Pittsburgh!, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Mirandala’s photostream

In the 2010 Census, Pittsburgh saw an across the board population increase of 22% for young residents between the ages of 20 and 24. Our median age decreased from about 35 years old to about 32 years old. And we welcomed thousands of young new residents to our neighborhoods; many who came from larger cities to take advantage of the lower cost of living and job opportunities here. We know that young people don’t just want trendy coffee shops and artist lofts, they want the same things all residents want: safe communities, vibrant business districts, and solid public transportation. New residents can be powerful growth engines for the city, and we need to find opportunities to attract new residents to move in, get college students to stay, and encourage kids who grew up in Pittsburgh to move back and be a part of our city’s future.

1. Keeping Pittsburgh Competitive

Companies in Pittsburgh aren’t just competing with each other for the top candidates: they’re competing against companies in Austin and San Francisco and dozens of other cities. Pittsburgh is part of a national and even global economy where the resources aren’t just iron and steel, but brains. I want to make sure that the thousands of young men and women who graduate from our colleges and universities can find work, start businesses, and get involved to revitalize our communities. I am confident that under my leadership, we will adopt policies that keep Pittsburgh a desirable destination for recent college grads.

2. Bringing People Back to Pittsburgh

I have heard from many residents that their children and grandchildren would love to move back to Pittsburgh, but they don’t know about the opportunities available to them. I want to make sure that anyone who wants to come back to Pittsburgh has that chance. I will work with businesses, banks, and the URA to make sure people that left can still stay informed about opportunities in Pittsburgh. When traveling to represent the city, I want to meet not only with the business and political leaders, but with the young men and women who would consider leaving their cities to move to Pittsburgh. I would host an “Opportunity Fair” during the holiday season, when many of our children and grandchildren are home. Former residents can learn about job openings and resources to start new businesses and buy houses in Pittsburgh. I will provide information on the city website to help prospective residents compare Pittsburgh to the other places they are considering. Tapping into the alumni networks of our high schools and universities, I will put out information about the great things happening in the city and the resources available to young professionals and young families. We need to start actively working to attract and retain Pittsburgh’s next generation of leaders.