CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Queen City hopes to learn some valuable lessons from the Steel City this week. On Wednesday morning, 150 local business and political leaders are leaving for a three-day trip to Pittsburgh as part of an annual inter-city visit.
In recent years, similar trips took Charlotte leaders to Nashville, Tennessee; Dallas; and Miami. Pittsburgh long ago shook off its dreary, smelt-laced reputation, shifting to tech and health care while becoming, improbably, a foodie haven.
Even so, attracting and keeping people in a place known for long, rough winters remains challenging. According to Census figures released this year, Pittsburgh lost 1.3 percent of its metro population between 2010 and 2018, declining to 2.3 million. During the same period, Charlotte grew by 15.9 percent to 2.6 million people.
Inspiration for the selection of Pittsburgh can be seen in the trip’s honorary chair: Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper, who grew up there and later earned degrees at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.
This time, the trip falls under a new umbrella, that of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, rather than the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. The chamber name went away at the end of last year, following a merger between the chamber and the Charlotte Regional Partnership.
Read for full story for more on what city leaders will be doing on the trip.
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