"Pittsburgh's transition has been proceeding for decades in fits and starts, benefiting some areas much more than others. A development plan begun in the 1980s successfully used the local universities to pour state funds into technology research.
Entrepreneurship bloomed in computer software and biotechnology. Two of the biggest sectors are education and health care, among the most resistant to downturns. Prominent companies are doing well. Westinghouse Electric, a builder of nuclear reactors, expects to hire 350 new employees a year for the foreseeable future. And commercial construction, plunging in most places, is still thriving partly because of big projects like a casino and an arena for the Penguins hockey team.
The question is whether Pittsburgh can serve as a model for Detroit and other cities in the industrial Midwest as they grapple with large-scale cutbacks in the automotive industry."