Friday, December 18, 2009

Google and Pittsburgh

Multiple choice question:

What's the #1 reason Pittsburghers move away?

a) They want to live in a sunny climate.
b) Not enough bands and music acts have Pittsburgh on their tour list.
c) They want to pay more for housing.
d) They can't find a job.

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And the answer is?

d) Jobs

Anecdotally, every person that I've talked to that left the city, did so because they couldn't find a job in the city.

Google, our potential savior, is tapping into that lack of jobs. They have expanded their operations from 2 employees to 100 in the past few years. From a software engineering perspective, Google is Mecca. When I told friends I was moving to Pittsburgh, they started gushing to me that Google had an office in Pittsburgh. But I was turned off because Google was on Carnegie Mellon's campus. Being a graduate of a different technology school, I felt I would be shunned from that club. Now, Google is taking a big step in Pittsburgh. Google is moving to the new Bakery Square development in East Liberty. Google and Pittsburgh's relationship has moved beyond the college campus boundaries and only good things can come of it. Congratulations to the folks at Google for realizing that there's more to Pittsburgh than CMU. And to those software engineering Pittsburgh ex-pats, there's never been a better time to come home.

4 comments:

Miller said...

Now, about those concerts.

Chris said...

I agree that Google's growth beyond the CMU campus is a good thing for all involved, but let's give the devil his due - CMU is the reason Google is here in the first place.

jel63 said...

Hi,
Love the blog. Great stuff.

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Thanks again and please try it out,
Justin @ www.Yinzit.com

Miss S. said...

I heard about this, and the news would have been more exciting; except for the sting of Dish Network closing its call center in McKeesport and laying off 600 workers has not completely subsided.

I know, I know...McKeesport is not Pittsburgh, but it does happen to be the 2nd largest city in Allegheny county after Pittsburgh. Also Google will be paying their workers a lot more than what the average call-center worker makes. However as someone who personally knows many people who work at Dish Network, for many of them, it was a stepping stone. A job that enabled them to put their kids through college, to get off of public assistance, and in some cases even buy a home.

My apologies for sounding negative. I do like Pittsburgh, and I am excited to see business set foot here. But we can't kid ourselves. Real economic strength comes from a diversified economy. The Pittsburgh region still offers very little to workers on the low-end of the spectrum -- those without college degrees. And those type of people are still the majority here.

But I think Pittsburgh has an excellent music scene. Much better than my old hometown (Miami) that is for sure!