Friday, November 28, 2008

Some Happy Thoughts at Thanksgiving

Ron Morris gives a bunch of points.
The American Entrepreneur - Newsletter Articles - Some Happy Thoughts at Thanksgiving: "We did a little research at Pittsburgh Renaissance Radio (my thanks to Brittany Strobel) and the results of that research were both interesting and exciting. Here are some things that we learned:"
Wife and kids are back from some Black Friday money spending. Crowds were no problem. In-store help was great.

Way to go Pitt and #25, Shady! We have no furniture to spare. I saw a bed on East Carson Street on the opposite side of the street from the Post Office. It might be a loud night, here on the South Side.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ron's points and closing:

A recent issue of MSN Money, entitled “Seven Recession-Places to Retire” ranked Pittsburgh fourth from the top. The article cites the fact that, while steel and chemical manufacturing have waned, Pittsburgh has been “given over to the virgin tech industry, particular robotics and biomedicine.”
According to that same issue of MSN Money, the “places to be” in a recession are, in no particular order, government, health care, and education. Guess who is extremely strong in all three of these areas? Add to this the aforementioned high-tech momentum and you’ve got a pretty nice area to hunker down in.
Pittsburgh still has seven fortune five-hundred companies, including PNC Financial Services, Mellon Financial, and Wesco International. Moreover, Westinghouse Corporation (nee: Toshiba) is building a huge headquarters for their nuclear business in Cranberry Township.
Pittsburgh also happens to be a low-cost place to live. (Who didn’t know that?) This region’s cost of living is a full 5% lower than the national average.
And while the median sale price of existing homes national-wide fell 1.4% last year to roughly $219,000, Pittsburgh real estate actually increased by 1% to almost $121,000 (National Association of Realtors).
Perhaps the brightest light we see in this region (believe it or not!) is new construction (which is concentrated in the downtown area). Contracting during January-September, 2008, was approximately $2.7 billion, a 13% increase over the similar period in 2007. UPMC’s recent decision to forge ahead with its $200M dollar hospital in Monroeville is a bold step in a recessionary economy.
Employment in the construction field is at its highest-levels ever. A recent quote from Rich Stanizzo indicates the status of our area construction workers, “Right now, we’re pretty much at 100% employment.” Stanizzo went on to say that, “The Pittsburgh region, insofar as construction workers are concerned, is in the middle of a boom.” This comment tends to support the general economic findings. In September, unemployment in Pittsburgh was just 5.4% compared with the U.S. unemployment rate of 6.5%.
As indicated, health, biomedical, education, and high-tech are all terrific places to be right now. In these four areas alone, close to 42% of all regional workers ply their craft. This includes approximately 14% of the people working in education, 16% in health care, another 7% in technology and the remaining 5% in professional services.
Furthermore, investments in businesses are rising. A November report from Money Tree indicates that venture capital, “is growing faster in Pittsburgh than it is anywhere else in the country.” (Frankly, this surprised even me … a guy who spends a considerable amount of time investing in high-tech.)
Money Tree also talks about a, “growing film industry present in Pittsburgh.” This, I will buy … I think of the efforts by people like Michael Dolan and, of course, Dawn Keezer.
Finally, looking at the short-term future, we can expect to see the following: Piatt Place, a high-end condominium complex that occupies the old Lazarus building; a second Piatt venture, targeted to lower-income city dwellers (in the Fifth and Forbes area); significant expansion by Point Park University (including a plan to close the Boulevard of the Allies and make it part of Point Park’s overall campus); and, of course, the controversial “tunnel to nowhere” connecting the North Side with the Golden Triangle. But we cannot overlook U.S. Steel’s investment of over $1 billion in its Clairton Works while Allegheny Technologies (now “ATI”), is spending even more than that at its Brackenridge plant.
So there you have it. Reasons to be thankful that you didn’t “take the bait” and move your family to places like Charlotte (which is experiencing a significant downturn), Florida (there’s only one place worse than Florida right now), and Phoenix (and that’s the place!).

To your everlasting credit, you stayed here. You stayed in a city that will soon benefit from the remarkable vision of the “Pittsburgh Promise,” a $250,000,000 investment by UPMC that will ensure, upon graduation, a college education for every single city school student with a 2.5 grade average; and hot “growth” companies like Precision Therapeutics and Aethon, both firmly entrenched high-tech companies targeted to serve the health care sector.

And hey! If the Steelers can somehow manage to win three of their next five games, we’ll once again be watching football in January. (We might also be seeing hockey in June.)

I’m happy and thankful. Now if I can only get more sponsors for Pittsburgh Renaissance Radio - I’ll be delirious!