Pittsburgh Quarterly Contributors
Evan Pattak

Evan Pattak

Evan Pattak is a Pittsburgh freelance writer and publicist. His work appears regularly in TEQ, Pennsylvania Manufacturer, Pop City and Pittsburgh Quarterly Magazine.

The STEM dilemma

When Elizabeth Roeske was growing up in the small New Jersey town of Salem, she seemed a natural for a career in science. Several members of her family are scientists, and she was planning to study chemistry and environmental science in college. But she found little peer support — “No one from my high school…

The STEM Gap

In the decade ending in 2020, United States employers will create about 2.1 million jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as well as the professional sector, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. As America moves to assert or retain leadership in such fields as robotics, unconventional energy plays and…

Chuck Bunch

The early 1990s seemed like a halcyon period for PPG Industries, one of Pittsburgh’s most venerable and best-​known companies. Its three business pillars — coatings, glass and chemicals — each was producing about one-​third of the firm’s revenue, a tried-​and-​true formula that promised decades of success.

Foundation of Steel

How entrepreneurial is Jim Bouchard? Consider this: When he sold Esmark, Inc., the publicly held steel company he ran, to Russia’s OAO Severstal in 2008, the price was a whopping $775 million, a remarkable exit for a five-​year-​old company. But instead of cashing in his chips and retiring to the good life, Bouchard…

Passing the test

Think you’d like to be CEO of a major corporation? Best get ready for this test: The employer informs you that over the next day and a half, you’re the leader of a hypothetical company. You prepare by reading reams of hypothetical reports generated by your hypothetical company. As you arrive at your…

A stitch in time

Through the long, painful decline of Big Steel and the subsequent efforts of Pittsburgh to remake itself and regain economic viability, observers echoed a consistent theme: Pittsburgh will rise again because of the industriousness and talent of its workforce. Indeed, that committed workforce helped the region shape a multifaceted economy that grew supple…

A century of safety

It was June 1914 when John T. Ryan Sr. and George Deike, two federal mine rescue engineers horrified by the carnage they’d seen in coal mine explosions, formed a company dedicated to making the industry safer. Ryan and Deike enlisted the services of no less a luminary than Thomas Alva Edison to design…

Still changing at 150

On April 19, 1864, America was preoccupied by several rather sizable events, including the Civil War and the recent emancipation of slaves. So citizens could be excused if they paid scant attention to the festivities that day in Cumberland, Md., where an entity called Consolidation Coal Company launched its operations by selling 1,000
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An industrial renaissance

When the reserves of Marcellus Shale gas in the tri-​state area proved vast — 84 trillion cubic feet by one estimate — it was no surprise when the region became the epicenter of a thriving new industry. What may have been unexpected was the extent to which the Marcellus boom would invigorate the economy generally.
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