As many of my readers likely know, returning to Pittsburgh isn't easy. Cracking the parochial job market is tough to do. I'm of the opinion that one needs to be an "entrepreneur of self" in order to make relocation practical. Understanding Pittsburgh as Cleveburgh has opened up a world of possibilities, my own frontier geography. In Youngstown, the regional labor shed is vast. Concentrating certain industry in the Mahoning Valley makes good economic sense. One can sell a Cleveland or Pittsburgh cosmopolitan lifestyle that's close enough to the cauldron of ideas in Youngstown.
Take, for instance, Pittsburgh's airport connectivity problems:
For years, the K&L Gates law firm routinely brought employees from its offices throughout the world into Pittsburgh for firmwide management meetings that, by extension, helped show off the city.
But for the past few years, the firm has held the meeting outside of New York City and this year selected a location near Washington, D.C., for the gathering. It wasn't for a change of scenery.
Rather, because of dramatic cutbacks in flights at Pittsburgh International Airport, it was becoming too hard to get people into the city. Many were left at the mercy of clogged and chaotic East Coast airports to make connections.
"We had some horror stories," K&L Gates Chairman Peter Kalis said. "You work like hell to recruit them into the firm, and then you subject them to the Philadelphia airport and you get what you deserve."
Mr. Kalis and his colleagues are among local business travelers who are finding that more and more, air travel from and to Pittsburgh is an ordeal akin to an Indiana Jones adventure, thanks in large part to cutbacks by US Airways.
A business located in downtown Youngstown can effectively leverage airports in Pittsburgh, Akron/Canton, and Cleveland. The possibility of avoiding the "clogged and chaotic East Coast" are much better when mulling over three options. And a trailing spouse could look for employment in Cleveland, Akron, or Pittsburgh given the proximity. Attracting talent and businesses to Cleveburgh is much easier than doing so for Cleveland or Pittsburgh. Thus, I see my current endeavor also in service of both poles of Cleveburgh (and points inbetween).