Research Projects

Steel in the Steel City

Principal Investigator: Frank Giarratani

The steel industry in Pittsburgh was emblematic of the American steel industry's decline in the 1980s. Although airbrushed from the popular image of Pittsburgh's present and future, the region's signature industry has played a key positive role in Pittsburgh's widely acknowledged economic transformation. Through restructuring, the steel industry has solidified Pittsburgh's manufacturing base and helped to connect southwestern Pennsylvania to the world economy. The goal of this research is to produce a book that traces this remarkable trajectory and places Pittsburgh's modern steel industry in an historical context.

By drawing on the region's industrial history and contemporary practices of firms throughout the steel value chain, this research seeks to expose key aspects of Pittsburgh's economic resilience. The experience of steel-related firms will be used to demonstrate the vitality of the steel industry in the Pittsburgh region by explaining the ways in which innovative firms adapt to changing market conditions.

PDF IconSteel in the City - Chapter Outline