Allegheny Conference on Community Development

Dear Lawmakers:

Collectively, we are members of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development Board of Directors. As companies and organizations based in the Pittsburgh region, we know that our economy—locally and across the commonwealth—is stronger because of the University of Pittsburgh’s success. As a leading public research institution and a longstanding community anchor, Pitt serves as a powerful lightning rod of opportunity, drawing precious companies, connections, talent, and funding into the commonwealth.

Accordingly, we are writing now to urge you to support and approve Pitt’s annual appropriation bill. Across our many organizations—and for many compelling reasons—we count the University of Pittsburgh as one of our region and Commonwealth’s greatest assets and strongest economic engines. The University supports more than 34,000 permanent, family-supporting jobs, thousands of which are in the construction and building trades sectors, generates $184 million annually in state and local tax revenues, and annually imports nearly $900 million in research funding. All told, the University and their four regional campuses in Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown, and Titusville fuels a statewide economic impact of $4.2 billion annually.

Attracting and retaining talent and diversifying our economy remains a key focus for the success of our region’s job creators. Pitt has sustained our workforce with a 143,000-strong alumni network across southwestern PA and by educating 28,000 students each year, 60% who call Pennsylvania home. Importantly, Pitt graduates 7,500 students annually which strengthens our regional economy and workforce. As a top public university in the Northeast (The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education), a top-20 public school in the nation, and the No. 1-ranked Small Business Development Center in the Mid-Atlantic region, Pitt has been and will continue to be instrumental to our region’s economic vitality and growth.

Through collaboration with private and public entities, the University of Pittsburgh continues their long-standing track record of diversifying and future-proofing our economy by nurturing innovation and moving ideas to market, having launched 87 startups over the last five years. Investments such as establishing the LifeX accelerator to commercialize new technologies and unlocking explosive growth of the life sciences sector through the recently-announced Pitt BioForge – including a much-needed biomanufacturing institute – demonstrate Pitt’s essential role in advancing the local economy.

These examples showcase why the University of Pittsburgh is a proven engine of opportunity for our region. We are proud of Pitt’s role in our community and grateful to have such a powerful ally in advancing the important work of strengthening Pennsylvania’s families, economies, and future.


  • Will Allen, Magarac Ventures
  • Leroy M. Ball, Jr., Koppers Inc.
  • Walter R. Bashaw, II, II-VI Incorporated
  • Eric Boughner, BNY Mellon
  • Jeff Broadhurst, Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, Inc.
  • Quintin B. Bullock, Community College of Allegheny County
  • Helen Hanna Casey, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services
  • Leslie C. Davis, UPMC
  • Vincent J. Delie, Jr., F.N.B. Corporation
  • William S. Demchak, The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
  • J. Christopher Donahue, Federated Hermes Inc.
  • John J. Engel, WESCO International, Inc.
  • Karen Wolk Feinstein, Jewish Healthcare Foundation
  • Daniel K. Fitzpatrick, Citizens Bank of PA / NY / NJ / DE
  • Kimberly Tillotson Fleming, Hefren-Tillotson, Inc.
  • Christopher Franklin, Essential Utilities
  • Kenneth G. Gormley, Duquesne University
  • Steven J. Guy, Oxford Development Company
  • Severin Hacker, Duolingo
  • Charles L. Hammel, III, PITT OHIO
  • Jason E. Hazlewood, Reed Smith LLP
  • Diane P. Holder, UPMC Health Plan
  • David L. Holmberg, Highmark Health
  • Farnam Jahanian, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Haakan Jonsson, Covestro LLC
  • Laura Shapira Karet, Giant Eagle, Inc.
  • Rebekah Byers Kcehowski, Jones Day Pittsburgh
  • Ronald C. Keating, Evoqua Water Technologies, LLC
  • Mark R. Kempic, Columbia Gas
  • David J. Malone, Gateway Financial Group, Inc.
  • Christopher Martin, Robert Bosch LLC
  • Michael H. McGarry, PPG
  • James J. McQuade, Dollar Bank, FSB
  • Hilary Mercer, Shell Chemicals Appalachia
  • David Morehouse, Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Antonis Papadourakis, LANXESS Corporation
  • Stefani Pashman, Allegheny Conference on Community Development
  • James H. Rock, Seegrid Corporation
  • Christopher Rossi, Kennametal Inc.
  • Bryan Salesky, Argo AI
  • Rafael Ottoni Santana, Wabtec Corporation
  • Steve R. Schott, Calgon Carbon Corporation
  • Lisa M. Schroeder, The Pittsburgh Foundation
  • James R. Segerdahl, K&L Gates LLP
  • Venkee Sharma, Aquatech International Corporation
  • Susan Baker Shipley, The Huntington National Bank
  • William E. Strickland, Jr., Manchester Bidwell Corporation
  • Jaime S. Tuite, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
  • Nishan J. Vartanian, MSA, The Safety Company
  • Kevin Walker, Duquesne Light Company
  • Lara Washington, AHRCO
  • Robert S. Wetherbee, Allegheny Technologies Incorporated