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County Executive Rich Fitzgerald Visits NAI

Mr. Fitzgerald spoke with students about Amazon HQ2, Jobs, Work Ethic, and Job Skills

Somya Thakur

Somya Thakur

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Once a large empire of Steel, Pittsburgh boasted some of the highest available job numbers in the nation. After the rise of unions and a shift from the rust belt to sun belt, Pittsburgh now faces the issue of a recovering population after the mass emigration suffered from the fall of Steel. However, with Amazon considering a 2nd headquarters location in the City of Bridgers, Rich Fitzgerald, the County Executive, must make Pittsburgh appear more attractive to Amazon than the many other cities competing for this amazing economic opportunity.

What is so beneficial about having Amazon move into Pittsburgh?

During Mr. Fitzgerald’s visit to North Allegheny Intermediate High School, which occured on Thursday, November 16,  he told students and staff that having such a massive cooperation would present “around 50,000 jobs over 10 to 15 years and $5 billion in investment”.

With such high rewards, other states are not holding back to obtain this deal. Fitzgerald spoke with students about an upcoming meeting with Amazon officials that could ultimately be the deciding fate of a location in the Steel City.

Students should constantly be learning, With such an ever-changing job market, it is important to be adaptable, always ready to absorb new information. A student should always be reading, questioning, and always be ready to learn as much about any subject presented to them.””

— Rich Fitzgerald, County Executive

Students were eager and listened intently during the presentation. One student present during the discussion, 9th grader Abby Kennedy, said, “Rich Fitzgerald coming and talking to our students continued to inform us about the ongoing Amazon debate here in Pittsburgh.  It also helped students connect to a changing city though the shared information.”

Mr. Fitzgerald held a discussion with students on what they thought would be “pull factors” –or incentives– worth mentioning when meeting with Amazon. One big aspect was Pittsburgh’s location.

With this proposal come some potential downfalls. One such negative outcome in Pittsburgh would be an all-too common theme of development: gentrification (poor residents not having access to affordable housing when rent skyrockets).

Responding to this criticism, Mr. Fitzgerald answered, “It will definitely have a negative effect,” he stated, “with new jobs comes people moving to live closer to their work, and they will have an easy time settling in the poorer neighborhoods surrounding the future headquarters.”

Another appeal about location was Amazon’s lack of presence on the East Coast. They have such an influence over the West Coast at their Seattle, Washington headquarters, it would only make sense to have more of a regional grasp.

Pittsburgh also boasts amazing technology control. With so much accessible technology and capable minds to use it, a company that thrives off of technological work will surely benefit. Also, the many universities in Pittsburgh hosting future workers for Amazon holds very promising, skilled workers who could find home working there.

When speaking about the future of jobs in Pittsburgh, Mr. Fitzgerald was asked what schools should be stressing when it comes to education for one to thrive in a 21st century economy. Fitzgerald implored the student body: “Students should constantly be learning, With such an ever-changing job market, it is important to be adaptable, always ready to absorb new information”. He continued, “a student should always be reading, questioning, and always be ready to learn as much about any subject presented to them.”

Following this discussion, Mr. Lamm, 9th grade American history teacher responsible for Rich Fitzgerald’s visit shared, “I figured I had nothing to lose in sending letters inviting our local leaders to visit our school. I mailed one to the Executive and to Mayor Peduto. Mr. Fitzgerald’s office responded first and they had an open time that worked with our schedules.” Lamm continued, “I was thrilled with his visit; I liked how he sought interaction with the students instead of just preaching to them, and I was incredibly impressed with our students, the questions they asked, the answers they gave, and how they handled this opportunity.” It was truly an amazing opportunity being able to interact with and listen to someone speak on such a relevant topic in many millennials lives.

Thank you Mr. Lamm, and all the students, for such a great discussion from Rich Fitzgerald.

 

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County Executive Rich Fitzgerald Visits NAI