Job growth top priority for 14th District candidates

The Democratic candidates for Congress in the 14th District put job growth at the top of their agendas, but they differ on whether a new voice or veteran hand is needed to achieve progress.

U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, who has represented the district for 22 years, said he’s helped grow the region’s post-steel economy by supporting ventures such as the Energy Innovation Center, home to incubator and workforce training space in the former Connelley School in the Lower Hill District.

The Forest Hills resident and his challenger, Janis C. Brooks of North Versailles, agree on the need to generate family-sustaining jobs for residents not interested in college. But Ms. Brooks said she would reach deep into disadvantaged neighborhoods to ready youths for employment opportunities and press for changes in expungement laws to give the wayward a second chance.

The primary is April 26. No Republicans are seeking their party’s nomination, meaning the Democratic nominee likely will coast to victory in the fall. The district takes in parts of Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.

A member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and a former business owner, Mr. Doyle, 62, said he is well positioned to continue advancing the region’s new-age economy with his local partners, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

He said he’s bringing several members of Congress, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, to Pittsburgh on April 23 for one in a series of Innovation Summits. The panel will ask CEOs and entrepreneurs how Congress can help fuel Pittsburgh’s growth in areas such as health care, robotics, energy, cybersecurity and other high-tech fields.

“We’re doing these all over the country,” Mr. Doyle said of the summits, which will result in an “innovation agenda package” of legislation for Congress to consider.

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