Drupal Global Training Days Pittsburgh

Drupal Global Training Days is an initiative by the Drupal Association to introduce new and beginning users to Drupal. This half-day workshop will address the basics of Drupal, and will give an overview to those interested in evaluating or implementing Drupal.

This first session will assist decision makers at mid to large sized organizations in deciding if Drupal is the right choice for their projects big and small.  We will also provide your IT staff with technical information to help them determine if Drupal can be integrated with their current systems. And finally, we will demonstrate the ease of use for your IT staff and Website Managers regarding both user management and content management in Drupal.

The first part of the presentation will be an introduction to Drupal and it’s community:

  • What is Drupal
  • Is Drupal the right tool for me
  • What specific benefits can Drupal bring to my organization.
  • The power of the Drupal Community and it’s benefits

The second part of the presentation will take a look at the back end of Drupal:

  • Content Types, Views, Blocks and Taxonomy - We will discuss content types, fields, views, blocks, taxonomy and how they all work together.
  • Security, Accessibility and Compliances - We will discuss cyber security and what is necessary to keep Drupal secure. We will also explore the accessibility tools and how they can be best used for your needs.
  • Modules and Updating Drupal - We will discuss drupal core, distributions, themes and modules, as well as integrating Drupal with third party systems.
  • Content and User Management - We will discuss roles, permissions and content management.

After the presentations we will open the floor up for one-on-one and hands-on discussions.  So come prepared, bring lots of questions and don’t forget any login info or links if you want to discuss your website or project.

There will be limited Wi-Fi at the event, so bring a hotspot if you need online access.

FULL DETAILS HERE: http://pdiwebdesign.com/drupal-global-training-days-pittsburgh

Wins Day: Economic Development Deals Up 12% in Pittsburgh Region

 The diverse, balanced and innovation-driven economy that made Pittsburgh a great American comeback story continues to deliver value by capturing 302 economic development deals during 2013 – a 12% increase in activity over the previous year.

The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA), an affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and the 10-county Pittsburgh region’s economic development marketing organization, today presented its annual economic development performance scorecard – a snapshot of  all of the deals, or “wins” announced in the previous year related to new facilities, expansions of existing companies, attraction/retention of companies and startups across southwestern Pennsylvania.

“The robust economic development activity in the Pittsburgh region in 2013, including a surge of wins in the information and communications technology sector, is a strong vote of confidence by business decision-makers in the future of this region and a leading indicator of future job creation,” said David J. Malone, PRA Partnership Chair and President and CEO, Gateway Financial Group, Inc.

Capital Investments of $1B+ for Seven Straight Years

The 302 regional “wins” of 2013 spanned both announced investment and development projects totaling $2.4 billion in capital investment – the seventh consecutive year that this total has exceeded $1 billion.

Investment projects accounted for $671 million in announced capital outlay and were dominated by five projects costing in excess of $40 million. They include a regional headquarters expansion for Chevron, a distribution facility for Gordon Food Service and a CSX Corporation intermodal terminal. Development projects totaled $1.8 billion in announced outlay – the second highest amount on record.

“Each county has benefited from investment, as has each of the five key industry sectors, the foundation of the region’s economy. There are investment ebbs and flows between sectors from year to year, but overall there’s balance,” said Dewitt Peart, president of the PRA.

Existing regional businesses that are expanding account for the majority of announced deals, which has been a trend for the region. In 2013, 60% t of the deals (124) involved the expansion of existing companies. Attraction wins increased from 44 in 2012 to 48 in 2013 and represent one-fourth of all the wins.

“The deals of 2013 will enlarge the regional business landscape with new and expanded existing facilities, as well as new real estate developments. This is alongside an anticipated total job impact of at least 8,700 – 1,669 jobs retained and the expectation of 6,983 jobs to be created as announced deals come to fruition. A robust job market keeps people in the region, and it helps to attract talent from elsewhere looking for new opportunities, professionally and personally,” said Peart.

