Pitt Research Finds New Green Investment Key to Transforming Regional Economy

Research led by Pitt’s Center for Sustainable Business (CSB) is underpinning a call for new investment in the regional economy through equitable, climate-friendly industrial growth.

Named for the Marshall Plan that rebuilt the European economy post-World War II, the Marshall Plan for Middle America (MP4MA) Roadmap finds that the Ohio Valley stands to lose about 100,000 jobs as the fossil-fuel economy continues to decline in the face of the economic and environmental realities of cost-competitive renewable energy development.

a person in a dark blazer and a white shirtThe nonpartisan research team, led by Leslie Marshall, associate director of the Pitt CSB, projects the need for an investment of $60 billion in public and private clean energy investments each year over the next decade.

The investment could create 410,000 new jobs, including 270,000 direct and indirect jobs in renewable energy across the four-state region of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky, Marshall said.

A coalition of mayors in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia are partnering in support of an investment strategy that would include public and private partnerships to equitably transform the regional economy. Like post-war Europe, Middle America faces similar issues of decline, a shared crisis of aging infrastructure, obsolescence of business and government institutions, and the need for upskilling and reskilling of workforce. 

Marshall outlined the research as part of a Nov. 12 media conference hosted by the City of Pittsburgh.

The Pitt CSB, housed at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and the College of Business Administration, is led by CB Bhattacharya, the H.J. Zoffer Chair in Sustainability and Ethics in the Katz school. The CSB’s mission is to maximize the value of investments in sustainable business strategies for all stakeholders.

The MP4MA Roadmap was created in partnership with academic and policy researchers from Pitt’s Center for Social and Urban Research; the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the City of Pittsburgh, the Steel Valley Authority, the Heartland Capital Strategies Network, and the Enel Foundation.