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Old 09-10-2006, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
26,087 posts, read 45,317,491 times
Reputation: 10960
Smile Wall Street West and PA

In light of the chaos that ensued in the nation's financial sector immediately following 9/11, the government has been urging major NYC-area financial-related institutions to expand to tertiary "satellite campuses" greater than fifty miles from Manhattan but less than 125 miles away. As such, nine PA counties (Berks, Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, and Wayne) have been awarded $15,000,000 in order to attract some of these firms to the region. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Monroe County, and the Lehigh Valley are considered the three front-runners for landing these new satellite campuses for various reasons (Low cost-of-living in SWB, Convenience to NYC and Philly in Lehigh Valley, and proximity to NYC in Monroe County).

Does anyone realize just how much the economic landscape of, per se, Scranton would be altered if Citigroup, Cantor Fitzgerald, Pricewaterhouse, etc. all set up satellite, high-tech locations downtown, each employing several hundred people in the $50,000+ salary range? We'd finally have a sure-fire way to stop PA's "Brain Drain" crisis, in which thousands of our young, bright college graduate flee the Commonwealth annually for greener employment pastures. Our local median household incomes, currently well below the state and national average, would probably OUTGROW the averages within a few years of this corporate expansion.

This is a miracle for young professionals such as myself who were cringing at the prospect of a lengthy Scranton-Manhattan daily commute in the upcoming years. I plan to graduate from King's College in 2009 with my Bachelor's Degree in Accounting, and from there I'm hoping to snag my MBA from the University of Scranton. I've long admired PricewaterhouseCoopers as a prospective employer, and now perhaps they'll be coming to Scranton as well! The multitudes of NEPA-NYC commuters can perhaps soon spend less time behind the wheel and more time with their families if "Wall Street West" comes to fruition.

What do others think?
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Old 09-10-2006, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
26,087 posts, read 45,317,491 times
Reputation: 10960
Granted, I know that downsides will also be accompanying this as well. For example, a sudden boon in local salaries will lead to a corresponding rise in the local cost-of-living, which may become burdensome to people who don't hold a degree and correspondingly won't see their wages rise quickly enough to keep pace with local inflation. We also have the second-highest concentration of senior citizens in the nation (Behind FL), which means that you'll have nearly a quarter of our population dealing with this rising inflation while their social security income remains flat. Housing prices, currently quite affordable in the Scranton metro, will also rise sharply. Naturally, for those who gain employment with these new NYC-based firms, the cost-of-living increase will pale in comparison to the large spike in quality-of-life, as they'll now have a more disposable income to pamper their families with. However, a part of me still worries about what will happen to our blue-collar sector; Local blue-collar employers aren't exactly praised for how well they increase wages to correspond to increases in cost-of-living ratios. What will happen to them?
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Old 09-10-2006, 04:00 PM
 
70 posts, read 7,157 times
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Take it from one who used to work in government and saw a lot of corrupt stuff: Most of these government programs are just corporate giveaways. The company sets up a "mailbox" office (meaning only a few low-paid temp workers, if any) in a town like Scranton and takes its share of our $15,000,000 to the bank.

So no, I don't think it will have much of an impact at all.
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Old 09-12-2006, 10:30 PM
 
Location: Florida
2,157 posts, read 5,019,657 times
Reputation: 521
In Wayne Cnty eh? Who has awarded this 15 million dollars?
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Old 09-25-2006, 03:08 PM
 
Location: I live in NYC, but, own a home in West Pittston.
13 posts, read 101,430 times
Reputation: 16
Sorry to burst your bubbles, BUT.... I happen to be on Wall Street and have spend a good number of years working on "Business Continuance" plans - actually, I began on them when they were called "Disaster Recovery" Plans. The bubble burst will come because at best, parallel sites MAY be established, BUT will only employ a skeleton crew. There will be very few jobs actually created.

Envision warehouses set up with desks and PCs and live connections – with no bodies. Many firms have these arrangements now both within their organizations and at vendor sites. I have visited our site many times… no one works there on a steady basis.

Maybe a few IT jobs and a few Admin spots and facilities jobs….but…. until the BIG ONE falls, it won’t affect the local economy.

Linda
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Old 09-25-2006, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
26,087 posts, read 45,317,491 times
Reputation: 10960
Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeInWestPittston View Post
Sorry to burst your bubbles, BUT.... I happen to be on Wall Street and have spend a good number of years working on "Business Continuance" plans - actually, I began on them when they were called "Disaster Recovery" Plans. The bubble burst will come because at best, parallel sites MAY be established, BUT will only employ a skeleton crew. There will be very few jobs actually created.

