Pitt awarded $2.2 million to help grow regional economy

By Colm Slevin, Assistant News Editor

Pitt was awarded $2.2 million as a part of Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge. Biden designed this challenge to help build regional economies following the pandemic. The White House gave the total $62.7 million grant to the Southwestern Pennsylvania New Economy Collaborative, and Pitt received a portion of the total.

The funding helps Pitt invest in small businesses and displaced workers by expanding initiatives in education and training for workers in the southwestern Pennsylvania area interested in the region’s robotics and AI fields. 

The application for the award focused on the negative impacts of the decline of steel manufacturing in the region and the burgeoning robotics and automation industry. According to Stefani Pashman, CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, the plan will generate more than $550 million in regional gross domestic product. 

According to Pittwire, Pitt will use the donation to meet with manufacturing businesses to help them adopt new technology, to help grow companies in “underserved areas” and for scholarships for students in the region to earn the Applied Data Driven Methods certificate.