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Pittsburgh to host working convention.

Twenty-five years ago, Pittsburgh was industrial titan. Coal barges plied the rivers, mills turned the night sky orange, and rail cars moved steel to market. Then the bottom fell out.

Like many American towns and cities, Pittsburgh had to reinvent itself.

With the strength of three universities (Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, and Duquesne), an expanding medical sector (with pioneering work in organ transplants and tissue generation) and surprising growth in the high-tech industry, the region has rebounded with jobs, vitality, and a renewed sense of possibility.

What better place for NCEW to explore the theme "A Nation That Works:' Mark your calendars, pester your editor, make plans to be in Pittsburgh September 12-15 for a convention where you can roll up your sleeves and break a sweat -- all before lunch.

The program will explore workplace issues, the changing economy, arid broader quality-of-life topics.

A few homegrown subjects with national relevance will be mixed into the convention program. But the big topics, particularly given the new Bush administration in Washington, will be work and its related forces: work and technology, work and government, work and unions, work and families.

Pittsburgh has been central to a flurry of national stories. Paul O'Neill, chairman of Pittsburgh-based Alcoa, is George W. Bush's Treasury secretary. Senator Rick Santorum, who last year won election to his second term, was elevated to the No. 3 job in the Republican majority.

Locally, mayor Tom Murphy recently threw in the towel on his controversial, $560 million downtown retail-and-entertainment proposal when financial problems at Nordstrom's caused the chain to pass on locating a store here. And a new RiverLife Task Force is trying to enhance and preserve Pittsburgh's riverfronts as the unique feature that sets this city apart from all others.

The convention's special venues and functions are lined up, including an opening reception Wednesday evening at the Andy Warhol Museum. Fred Rogers, Pittsburgh's public television icon, will speak Thursday morning before members head to their critique sessions.

There'll be an optional spouse/guest tour Thursday of the Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History and the University of Pittsburgh Nationality Rooms. Dinner on Thursday is at the LeMont restaurant on Mount Washington, after a ride on the Duquesne Incline, one of America's few remaining funiculars.

The optional pre-convention tour will be to Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural masterpiece nestled in the Laurel Highlands.

The Marriott City Center is our convention hotel, where a room rate of $129 will warm the check-writing heart of many a publisher. The hotel offers downtown convenience and easy walkabiity in Pittsburgh's "Golden Triangle," the compact business, shopping, and entertainment section defined by the city's three rivers.

Fun? Yes. But this year, you can tell your editor, without any guilt, that NCEW will be one working convention.

NCEW member Tom Waseleski is associate editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and 2001 convention chair.
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Title Annotation:Pennsylvania, National Conference of Editorial Writers
Author:WASELESKI, TOM
Publication:The Masthead
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U2PA
Date:Mar 22, 2001
Words:476
Previous Article:James Russell Wiggins, journalistic legend.
Next Article:New goals extend NCEW mission.
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