College degree? Many Pittsburgh-area jobs in the next decade may not require one.

It’s increasingly possible to earn a living wage without attending college, but recent high school graduates often lack the skills to enter those occupations and the awareness that such career opportunities exist in the first place. Several for-profit and nonprofit organizations in the region have stepped in to address the various barriers to high school graduates gaining skilled employment, including lack of technical skills, career readiness or “soft skills,” and contemporary career awareness.

More than a third of workers in Pittsburgh’s metro area have jobs at high risk of automation

However, a recent report from the Allegheny Conference on Community Development signals that advantage for truck drivers may be temporary. Using a study from the University of Oxford, the conference determined that 39 percent of workers (about 435,000 people) in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) are in jobs at high risk of automation. All of the jobs characterized by the conference as 'high risk' were assigned an 85 percent or higher likelihood of automation in the Oxford study.

Advocacy groups file court brief supporting media efforts to make Pittsburgh’s Amazon HQ2 bid public

A community activist group announced Thursday that it filed an amicus brief on behalf of several news organizations, including PublicSource, that are fighting in court to make Pittsburgh’s Amazon HQ2 bid and related documents public. The American Civil Liberties Union in Pennsylvania, among other groups, has signed onto the amicus brief. ACLU Legal Director Vic Walczak said on Thursday to about a dozen people gathered in front of the City-County Building Downtown that Amazon would cause “an earthquake of unprecedented magnitude for this region.” He said everything from housing to the local economy to local politics would be affected. “No person will be unaffected, and you're going to have issues of fairness and justice abound everywhere,” he said. “Under those circumstances, it’s absolutely essential that the government activity that can lead to this earthquake must be made public.”

The protesters in attendance called on Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald to release details of what the city offered the online retail giant to lure it to Pittsburgh.

The Hill District has a lived experience and a roadmap for how community benefits agreements could work locally. In 2008, a CBA was negotiated between the Pittsburgh Penguins, several city and county agencies and the One Hill Neighborhood Coalition, which represented almost 100 groups in the Hill District at the time. (Photo by Maranie Rae Staab/PublicSource)

This Pittsburgh group wants all developers getting public subsidies to agree to community benefits. Including you, Amazon.

When Amazon launched a national search to find a home for its second headquarters, the corporate giant said it was looking for a site that could offer access to major highways,  a population of more than one million people, tax breaks and other financial incentives. Cities across North America, including Pittsburgh, spent weeks and money ($300,000 to $400,000 in Pittsburgh’s case) to formulate pitches that would stand out to Amazon as a suitable HQ2 location. A group focused on equitable development in Southwest Pennsylvania believes it should be a two-way road. If members of the Community Power Movement had it their way, the city would be demanding just as much in return from Amazon as the company is requesting from the applicant cities. No one really knows what regional officials have asked for in return, other than the implied infusion of jobs and development.