Sustainable Prosperity is Powered by Partnership

“The sustainable prosperity that the Pittsburgh region is experiencing would not happen without partnership,” said Malone.  “Economic development partners from across southwestern Pennsylvania, with the support and insights of the public and private sectors, sell the strengths of the entire region – a geographically diverse place with critical commonalities around manufacturing expertise, technology and innovation and energy resources. The number of deals that we’re seeing speaks to Pittsburgh as an investment-worthy region with a legacy, ample natural and human resources and the drive to innovate.”

Sector-specific performance highlights, regarding investment activity during 2013 follow:

“Number One” Manufacturing Delivers 65 Wins to Bolster Regional Economy

Historically, the Pittsburgh region has been a hub of manufacturing. Optimized by technology, advanced manufacturing  is now a key driver of the economy and the most active sector for deals in 2013. There were 65 announced wins, an increase over the 59 recorded in 2012. “The Pittsburgh region still makes things:  specialty metals, medical devices, robots and turbines – to name a few. We’re a manufacturer to the world, capitalizing on technology to make processes precise, sophisticated and efficient,” said Peart.

 Information and Communications Technology Soars to Second Place; Tech Touches Everything

 Seeing a dramatic increase from 33 deals in 2012 to 51 deals in 2013, the region’s information and communications technology sector saw its biggest growth spike since 2008 and took second place for number of deals.

“The growth in this sector is impressive, but it’s an under-representation of information technology’s impact on the entire regional economy. Technology infuses just about everything for which we’re recognized – manufacturing, healthcare, financial services and more. Technology is integral to the successful operation of nearly every company in the region,” said Audrey Russo, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council.

“Having one of the global leaders in information technology, Carnegie Mellon University, whose School of Computer Science marks its 25th anniversary this year – is a prime reason why tech is flourishing in the region and adds value to our other key sectors,” she added.

More than Half of Region’s Open Jobs Require Tech Skills

A proof point for how integral information technology is to the overall regional economy is the number of available jobs with a technology component posted on ImaginePittsburgh.com – a web-based gateway to professional and personal opportunities in the region. Of the current 20,000-plus available jobs listed on the site, more than half require skills and experience with technology, with the majority of these jobs not with tech enterprises but in workplaces that include hospitals, banks, law firms, the chemical industry and energy companies.

Financial and Business Services Sector is Largest Contributor to Gross Regional Product

Financial and business services – encompassing asset management, banking, engineering, legal and other business services – have been a backbone of the regional economy since Pittsburgh emerged as an industrial center in the mid-1800s. This sector has been thriving since and is the largest contributor to the gross regional product (23%). In 2013, financial and business services had 39 announced projects. One of the region’s top employers, the sector employs approximately 230,000 people across a variety of professional disciplines. This represents nearly one-quarter of total regional employment. 

At the Core of Region’s Energy Sector, Natural Gas Industry Matures; Anticipates Petrochem-focused Future

Energy – a key economic driver for the region and one that cuts across several other sectors – accounted for a total of 35 wins in 2013. Natural gas is a major industry within the broader regional energy sector, which includes traditional and renewable energy resources.

In 2004, the first Marcellus Shale gas well in the region was drilled; by 2009 the Marcellus Shale opportunity had emerged in full force. Investments focused on new companies coming to the region or existing ones expanding by adding employees. These accounted for an average of 70% of all energy-related investment wins between 2009 and 2013. The boom has now stabilized. “Currently, we’re seeing a maturation of the industry,” said Futrell. “An increase in development deals, 24 in 2013, was largely tied to midstream infrastructure, such as compressors and pipelines. This is a big increase from only seven in 2011 when the industry was just ramping up here.”

Another indicator of a maturing industry in the region is number of natural gas supply chain deals. In 2013, 15 of 21 wins were related to supply chain, including products and services, such as finance and law, for natural gas firms.

