Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dear Mr. President Welcome to Pittsburgh, a City You Know Well

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dear Mr. President Welcome to Pittsburgh, a City You Know Well

Article excerpt

It's good to see you back even after multiple visits, including the G-20 summit you hosted here in September 2009. You chose Pittsburgh for global attention because of the region's recovery from industrial collapse in the 1980s and its rise as a rich destination -- in culture, business and natural beauty -- for all to see.

You have held up Pittsburgh as a model for the nation -- a place that overcame severe economic circumstances and found a way to refashion itself. That reinvention, in part through the growth of the high-tech sector, health care jobs and university expansions, has the region poised for a brighter future.

*

But Pittsburgh, like most places in America, still faces difficult challenges. Sure, the metro region's unemployment rate is lower than the national average (in May, 6.8 percent vs. 8.2 percent). We escaped the painful housing market collapse that befell other parts of the country. And our urban core, Downtown Pittsburgh, is a vibrant business center by day that draws sports, arts and dining fans by night and weekend.

Still, there is much more that our region can be, and it will take the right policies by the right president to give us the chance.

* We need more jobs. That means more companies that will reap success by adding American, not foreign, workers -- even though we live in a global economy. At your first stop Thursday of this two- day bus tour between northwestern Ohio and southwestern Pennsylvania, you reminded the audience of some of your efforts on this front.

Three years ago, you took the risk of a taxpayer bailout to save General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group from bankruptcy, and this week you announced the filing of an unfair trade complaint against China over duties imposed by the Asian nation on American-made cars and SUVs. Steps like these come decades late for the heyday of the industry that gave the Steel City its well-known, but now somewhat dated, nickname.

Even so, this region needs job creation policies that will keep more of its young people here and, with any luck, even bring back many of those who left in the Pittsburgh diaspora for greater prospects. …

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