Allegheny Together - Program Technical Assistance Provider
Allegheny County Economic Development
Allegheny County Economic Development manages business retention, expansion, and attraction for the 129 municipalities in Allegheny County, excluding Pittsburgh. Its Allegheny Together program focuses on traditional business districts in Allegheny County and endeavors to encourage well-planned, well-designed and geographically-focused investment while respecting communities’ unique history, character, and built environment.
Municipalities within Allegheny County that were hit hard when the steel industry left the region in the 1970s and ‘80s, and have not seen as robust a recovery as the City of Pittsburgh. The downtown business districts in the County have great foundations, but many have seen disinvestment. Through this five year project, Fourth Economy Consulting utilizes community organization and data-driven planning as a way to direct public investment, spur private investment, and revitalize these communities.
Fourth Economy was selected in 2019 to bring a holistic set of services to the Allegheny Together initiative. Communities apply to the program and accepted applicants are led through a facilitated strategic planning process, utilizing data analysis, community engagement, and an urban design review. Through this process, priorities are established, which are then addressed through technical assistance.
The consultant team, with support from evolve environment and architecture, and additional County partners, convenes groups of stakeholders, conducts comprehensive data analysis about the communities and their business districts, listens for insights into where to focus, and supports priorities toward implementation. In addition to individual community engagement, the consultant team hosts an annual summit to share best practices, creating a mechanism for peer support for all municipalities across the County.
Each community receives a slate of technical assistance based on the strategic planning process including business district planning, business attraction and retention, mainstreet organization planning, funding support identification, and actionable next steps to identify ongoing support.
The first round of main street strategic plans launched in late 2019, and to-date this program has served nine communities within Allegheny County. Metrics such as investment and business starts are being tracked to understand the impact of the program and efforts around streetscape improvements, business district marketing and encouraging new business investments within each community are underway.
Allegheny County, PA