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The SVA has, since its founding in 1986, been concerned about the people and communities of Pittsburgh, the Mon Valley and, more broadly, the Rust Belt.  We have authored or commissioned four path-breaking books, plus a number of book chapters, publications, reports and studies. We’ve provided testimony or policy advice to the White House, Congress, and federal agencies and with states and communities.  We’ve participated in important events at prestigious national and international institutions, such as the United Nations and the World Economic Forum. The Authority has advised five governors, countless legislators, many mayors and county executives and innumerable national leaders to help the Commonwealth and our communities survive and turn around. 


The SVA has collaborated with numerous communities and partners in our long-term efforts to retain and restore good jobs.  The SVA lobbied to pass the first industrial communities site programs, which brought tens of millions of dollars for millsite re-use.  We also led the transition of the former Hays Armory to city ownership, which resulted in a prime manufacturing re-use. The SVA has also conducted numerous strategic research projects, including the first successorship planning study and a number of brownfield studies.  With the guidance of Senator Jay Costa and Representative Mark Gergely, the SVA has provided $570,000 to Community Revitalization Grants to projects in numerous SVA member towns over 15 years, funded by the Commonwealth.

Turning Policy into Action:

The Century Foundation Initiative to Revitalize Manufacturing Communities

Residents of Heartland states and all across America are deeply disappointed in the quality of jobs produced by the economy, and the decline of traditional strengths like manufacturing. There’s never been a more important time for Washington to adopt a high road strategy to help communities grow good jobs. The SVA and our Heartland Capital partners collaborated with The Century Foundation on a set of white papers on how to revitalize manufacturing communities. 

This initiative was launched in 2017 to find ways to bring high wage work back to America’s heartland, via manufacturing, technological innovation, expanding workforce training and targeted investment.

The High Wage America Project focused on research and policy solutions to restore good jobs to the Commonwealth and our nation.

The project believed that good opportunities can be restored, and that all Americans — from the industrial heartland to the inner city — can lead better lives. The SVA participated in policy research focused on the success of layoff aversion and the responsible investment of workers’ capital, thus turning smart policy into strategic action.

Legis in session
Governing board meeting

Turning Action into Policy:  

WIOA and Layoff Aversion Legislation

Strategic research and action were an outgrowth of the SVA’s leadership in the National Call to Action (NCTA), a multi-state, tri-partite initiative originally sponsored by the US Department of Labor that designed and presented a cost-effective, comprehensive plan to spur economic recovery and put people back to work. The National Call to Action (NCTA) was originally convened in 2010 by the US DOL (Final Report), and focused on the vital role that innovative jobs partnerships play in:

  • ​Addressing economic recovery and expansion

  • ​Averting and minimizing layoffs

  • ​Getting affected workers back to work as soon as possible.​

In collaboration with NCTA and the Northeast-Midwest Institute (NEMWI), the SVA led a campaign to win new federal policies that provided funds to states and communities to establish layoff aversion programs. As part of the 2014 reauthorization of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the SVA crafted a broadly supported regulatory reform that turned over 20 years of SVA “action” into smart federal policy. With support from Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bob Casey and Sherrod Brown, our educational efforts were partly responsible for a new provision in the WIOA regs that, for the first time, required states to establish a system to save jobs.  These efforts came about due to the SVA’s success with its cost-efficient Strategic Early Warning Network (SEWN), and other jobs saving measures.

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