recruits visit Pittsburgh, they are pleasantly surprised by the amenities. PPG has
six area locations and more than 2,500
employees who call the region home. An
affordable cost of living and mix of urban,
suburban, and rural options lets them
design their lifestyles.
“You can pick whatever style of
living you want,” says David Bem, vice
president of science and technology, and
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can have a completely city environment
all the way to a complete country envi-
ronment within 15 minutes.”
The company is a good neighbor in
these communities, too. Last year alone,
PPG donated more than $1.4 million
to support educational and community
sustainability programs throughout the
Greater Pittsburgh area.
Many job applicants fall in love with
the quality of life and vibrant arts culture
as soon as they visit the city, he notes. “If
we can get them to come to visit, they say,
‘Wow, I didn’t know how great it is,’” he
says. An added plus is that the state’s abun-
education and healthcare has also made it
easy for the spouses of relocating hires to
Air Products, a global company operat-
ing in more than 50 countries and based in
able to attract the right talent has given
it an edge in a tight labor market. It is
planning the construction of a new world
headquarters to be located in Pennsylva-
nia’s Lehigh Valley. Chairman, President
plans for the new facility, to be completed
in 2021. One thing that has helped the
Allentown-based company move forward
on its vision is Pennsylvania’s higher education system, as have collaborations with
groups such as the Pennsylvania Chamber
Policy Roundtable and Team Pennsylvania
Foundation to support economic development, the company says.
In 2016, the state launched a new brand
called “Pennsylvania. Work Smart. Live
Happy.” to highlight the link between strong
communities and thriving businesses, and
the integral connection and impact each has
the quality of work and quality of life found
in Pennsylvania and embedded in the state’s
business resources, cultural and recreational
assets, diversity, and inspirational leaders
who call the Keystone State home.
In its recent publication, “Work Smart.
Live Happy. A PA Story,” the state tells the
story of how three of its post-industrial
cities have created collaborative initiatives
to bring together private industry, non-
and academia to reimagine their communities through revitalizing their local industries and neighborhoods with support from
state investment and technical assistance.
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these efforts is Bethlehem, once home to
Bethlehem Steel. It has now built a thriving
arts community that has added to the quality of life in the city. Erie, whose former
claim to fame was being the boiler and engine capital of the world, is now focusing
on expanding other types of private sector
jobs and turning its Lake Erie waterfront
into a tourist destination. Meanwhile,
Johnstown, once heavily dependent on
steel manufacturing, is now moving into
advanced manufacturing in new areas, such
as making billets and slabs.
Betting on innovation
To make sure it holds onto its edge in creating the jobs of the future, Pennsylvania
is investing heavily in innovation. DECED
has advanced Pennsylvania’s technology
scene through the Keystone Innovation
Zone (KIZ) program, fostering development in 28 KIZs in both rural areas and
cities slated for economic development.
Through the program, businesses less than
Top photo: From tech startups to some of the country’s most iconic businesses,
Pennsylvania is home to a diverse and thriving array of companies.
Bottom photo: Pennsylvania’s nearly 250 globally-ranked post-secondary and higher
education institutions contribute to a highly educated workforce.