Envision warehouses set up with desks and PCs and live connections – with no bodies. Many firms have these arrangements now both within their organizations and at vendor sites. I have visited our site many times… no one works there on a steady basis.

Maybe a few IT jobs and a few Admin spots and facilities jobs….but…. until the BIG ONE falls, it won’t affect the local economy.

Linda
Sigh! Thanks for your honesty! It did "burst my bubble" a bit, as I was hoping to avoid that lengthy Scranton-NYC daily commute, but I guess I'll be doing it anyways now! It would be great if there were accounting career opportunities in NEPA that started at more than, per se, $24,000 annually to retain college graduates, but when you consider that a 90 minute drive into North Jersey or a two-hour drive into NYC will net you a starting salary more than twice as much, it's pretty hard to turn it down!
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Old 09-26-2006, 08:30 AM
 
Location: I live in NYC, but, own a home in West Pittston.
13 posts, read 101,430 times
Reputation: 16
$24,000 to start in Scranton isn't that bad. If you convert it to NYC $, I think you'd need more than double... then add in your commute time and qulaity of life and all that and you'd be amazed at how nice $24k is.

At 45 years old, I am willing to take over $100,000 pay cut to live in my little Miner's Shack in West Pittston. I had an interview at a large accounting firm in Scranton and the Partner couldn't understand why I'd be willing to do that pay cut. I told him that on 9/11, there weren't 100,000 dollars bills waiting on the other side of the bridge to hug me to safety. He didn't buy it.. and I didn't get the job.

Maybe I'll still be there - reading tarot cards and palms and telling fortunes for $40 an hour... It sounds like Paradise to me.

Keep the faith - Linda
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Old 09-26-2006, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Florida but not for long :) :)
1,130 posts, read 73,556 times
Reputation: 50
I'd rather be in NEPA anyday. Hope I get there soon.
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Old 09-26-2006, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
26,087 posts, read 45,317,491 times
Reputation: 10960
Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeInWestPittston View Post
$24,000 to start in Scranton isn't that bad. If you convert it to NYC $, I think you'd need more than double... then add in your commute time and qulaity of life and all that and you'd be amazed at how nice $24k is.

At 45 years old, I am willing to take over $100,000 pay cut to live in my little Miner's Shack in West Pittston. I had an interview at a large accounting firm in Scranton and the Partner couldn't understand why I'd be willing to do that pay cut. I told him that on 9/11, there weren't 100,000 dollars bills waiting on the other side of the bridge to hug me to safety. He didn't buy it.. and I didn't get the job.

Maybe I'll still be there - reading tarot cards and palms and telling fortunes for $40 an hour... It sounds like Paradise to me.

Keep the faith - Linda
Very true. I think the recent exodus of families from NYC/North Jersey to NEPA is indicative of the shift in people's priorities after 9/11---Who cares what type of European luxury sedan is dotting your neighbors' driveways when your family can be wiped off the face of the earth in the blink of an eye. At least here we're just a little over two hours away from NYC---Close enough for fun day trips, yet far enough away to avoid the eye of terrorist activity. Thanks for the invitation to reflect!
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Old 09-26-2006, 08:47 PM
 
98 posts, read 296,387 times
Reputation: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeInWestPittston View Post
$24,000 to start in Scranton isn't that bad. If you convert it to NYC $, I think you'd need more than double... then add in your commute time and qulaity of life and all that and you'd be amazed at how nice $24k is.

At 45 years old, I am willing to take over $100,000 pay cut to live in my little Miner's Shack in West Pittston. I had an interview at a large accounting firm in Scranton and the Partner couldn't understand why I'd be willing to do that pay cut. I told him that on 9/11, there weren't 100,000 dollars bills waiting on the other side of the bridge to hug me to safety. He didn't buy it.. and I didn't get the job.

Maybe I'll still be there - reading tarot cards and palms and telling fortunes for $40 an hour... It sounds like Paradise to me.

Keep the faith - Linda
Linda:

Holy Cow- If your taking $100,000 pay cut good luck. They most likely felt you would not be happy with the lower salary.

I understand your view about working in the city after 9-11. Since you are paid 6 figures and are willing to accept a much lower salary I would not be so open with what I made in my next interview.

While working in NYC has a monetary benifit it also has its downside.

That mystic never pulled me no matter how much money can be made.

At age 47 I find the simple pleasures of life are Worth more than any amount of money.

Scranton is young and he needs to explore the Vaste life of the City. Good Luck but I am sure you will want the Simplicity of small town life back when you get to be 40 something.
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