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    Report Touts Last Year's Job Creation

    The 12th annual edition of a data-based snapshot called the Pittsburgh Region Business Investment Scorecard featured 340 total deals tracked in 2018, the most deals the region has seen since 2007, and $3.8 billion in capital expenditure, continuing an annual tradition of $1 billion or more in such expenditures.

    The conference noted that there was at least one significant deal in Indiana County, where Urban Outfitters Inc. is investing $30 million in an 836,000-square-foot distribution center nearing completion in the Windy Ridge Business & Technology Park in White Township. It is expected to create 225 new jobs.

    As pointed out by the Allegheny Conference, Urban Outfitters or URBN is providing in its Windy Ridge site a major point in the eastern United States pipeline between suppliers and the consumers and retail outlets for URBN’s family of brands.

    In its scorecard, the conference quotes URBN Chief Development Officer David Ziel’s remarks as carried last September in The Indiana Gazette: “What brings us here is really simple: It’s the people, the quality of the people … and I think you’ve got a resilient workforce.”

    James Futrell, vice president for market research and analysis for the Allegheny Conference, said the scorecard is based on a scouring of regional media coverage, direct company outreach and a survey of about two dozen economic development partners in the region. Those partners include the Indiana County Center for Economic Operations.

    “We’re looking to leverage three drivers, creating a strong economy, thriving people and a high quality of place,” said Cecelia Cagni, senior vice president for marketing and communications at the Allegheny Conference.

    The conference said there were 257 investment deals in the 10-county area, up 48 from 2017, totaling $2.6 billion, and 83 infrastructure-and-brick and mortar real estate development deals, up 34 from 2017, totaling $1.2 billion. It said the total job impact was 18,228, 56 percent higher than 2017, including 7,660 new jobs, a 15 percent increase.

    Conference officials also said stability through diversity continues to define the Pittsburgh region, where an economy is built on five strategic and strong industry sectors, including manufacturing, intelligence technology and robotics, health care and life sciences, financial and business, and energy.

    By PATRICK CLOONAN  May 26, 2019
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