#Pittsburgh Contrasts

The @pittsburghpg sometimes provides just the right amount of head-scratching source material.

From one side of the newsroom, today’s paper brings the annual special report on business titled “In the Lead,” with a highly and appropriately celebratory series of stories about innovators and entrepreneurs in the Pittsburgh region.  The section starts off with a short piece that highlights the emergent culture of entrepreneurship in Pittsburgh.  Set that positive piece next to this negative one, from Pittsblog back in 2007.  Slowly and inconsistently, Pittsburgh is figuring out how to deal with risk as a key factor in economic development.

But from the other side of the newsroom, apparently unaware of what’s happening in the “special reports” department, today’s paper brings what I think is grim economic news:  “Pittsburgh is one of the least diverse places in the U.S., according to a new study of 200-plus cities that considered factors such as the types of jobs and industries as well as race and ethnicity.”  Here is the report, from WalletHub.  The authors of that report make it clear that they link diversity (across a lot of metrics) to economic prosperity in the 21st century.  I did that, too, in a Pittsblog post (back in 2011, but I was hardly ahead of anyone’s time); if anyone cares to read the comments there, they’ll see that resistance to the diversity theme was strong.

Can Pittsburgh have it both ways?  A risk-taking, entrepreneurial culture that is among the least diverse in the United States?