While long thought of as a center for steal production, the Pittsburgh area economy has expanded and diversified beyond its traditional heavy manufacturing base to provide substantial opportunities for business and professional growth. Pittsburgh is home to ten Fortune 1000 company headquarters. The largest company headquartered in the Pittsburgh area is United States Steel. Probably the most famous companies with their headquarters in the area are United States Steel, H.J. Heinz, Mellon Financial, and Dick's Sporting Goods.
Despite its reputation as a center for blue collar industrial work, the Pittsburgh area has a very well educated work force. According to U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, Pittsburgh ranks in the top twenty among American cities with a well educated work force. Almost 34% of the Pittsburgh area population has a college degree or higher. In 2005, Central Connecticut State University ranked Pittsburgh in the top ten most literate cities in the U.S.
Major business honors and awards that have been received by the Pittsburgh metropolitan area include:
- Number 50 on Entrepreneur magazine's 2005 list of "Hot Cities for Entrepreneurs".
- Number 53 on Inc. magazine's 2006 list of "Best Cities for Doing Business" in the large cities category, and in the top fifty for all three years of the survey (2004-2006). The 2005 survey ranked the Pittsburgh area number ten for the "Most Balanced Economy and Growth".
- Number 32 on Forbes magazine's 2005 list of "Best Places For Business and Careers" (out of the 150 largest metropolitan areas).
- Number 24 on Expansion Management’s 2005 list of "America's 50 Hottest Cities".
- "5-Star Business Opportunity Metro" ranking from Expansion Management’s 2005 Mayor’s Challenge ranking of the "Top Business Opportunity Metros".
Major industries located in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area include:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Financial services
- High technology
Driven by organizations such as the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and Carnegie Mellon University, life sciences are a strong and growing industry in the Pittsburgh area. UPMC ranks among the top ten recipients in the U.S. for National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. Pittsburgh ranks in the top fifteen cities in the United States for NIH funding. In addition, Carnegie Mellon receives more than $73 million a year in National Science Foundation (NSF) research.
Pittsburgh is also home to the busiest inland port, the Port of Pittsburgh, in the United States.
For business travelers, the Pittsburgh area is served by the Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT). PIT is regularly ranked as one of the top airports in the world by Cond" Nast, J.D. Power, USA Today, Travelocity and the Official Airline Guide. Allegheny County Airport (AGC) also serves the Pittsburgh area.
Companies with headquarters in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area include:
- Allegheny Energy
- Allegheny Technologies
- American Eagle Outfitters
- Consol Energy
- Dick's Sporting Goods
- H. J. Heinz Company
- Mellon Financial
- PNC Financial
- PPG Industries
- U.S. Steel
- WESCO International
- Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel
Business organizations/associations in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area include:
- The Greater Pittsburgh Convention and Visitors Bureau
- The Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce
- The Pittsburgh Technology Council
- The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance
The Pittsburgh Business Times, "Business Section" of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the "Business Section" of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review are all good sources of information on business and the economy in the Pittsburgh area.