Alliance aimed at boosting energy industry
Share with others:
The Allegheny Conference has launched a new initiative focused on growing the energy industry in and around Pittsburgh.
Creation of the Energy Alliance of Southwestern Pennsylvania was announced yesterday in advance of the conference's annual meeting at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, Downtown.
Dennis Yablonsky, chief executive of the conference, stressed that the alliance is not a new organization but is a "virtual" collaboration of experts who will come up with a strategy to utilize resources already in place to promote energy-related jobs and innovation.
"We want to leverage our assets for economic activity through jobs and capital investment," he said in a telephone interview prior to last night's meeting.
The alliance advisory board consists of chief executives of major energy-related firms in the region including Allegheny Energy, Consol, EQT, Duquesne Light, BPL Global and Westinghouse Electric. The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University also are members as well as other corporate executives from the conference.
Innovation Works, part of a statewide network for promoting new enterprises and investment, will partner with the conference in executing the strategy for economic development through the energy industry.
The alliance plans to promote research conducted earlier this year by the Pennsylvania Economy League that identified seven key energy sectors in southwestern Pennsylvania: coal, natural gas, nuclear, solar, wind, transmission/distribution and intelligent building technologies.
"We want to get the word out that Pittsburgh has a portfolio of resources that's unique," said Mr. Yablonsky.
Among the activities the alliance will undertake to try to attract energy jobs and investment to the region, he said, include marketing and communications, public policy and advocacy for energy issues especially at the state level, and obtaining funding for new energy ventures.
The conference -- formed in 1944 to promote a public-private partnership for civic development -- targeted energy for its newest initiative "because of the opportunity it presented," said Mr. Yablonsky. "Clearly there's growth potential here and a national need and a regional need for new policies. It's an opportunity to grow the economy."
The new alliance, he said, will complement another recent initiative launched here -- the U.S. Center for Energy Leadership. That entity is a group of six energy company executives who consider Pittsburgh to have a critical mass of energy resources and who are working on providing expert opinions on energy policy. All six members of the Center for Energy Leadership sit on the advisory board of the new alliance.
First Published December 2, 2009 12:00 am