Northside resident Lance Chimka will replace Bob Hurley as the new Director of the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development this September.

By Ashlee Green

Photo courtesy of Allegheny County Photography

Starting on September 10, Lance Chimka, resident of the Northside’s Historic Deutschtown, will take over as the Director of the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development. Chimka will replace Bob Hurley, who spent the last three and a half years in the role. Hurley is leaving to pursue a role at GAI Consultants in Homestead.

In his new position, Chimka will be responsible for a staff of around 75 employees and will oversee the development and execution of economic growth strategies for Allegheny County. He will manage local, state and federal funding to create more jobs, develop communities and increase affordable housing throughout the county’s 130 communities.

For the last four years, Chimka has held the position of regional director for the Governor’s Action Team, helping businesses throughout Pennsylvania develop growth strategies. He has a master’s degree in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration in finance from The Catholic University of America.

“There’s an awful lot of stakeholders that [the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development] works with,” said Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “There’s a lot of folks impacted by this department.”

Though not directly, economic development does go across the county’s border, Fitzgerald said. According to him, Allegheny County works regionally and wants to have a relationship with the municipalities outside of Pittsburgh that do not have economic departments of their own.

He explained that Pittsburgh is moving from a more traditional, industrial economy to one with a broader array of industries like information technology, finance and robotics.

“We’re moving, in the nation and in the world, into new ways of doing things,” Fitzgerald said. “Pittsburgh has been at the forefront and Lance can help to move that forward.”

“We’re excited to have his energy, his enthusiasm and his work experience to continue the growth of the Pittsburgh region’s economy.”