City Series: Pittsburgh is a Melting Pot of Opportunity

City Series CharlotteI’m your typical Yinzer (Pittsburgh’s version of y’all)—born and raised in Pittsburgh. While I was growing up, Pittsburgh was still recovering from a regional depression.

Over the past decade, however, the city has made a serious comeback. In recent years, we’ve been named America’s most livable and most affordable city, among many other honors. Perhaps one of Pittsburgh’s strongest points though is its cultural diversity. We’re often referred to as the “Melting Pot” and we’re not afraid to express it.

I’m thankful to be in the middle of the action. I live 10 minutes from downtown and my agency is headquartered on the east side of the city.

Here are the main industries in the Pittsburgh market (all of which have contributed to our revival):

  • Tech — According to Network World, “Pittsburgh is nurturing and growing a new generation of technology innovators.” The tech scene in Pittsburgh is substantial, especially as Uber and Carnegie Mellon University continue to test autonomous cars on city streets.
  • Restaurants and Retail — Pittsburgh’s restaurant scene is home to countless nationally awarded restaurants. We’re now also home to more craft breweries and micro roasteries than you can count on both hands. There is also a retail renaissance going on in and around the city. The area’s first Nordstrom, Tory Burch, Omega, Michael Kors, L.L Bean, Louis Vuitton and other luxury destinations have set up shop within recent years. Northway Mall—Pennsylvania’s first indoor mall—is also currently undergoing a massive transformation.
  • Real Estate — Both local and national developers are converting old buildings into attractive destinations all over town.
  • Healthcare — One of the largest industries in the Greater Pittsburgh area is healthcare. The strong roots of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and Highmark have created an abundance of jobs.
  • Sports — The Steelers, Penguins and Pirates are the city’s black-and-gold lifeblood.
  • Startups — Pittsburgh is startup friendly. Office space is affordable and new business opportunities are abundant. This has been fertile soil to help grow my agency, along with countless other startups in the area.

Pittsburgh is New Pro Friendly

Not only are the opportunities nearly endless for young professionals, but the cost of living is very affordable. There are plenty of hip neighborhoods that will quickly welcome you with open arms—Shadyside, Squirrel Hill and Lawrenceville are just a few.

The industries mentioned above yield an abundance of communication positions, especially in tech and healthcare. PRSA Pittsburgh’s Career Center is a great place to start looking for jobs and internships.

If you’re looking to get connected, PRSA Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Young Professionals—one of the oldest Young Professionals organization in the countryare great places to start. These groups are active and accepting of new members.

Whether it’s craft beer, festivals or helping others, there are countless organizations to get involved with in Pittsburgh. In each, you’ll make fast friends and interact with the city in a unique way.

If you need any more local insight on the city, let me know. I’d love to chat. Hope to see you soon in the “Melting Pot” with a Primanti Brother’s sandwich in your hands.

Ben Butler is an entrepreneur and marketing communications professional. He’s the founder of a public relations and branding firm, Top Hat IMC, director of inbound partnerships at an inbound marketing agency and head of communications at a SaaS startup. You can connect with Ben on LinkedIn and on Twitter @BenButlerPR.

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