MAYOR DWAN WALKER

The Beaver County Chamber of Commerce has issued a special a set of “baseball cards” featuring, among others, a Black female mechanical engineer,  a Black male electrical engineer and a Black male analyzer technician.

On the backs of the cards are the salaries these jobs pay and the educational requirements to attain them. Why? Because these jobs, like the painting, environmental engineering, health and safety, electrician, plumber and crane operator positions featured on the other cards, are all either directly related to, or ancillary to, needs at Royal Dutch Shell’s ethane cracker plant, which is currently under construction 33 miles from Downtown Pittsburgh.

The cards were among the materials featured at the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance’s 10th annual Business Investment Scorecard and Economic Overview.

Though the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance sees continued growth in Western Pennsylvania’s ten-county region in health, financial, tech and life sciences sectors, it expects the biggest employment and further regional investment benefits to accrue from the cracker plant and perhaps other petrochemical investments related to Marcellus and Utica shale gas extraction.

“Last year the region saw a record $10.2 billion in capital investment, which, even without Shell’s six billion, would have been a record,” said outgoing CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development Dennis Yablomsky.

David Ruppersberger, president of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, noted there were 245 deals in the region last year that created or retained 11,344 jobs. Energy companies invested another $3.1 billion with the biggest deals being Taneska, building a new $785 million natural gas-fired power plant in Westmoreland County and Energy Transfer Partners spending $1.5 billion natural gas processing plant there as well.

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