News Column

The Jobs that are Hot, and Not, In Western Pennsylvania

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Health care. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center added 1,900 jobs in 2011 and anticipates increasing employment by 1,900 jobs in 2012. That increase includes about 250 jobs at its new hospital in Monroeville, and about 800 jobs at the UPMC health insurance plan. UPMC, with its large hospital network, is the region's largest employer with 40,600 people.

2) Consol Energy Corp., Cecil. The diversified coal and natural gas producer hired 1,455 people in 2011 for its coal operations, natural gas and support services. The company's coal operations experienced the largest gain, adding 1,174 workers. Consol has said it is seeking to replace miners who are close to retirement age. The company hired 281 people for its support services, which includes its land resources personnel, and 66 for its natural gas operations.

3) Natural gas industry. The boom in the Marcellus shale industry has created thousands of jobs. State statistics show the Pittsburgh region in October had 8,500 mining and logging jobs, including those in natural gas and oil, which was 1,000 more than the year before. Gas producer Talisman Energy Inc. in Cranberry said it would add as many as 165 jobs. Halliburton Inc. of Houston, Texas, said it would create 865 jobs in Pennsylvania. Weatherwood International, which provides gas field services from offices in Leetsdale, Canonsburg and Elderton, announced it would create about 200 jobs.

4) Financial activities. Bank of New York Mellon added about 250 employees in the Pittsburgh region in the first nine months of 2011, increasing employment to nearly 7,800. During the past five years, BNY Mellon said it added almost 1,700 positions in the Pittsburgh region. The bank announced last year it planned to cut about 1,500 jobs corporate-wide, but BNY Mellon declined to reveal how many of those positions would be in the Pittsburgh region.

5) Florida-based TRG announced plans to add 360 customer service jobs at its call centers in Findlay and Indiana County.

6) Farmers Insurance Group Inc. said it planned to create 100 to 400 jobs in Western Pennsylvania by the end of 2011, and more than 500 jobs within five years. The company opened its first Pittsburgh area office in Robinson. New employees will receive insurance industry training through University of Farmers, which trains agents in all aspects of insurance.

7) G4S Secure Solutions Inc., Moon. The British security firm is seeking to hire 200 security guards to provide security services to Consol Energy's corporate headquarters, Consol's mines and its natural gas drilling sites.

8) Cigna Corp., Philadelphia. The health care insurance company announced plans to hire 164 nurses, behavioral clinicians, health educators, advocates and other workers for its office in North Fayette.

9) Ensinger Inc., North Strabane. Ensinger said in July that it would hire 150 employees for its plastics manufacturing plant. Ensinger develops and produces extruded, cast and compression-molded stock shapes and finished components from plastic and composite polymers. The products are used in medical and health care technology, food processing, energy, aerospace and defense.

10) TMK Ipsco, Chicago. From steel produced at its plant in Koppel, Beaver County, the Russian-owned steelmaker serves the oil field and natural gas industries with welded and seamless pipe made at its Ambridge plant. The company announced in February it will add 80 to 100 jobs.

Source: Pittsburgh Regional Alliance; recent expansions in the Pittsburgh region; Tribune-Review research

1) Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Pittsburgh branch. Treasury retail securities operations at the Federal Reserve Bank's Downtown office are being moved to Minneapolis, resulting in the loss of about 285 jobs. When the consolidation is complete this year, about 35 jobs will remain.

2) Pittsburgh Public Schools. Faced with cuts in funding from the state and a projected deficit of $68 million, Pittsburgh Public Schools approved the layoffs of nearly 50 teachers and school support staffers, including 10 preschool teachers and 19 other early childhood staff. It eliminated 217 other positions, laying off 147 employees and 58 keeping vacancies unfilled. The layoffs included 39 administrators and 108 maintenance and clerical jobs.

3) Solar Power Industries Inc., Rostraver. Solar Power Industries fell victim to the woes of the solar power industry -- stiff competition from China undercutting the market for its U.S.-made silicon wafers and solar cells used to make modules that capture energy from the sun to create electricity. The company in June said it was cutting 176 workers from its plants in Rostraver and at the former Sony Technology Corp. plant in East Huntingdon. Of the 75 workers remaining, several were placed on partial work weeks.

4) Port Authority of Allegheny County. Last year was a particularly difficult for Port Authority employees and this year may be worse. The Port Authority laid off 180 employees, most of whom were bus drivers and maintenance workers, along with some administrative personnel, because of a budget shortfall. The Port Authority announced in January it might have to eliminate up to 600 jobs, including 500 through layoffs, this year because of a $64 million budget deficit. In addition to cutting about one-fifth of its 2,500 employees, PAT would reduce bus service if money isn't found.

5) Armstrong World Industries Inc., Beaver Falls. Armstrong World Industries announced plans in July 2010 to close its ceiling tile production plant in Beaver Falls in mid-2011, eliminating jobs for about 150 workers. The company cut about 110 jobs this year. The closing was blamed on decreased customer demand in a weak economy, inefficient location and layout of the plant.

6) Reynolds Food Packaging, Grove City. The food packaging plant, formerly owned by Alcoa Inc., is closed as of March 2011, eliminating 145 jobs. The plant's owner, Reynolds Group Holdings Ltd., said the company is consolidating operations into facilities in New York and Illinois.

7) Teleperformance USA, Redstone. Teleperformance, which operates a telephone call center in Grindstone, Fayette County, announced it will lay off 306 employees in August 2011. Teleperformance is based in Salt Lake City.

8) ECI Telecom Ltd., Robinson. ECI Telecom will close its Robinson office in January, eliminating 107 jobs. The Israel-based company, a global provider of computer network solutions, has laid off workers in Israel as well.

9) W&K Steel LLC, Rankin. The financially troubled structural steel company successfully fought allegations from the Allegheny County Council that it was operating a sweat shop early last year, but it could not avoid bankruptcy in May. It initially sought protection from creditors, laying off about 100 workers. The company had to file to liquidate in July.

10) Health Dialog Services Corp., Robinson. The company, which is based in Boston, said in October it would close its office in Penn Center West, Robinson, by the end of 2011, laying off 76 workers. Health Dialog, a subsidiary of the former British Union Provident Association, provides analysis and support for patients' health care decisions.

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