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Allegheny Conference CEO Yablonsky Speaks at Oktoberfest Meeting on "The Present State and Future of Our Regional Economy"

 

Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development

 

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 8, 2012 - Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, and former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, was the featured speaker at the Oktoberfest meeting of the German American Business Circle of Pittsburgh on the topic of "The Present State and Future of our Regional Economy."

 

GABC Economic Outlook Survey - link

At the event, the GABC presented the highlights of its second annual economic outlook survey, which have been featured in recent stories in the Pittsburgh Business Times and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Additional remarks were made by Susanne Cook of Cohen & Grigsby and Jeffrey Deane and David Bluemling of Malin, Bergquist & Co.

Opportunities and Threats -- In his remarks, Yablonsky highlighted the opportunities as well as threats facing the region. Among the opportunities, he said, are the region's central location within 500 miles of major business centers, highly skilled workforce and connections to research universities which have drawn the likes of Google to locate here.

The threats, he said, were 14,000 unfilled jobs; skill mis-matches in some industries; and a poorly diversified workforce, all of which the Allegheny Conference is attempting to rectify through a wide variety of public and private partnerships. He fielded questions about Pittsburgh's airport usage and stimulus funding for roads and bridge. To a round of applause, he said that the airport is perfectly situated to increase capacity by handling overflow connecting flights from congested airports in the eastern seaboard, and that airport fees will drop in a few years once the airport construction debt is paid.

Economic Outlook Survey - Mark Miner of Malin Bergquist & Co. presented an overview of the GABC's second annual economic outlook survey which is posted online in English and German.

The survey provides a snapshot of the issues facing German owned companies in the region and optimism levels of their CEOs and senior executives. The results are analyzed in partnership with the International Business Center of the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business. Among the highlights:

Economy is rebounding - 58.2% said that economic conditions are “moderately” or “substantially” better than six months ago. This is slightly down from 66% last year.

CEOs remain strongly optimistic71.4% said they are moderately optimistic, optimistic or very optimistic about the business outlook. This is down from 77.3% last year.

Profit potential remains solid - 51.6% believe their profits will increase.

Hiring levels remain steady - 42.9% of respondents expect the size of their workforce to increase by the end of 2012. This is down from 55.2% last year.

Marcellus Shale interest is growing – 24.2% said that Marcellus Shale would provide their company with a significant business opportunity this year or in the next five years. This is up from 18.5% last year.

 

In the News - Be sure to see the Pittsburgh Business Times article, "Pittsburgh's German-Based Companies Somewhat Optimistic on Economy" [link] and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review story, "Many German Businesses in Region Are Optimistic Amid Slowdown, Survey Shows." [link]

Corporate Supporters: Ardex Americas, Cohen & Grigsby, Huntington Bank, Malin Bergquist, Sycor and Westar International Forwarders

Media Supporters: Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Our Region's Business and Pittsburgh Business Times

Future Events - To receive an invitation to future GABC events, please contact Erika Daxbeck at edaxbeck@BKD.com.

 

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