Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Pittsburgh Region One of Top 10 Metro Areas for Future Business Locations

On Monday, Expansion Management magazine announced its 2006 list of the the Best Metro Areas for Future Business Locations. The Pittsburgh Region ranked #9. Other metros in the top 10 were Austin, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Raleigh, Dallas, Houston, Washington, DC, Madison, Wisconsin, Seattle, and Phoenix.

Pretty good company our region is keeping.

The ranking was a composite of the rankings in seven different areas -- college-educated workforce, public education, quality of life, logistics infrastructure (i.e., transportation systems), healthcare cost and availability (this is a state-level ranking), taxes and government spending (another state-level ranking), and reputation among professional site consultants.

Interestingly, the Pittsburgh Region didn't rank in the top 10 on any of the individual metro rankings. On the two statewide rankings, Pennsylvania ranked in the best 10 states for healthcare cost and quality, but not in the best 10 states for taxes and government spending.

What all this means is that while the Pittsburgh Region isn't great on any individual measure, it has a better balance of good rankings than most other regions do.

What this also means is that the Pittsburgh Region could really shine if it improved its rankings on the individual measures.

The ranking confirms what a lot of people believe -- the core strengths of the Pittsburgh Region make it a great place for businesses to start and grow. Unfortunately, we don't do a good job of marketing ourselves, and we rank poorly on some of the most visible signals of business climate, such as having the second worst corporate net income tax in the country.

Imagine what kind of economic growth we could have if we could fix those issues that make us look bad, and if we could do a better job of getting the word out about how good we are.

Imagine if we became not just good, but great.


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