On the horizon is a significant downstream opportunity related to natural gas as feedstock for the petrochemical industry.  The ethylene byproduct of ethane in natural gas liquids is a key component for manufacturing consumer goods connected with plastic or rubber: shoe soles, tires, paints and coatings, food and medicine containers, soaps and detergents and more. Ample supplies of Marcellus Shale (and nearby Utica Shale) natural gas have the potential to fuel a resurgence of manufacturing not only in the Pittsburgh region, but on American shores.  Currently, Royal Dutch Shell is considering building an ethane cracker facility 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh in Beaver County.

Healthcare and Life Sciences:  Where Medical Research, Manufacturing and Innovation Converge

Underpinning both knowledge and innovation as drivers of the regional economy was the healthcare and life sciences sector with a total of 15 wins. The sector, in total, employs more than 140,000 people and encompasses a spectrum of companies of all sizes. Many of these capitalize on the globally regarded medical research being conducted at the University of Pittsburgh – in addition to regional strengths in manufacturing and innovation – to envision and commercialize products and services for the health and well-being of people everywhere.

2014 CIO of the Year Finalists Announced

The Pittsburgh Technology Council, along with the Greater Pittsburgh CIO Group, will honor the top technology executives who work in industry, non-profit, academia and government at the 2014 Pittsburgh CIO of the Year Awards on March 6.

Here are this year’s finalists:

Growth Under 100 Employees

  • Eric Harvey, Your Talent Agents
  • Emmai Alaquiva, Hip Hop on L.O.C.K.
  • Bruce Freshwater, Sierra w/o Wires

Main Street 100-300 Employees

  • Kelley Larmann Christy, Diamond Wire & Spring Company
  • Erik Watts, Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Bob Gdovic, NexTier Bank
  • John Hensberger Jr., NCS Services/NCS Solutions

Enterprise 300-3,000 Employees

  • Lori Bodnar, InVision Human Services
  • David Guilinger, Gateway Health
  • Glenn Roos, Dollar Bank
  • Stephen McDonell, ACHIEVA
  • Robert Rosati, Werner Co.

Global Less than 10,000 Employees

  • Patrick Worms, Carmeuse Lime & Stone
  • Dave McLain, Del Monte Corporation
  • Markus Weber, Mine Safety Appliances
  • Ruth Wepfer, Matthews International

Global Greater than 10,000 Employees

  • Nancy Landman, UPMC
  • Steve Hanna, Kennametal
  • Philip Morrissette, Alcoa
  • Werner Baer, PPG

Education

  • Robert Stein, Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence
  • Mary Beth Wiseman, Elizabeth Forward School District
  • Mark T. Campbell, Pittsburgh Public Schools

Attend the Pittsburgh CIO of the Year Awards on March 6 at Heinz Field as we announce the winners and honor all of the finalists. It’s the biggest night in Pittsburgh’s IT sector. Register here.

CSC to Bring 500 New Jobs to Pittsburgh

Governor Tom Corbett announced today that Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), a global information technology services company, will establish a new delivery center in the Strip District in the City of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County that is intended to create at least 500 new technology jobs over the next three years.

“While I will continue fighting for jobs in every single corner of our commonwealth, as an Allegheny County native, today’s announcement hits close to home,” Corbett said. “CSC is the latest global company to grow in Pennsylvania and I welcome their investment in our commonwealth and our greatest asset – our people. I look forward to partnering with more companies like CSC to create new job opportunities for Pennsylvanians.”

The company is projected to invest more than $14 million to acquire a 120,000-square-foot space to support its global clients. Until a permanent facility is established, CSC will move into space temporarily at 1350 Penn Ave. by mid-January 2014.

“As part of our strategic transformation, we are developing a next-generation IT workforce to meet our clients’ demand for cyber security, cloud computing and application modernization services,” said Gary Budzinski, executive vice president and general manager for CSC’s Global Infrastructure Services business. “With a mix of local IT talent and technically trained college graduates, Pittsburgh provides an excellent recruiting pool for us to build a next-generation workforce. Governor Corbett was an instrumental partner in helping us to establish this delivery center in Pittsburgh.”

The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the Governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance also collaborated on this effort.

