Issue Spotlight: Southwestern Pennsylvania Infrastructure Primer - September 2011 Update

In January 2009, the Institute of Politics Infrastructure Committee released an infrastructure primer with the goal of providing updates twice yearly. The September 2011 version contains information relating to the impact of Marcellus Shale development on the region's infrastructure.
Click here to read the report>>



From 2001-2007, the Human Capital Policy Initiative (HCPI) engaged the community in an ongoing discussion about the state of the workforce in Southwestern Pennsylvania and informed leadership at many levels about the importance of investing in human capital. HCPI included business, civic, and policy leaders as well as the broader community in this discussion.

As the Human Capital Policy Initiative is not currently an active project, please be aware that some of the links to documents and other sites may no longer be functional. However, it is our hope that community leaders continue to use the resources developed to support the initiative. This page is meant to facilitate that process.


Play to Win: New Thinking on Career Success

The job market today is not what it used to be. Resourceful problem solvers who know how to apply job-appropriate training will have access to the best positions. This presentation highlights often-overlooked career paths and provokes thought and discussion about realistic postsecondary choices in the new economy.

Student Guide >>
Parent Guide >>
Teacher Guide >>
What After High School? >>

Healthcare Careers in Southwestern Pennsylvania: Right Time, Right Place

Health care accounts for 15 percent of employment in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Job opportunities in this field are diverse and expanding. Learn more about the variety of occupations in the healthcare sector, the education and training requirements, and the changing face of healthcare employment.

Health Care Careers PowerPoint>>

The Talent Trapeze: Connecting Business and Human Capital

For businesses to stay competitive, they must find workers who have cutting edge skills and knowledge. Many leading businesses are finding these top-notch candidates in the emerging workforce through internships. Find out why internships are so valuable to businesses, and learn more about the local resources that can facilitate the business-to-talent connection.


Between 2001 and 2007, HCPI:

  • Collaborated with dozens of programming partners across the region to translate information about the importance of investing in human capital into dynamic, engaging presentations.
  • Developed six presentation models, three workbooks, two interactive CDs, a blog and a website.
  • Developed an innovative “student ambassador program” that enables peer-to-peer career exploration and information sharing.
  • Developed relationships with the region's guidance counselors, social studies teachers, superintendents and other important information brokers.
  • Convinced the region's HR association (representing 1300 HR professionals) to form a workforce readiness committee and to partner with workforce intermediaries.
  • Attracted the US Assistant Secretary of Labor, Emily DeRocco to Pittsburgh to recognize the winners of the People DO Matter initiative – a program that celebrates human capital investments.
  • Trained 250 adult speakers and 143 student speakers.
  • Directly reached 175,734 individuals in southwest Pennsylvania through in-person presentations and dialogue. (Speakers deliver approximately 200 presentations a year.)
  • Reached 87,756 middle and high school students in 177 school districts in the region through written materials and reached 26,131 students through in-person presentations.
  • Reached more than 7,000 parents with career education materials.

The initiative's largest impact was on students. Based on presentation attendance numbers, HCPI directly reached at least 11,131 students in 2006 alone. The project enabled students to have an information-driven framework for thinking about the economy and jobs. They refined their analytic and communication skills. They also had the opportunity to serve as mentors and leaders (within and outside of their school). Most importantly, they began to work on their career plans.


  • The Future Is Mine – Unsure of what you want to do with your life? The Future Is Mine can help you explore the options.
  • Smart Futures – Home of Keys2Work, e-mentoring and My Career Journey (a virtual environment to begin career exploration).
  • Health Career Futures – A regional resource aimed at ensuring an adequate supply of high quality healthcare professionals HCF is also home to About Health Careers , an interactive resource for healthcare career exploration.
  • PRICE – This regional financial services sector initiative assists high school and post-secondary students explore internship and employment opportunities in this growing sector of the economy.
  • Youth Works – Supporting career development in Allegheny County's community-based organizations.

Your local workforce investment board may also be able to help you find career literacy resources: