What are the main challenges that women still face today - politically, economically, and socially?  How can we work together to find sustainable solutions in bettering the lives of women and girls around the globe?
  • Anahita Firouz Radjy, Novelist & Lecturer, Senior Vice President & Co-Founder, Pittsburgh Middle East Institute
  • Dr. Macrina C. Lelei, Interim Director, African Studies Program and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Education, University of Pittsburgh
  • Marisol Wandiga Valentin, Program Officer for the Caribbean Region, Global Links
  • Heidi Zhang, Esq., Senior Counsel-Asia, Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
Panel moderated by Allyson Lowe, Ph.D., Chair, Political Science Department, Carlow University

This event is offered at no charge; advance registration is required.  A reception will directly follow the panel discussion.
Questions? Call 412-281-7970 or email
Many thanks to the Eden Hall Foundation for their generous support of this event!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pittsburgh's Quantum Theatre Continues Celebration of 20th Season With Opening of Tango Operita "Maria De Buenos Aires"

Who: Quantum Theatre
What: Maria De Buenos Aires by Astor Piazzolla; directed by Karla Boos
When: March 24 – April 17, 2011 (Opening and Press Night March 25)
Curtain Wednesdays – Saturdays 8PM, Sundays 7PM.
Where: The YMCA in East Liberty, 120 S Whitfield St, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Tickets: Call ShowClix 1-888-71-TICKETS or visit to book; $30 - $45 with a limited number of $16 student tickets.

Quantum Theatre – known for staging its shows in unique places that aren’t theaters – continues its 20th Anniversary Season with Astor Piazzolla’s poetic, musical story – the story of a woman, and the story of the tango.

Attack Theatre will perform the iconic tango, collaborating with Quantum as they have on great past projects Kafka’s Chimp and The Voluptuous Tango. Carolina Loyola-Garcia (The Red Shoes) speaks the dramatic poetry in Spanish as the Duende (Goblin) character, mirrored by Karla Boos in English.

Maria de Buenos Aires’ cradle lies on the banks of the delta of the Rio de la Plata, from which Argentine peasants and European emigrants bore her into the suburbs of Buenos Aires in the 19th century. While waiting for their lot to improve, they combined the Argentinean milonga of the countryside with the Afro-American rhythms of the candombe, the Hispano-Cuban habanera, and various European dances to produce the multicultural tango, its unmistakable tonal colors created by the combination of bandoneon and strings.

Maria, like the tango she personifies, passes through various phases. Initially upwardly mobile as she progresses from the suburbs to nightclubs in the city center… she experiences her heyday in cabarets and bordellos; then her exploitation, exhaustion, decline and death; and spectacular rebirth. All of this exists in the journey of Maria de Buenos Aires’ protagonist against the backdrop of political turmoil Argentina experienced mid-20th century.

Music director Andres Cladera and stage director Karla Boos’ Maria De Buenos Aires will cater to all the senses, uniting expressive, live orchestral music, the passionate rhythm of the tango, a surreal poetic text by Horacio Ferrer, and a visual manifestation of that poetry through video created by Joe Seamans.

Argentine mezzo Raquel Winnica sings Maria, Carlos Feliciano the ubiquitous Payador, and Buenos Aires bandoneon player Benjamin Bogart leads the ensemble of eight. In Spanish and English, the work will be accessible to non-Spanish speakers; a special treat for Pittsburgh’s Spanish-speaking population.

The Neighborhood Initiative: Quantum Theatre creates its work this season in the corridor of communities surrounding Penn Avenue. This extended occupation has allowed the company to reach out to residents, businesses, and community organizations with special deals and partnerships that maximize Quantum’s benefits to the neighborhood and expand the economic impact each show has on its temporary home.

Maria de Buenos Aires will be staged in the ballroom of the East Liberty YMCA at 120 S. Whitfield Street, its fading glory an honorary character; a symbol of the rebirth still to come in this dynamic neighborhood.