“CSC’s decision to invest in the Pittsburgh region, where tech is a key driver of the economy, is strategic. Our region’s 35 colleges and universities are graduating ample tech talent and advancing the industry with innovation and R&D. When those assets are coupled with our affordability and accessibility, Pittsburgh makes a perfect location. We look forward to welcoming CSC to the region and thank Governor Corbett for his collaboration,” said Pittsburgh Regional Alliance President Dewitt Peart.

CSC is a global IT services company with U.S. headquarters in Falls Church, VA. With approximately 81,000 employees, CSC is one of the world’s largest providers of information technology services and solutions.

For more information, visit CSC at www.csc.com.

For more information about Corbett’s commitment to job creation, visit www.pa.gov.

Pittsburgh Tech News Update: PLSG, Matrix Solutions, Direct Energy & CMU

This just in for breaking Pittsburgh Tech News:

Matrix Solutions Adds Features to Matrix Locker

Matrix Solutions, a provider of Media CRM and Sales Analytics software, announces the new features included in the next release of their industry leading solution. Matrix Locker™, a shared document storage module at an enterprise level, will be part of the product release enabling content to be stored within the system and attached to applicable records.  Additional features of the release that were designed to help drive operational sales efficiencies include shared accounts and enhanced reporting that is keyword search driven. The release will be fully deployed to current Matrix customers October 26, 2013.

Matrix Locker, our new document storage module, allows users to save e-mails as activities with attachments such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF documents. The Matrix Locker, where a user can download or upload files, is available within Account, Agency, Contact, Deal, and Activity locations. Matrix Locker users will have the option to create and manage personal folder hierarchies, customize file storage types and to send files via a unique generated URL to anyone within or outside of the Matrix system.

 

PLSG Closes $338K in Investments

On the heels of an updated vision and mission in the firm’s strategic focus at the end of the second quarter, Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG), the region’s only pure life sciences investment firm, and managing member of the PLSG Accelerator Fund, announced today the closing of $338,000 in new investments at the end of the third quarter.

“We have committed to working hard and staying focused on raising funds for both the PLSG and our portfolio companies,” said John Manzetti, President and CEO of PLSG. “The redefined business structure put a laser focus on later stage investments and we are pleased that it has helped to deliver more opportunities for our growing life sciences region, even during times of the uncertain economy.”

The most recent PLSG direct investment commitment includes $200,000 into Complexa, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on treating inflammatory and metabolic disorders with nitrated unsaturated fatty acids, and $138,000 into Cognition Therapeutics, Inc. a drug discovery company focused on neurodegenerative disorders that uses proprietary and biologically-relevant screening technology. PLSG has invested multiple times in both of these companies. PLSG has invested into Complexa a total of $550,000 and into Cognition for $1.1 million, which is PLSG’s largest investment to-date. In addition, the PLSG Accelerator Fund has also invested heavily into Cognition.

BJ’s Wholesale Club Powers Up with Direct Energy and SolarCity

Direct Energy, one of North America’s largest energy and energy-related services companies, and SolarCity® (Nasdaq: SCTY), America’s no. 1 full-service solar power provider, announced  that they will provide solar electricity to a club location of BJ’S Wholesale Club, a leading operator of warehouse clubs in the eastern United States. SolarCity will install solar panels at BJ’s North Brunswick, New Jersey location at little to no cost, and BJ’s will pay for the solar electricity produced at a discount to current energy rates.

 

NSF Grant Will Integrate Carnegie Mellon Robotic Kits Into Middle School Courses in Pennsylvania and West Virginia

An innovative program that introduces robotic technology into non-technical middle school classes will be used by suburban Pittsburgh and rural West Virginia schools in a federally funded research project to identify and nurture students with an affinity for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

All 7th and 8th grade students at Springdale Junior-Senior High School and all 6th, 7th and 8th grade students in the Mingo County (WV) Schools — a total of 900 children annually — will use robotic kits developed at Carnegie Mellon University. They will use the kits to complete at least one project or assignment each year in required courses such as health, earth science and language arts.

The three-year Creative Robotics project, supported by a $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant, seeks to increase the number and diversity of students in the STEM education pipeline.