From 700,000 to 310,000 in just 30 years. This is Pittsburgh’s heritage. Catastrophic and transformational.
Where did those people go? Many went to the suburbs that ring the city. Their children, educated here, went further, to other cities, looking for jobs that eluded them here. They may have left, Jim Russell contends, but they left their hearts in Pittsburgh.
When Jim came to Pittsburgh for the first time to meet his wife’s father, he was enchanted by the passion with which the older man showed him around. There was a loyalty there that Jim had never experienced before. This, he is sure, is a unique and precious asset. He began to build a network with the hope that it might strengthen the community of forever Pittsburghers from afar.
Jim Russell’s heart is in Pittsburgh too. Yet he has lived here for only two months of his life. While he schemes to become a resident, his work has already made him one of ours. The Pittsburgh Expatriate Network, which he is rapidly developing, is his gift to Pittsburgh. How does it work? Just like a university’s almuni network. Build a strong network of alumni or expats and you have a platform with which you can do great things.