Article by Linda Kaplan
On Thursday, December 4, 2014, the ASCE Pittsburgh’s Younger Member Forum (YMF) hosted its annual December Dinner at the Clear Story Creative Studio on Pittsburgh’s Southside.
The year’s keynote speaker was Bill Flanagan, Executive Vice President for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. His talk “Reengineering Our Region: What’s Now and What’s Next” addressed both the first Pittsburgh Renaissance occurring in the 1940’s and the second which took place 40 years later. He also addressed how Pittsburgh is poised for a third Renaissance in which civil and “civic” engineers will be needed to blend the application of the physical sciences with the social sciences to keep Southwestern PA as a leader of the nation.
Bill sited statistics showing that Pittsburgh is outpacing our peer cities in job growth for the past 5 years, with over 26,000 jobs open in the region currently. He discussed how the city’s population is getting younger, with a median age around 33, as compared to 41 for Allegheny County and 37 for the US. Despite this promising growth in younger Pittsburgh employment, there still is a gap of almost 137,000 fewer people ages 25-45 than those ages 45-65 in our Region – a fact that will have significant impact on our workforce in the coming years.
“It would have been nearly impossible to find an activity to gain more value for one's time than this December dinner and Bill's message,” said section member Karl Sieg, PE.
The studio space provided a relaxed atmosphere for the pre-dinner networking hour and the food from Kaleidoscope Café in Lawrenceville was outstanding. Homemade cookies from YMF members rounded out the evening.
In conjunction with the dinner the YMF held a toy drive to support the Brashear Association. Approximately 20 toys were collected, with an emphasis on items for older children in the 8-12 age range. Following the dinner, YMF Community Service Chair David Wallner and Treasurer Sara Mullaney delivered the toys to the Brashear Association headquarters. The toys were distributed to children and families in Pittsburgh’s South Side area to help make their holiday a little brighter.
Special thanks to our sponsors for helping make this event a success: AECOM, Gannett Fleming, KU Resources, The Lewis Consulting Group, and Lennon, Smith, Souleret Engineering Inc.
For more information about upcoming YMF events or to get involved, contact YMF President Linda Kaplan at email@example.com.