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'Robotics Capital': Pittsburgh Tech Field Wants To Grow With Homegrown Talent

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - In the Pittsburgh area, 7,000 people make up the tech field. Tuesday morning the Pittsburgh Robotics Network laid out a plan for making that number even more.

"We commonly have been referred to as meds and eds. I believe now that it's meds, eds and robots," Pittsburgh Robotics Network Executive Director Joel Reed said.

The Robotics Network is made up of more than 100 companies in the region and partners with schools like the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University to expand that reach.

"We have an opportunity to grow that more and we have this wellspring of talent," Reed said.

The goal is to keep homegrown talent in Pittsburgh.

"We are the robotics capital of the world. There's no question. We don't have to apologize for it. We are. This is the place to be," Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said.

One of those hometown products is Josh Caputo. He's from Mt. Lebanon, graduated from CMU and founded Humotech in Harmar. He said the field has exploded.

"It was a few older guys who started companies back in the day and up-starts. Now it's exploded. I don't know half the companies here," Caputo said with a smile.

A grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation will help Robotics Network grow business with a more diverse talent pool.

"There is nothing except immense pride, honor and hope that we are just at the beginning of something even greater," Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said.

Reed would like to see efforts made to re-skill people whose jobs may be dying and re-tool them for the tech sector.

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