Representatives from Pittsburgh, Detroit and Cleveland will convene in Detroit today to discuss methods of attracting and retaining immigrant workers to Midwestern cities.
Audrey Russo, Chair of the Pittsburgh Technology Council, says where the immigrants hail from doesn’t matter as much as the skills and entrepreneurship they bring to the region.
“This monumental shift, from manufacturing into more advanced manufacturing and technology and healthcare and education, requires us to take it to the next level and to further commercialize innovation to smart people,” says Russo. “We’re talking about people who are highly educated and who are also highly creative.”
Russo says while Pittsburgh had one of the most diverse metro populations in the early 20th century, the city now has trouble attracting and retaining global talent. She says the city’s universities seem to be an exception to this.
Russo says in addition to an atmosphere of cultural acceptance, Pittsburgh would better attract immigrant workers with an “amazing school system.” Russo says demographics show that immigrant families often settle in areas with high-performing schools.