For months, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has promised our city that they would take $300 million of our tax dollars and build a vaccine manufacturing plant, providing thousands of good paying jobs. In July, UPMC announced they changed their mind about redeveloping the shuttered LTV steel mill – spurring desperately needed economic growth in Hazelwood.
Like most of Pittsburgh, Hazelwood’s fortunes have followed the steel mills, and in the years since the mills closed Hazelwood has watched local businesses shut down, more and more jobs disappear and entire blocks of houses fall into disrepair.
On Tuesday night, Hazelwood residents attended a community meeting to find out why the project was killed and to let UPMC know they expected more.
Joanna Houlden, summed up the feeling in the room. “It feels really disingenuous [that UPMC is disappointed it will not build the facility] because everyone in Pittsburgh knows you guys are sitting on a pile of cash,” she said. “Your slogan, ‘Life Changing Medicine,’ is virtually emblazoned into my mind; if you were really interested in changing lives, you’d have fought harder, because those jobs would have changed lives.”
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