Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Pittsburgh Advantage

I'm beginning to suspect that my best chance of cracking the Pittsburgh job market is to move to Washington, DC. The talent churn between the two regions is strong and DC is more likely to consider an applicant currently residing halfway across the country. A well-cultivated DC network is highly valued in Pittsburgh:

John Carpenter, president of MCM Communications, in Pittsburgh’s Friendship neighborhood, who has clients in the Washington, D.C., area, said vendor costs, particularly printing, are cheaper in Pittsburgh than in Washington “due to the political machine down there, where the demand is quick and furious because of elections, and printers charge for that.” Plus, he said, there are connections Pittsburgh companies can tap.

“There’s a hot bed of business along the 270 Corridor because of tech jobs that transitioned from Pittsburgh to D.C. and you find a lot of expats there who passionately love Pittsburgh and, if they had their druthers, would be back here,” Carpenter said.

Pittsburgh is an inexpensive option for tapping the DC market, a strategic position that I think will serve Southwestern PA very well over the next few years. There are useful connections in just about every economic sector, including government.

I guess there is some irony in moving to DC in order to end up in Pittsburgh, but I think that is an effective migration strategy. Generation Gumband might consider DC as the staging area for their return home. And Pittsburgh should try to attract talent to DC, a labor market that is ready to absorb a more substantial in-migration.

1 comment:

Paz said...

Very true. I'm a Pittsburgh expat living in DC as a student, and I can't tell you how many people I've run into with ties back in the Steel City. It was only more evident during the Super Bowl run.