FEBs talk back to Washington: Pittsburgh

Wednesday - 8/10/2011, 2:26pm EDT

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San Francisco


George Buck
Pittsburgh FEB executive director

What's the best part of working in your FEB area?
Pittsburgh has often been voted as the most liveable city in the United States. It offers a great quality of life and is a wonderful place to raise children. Housing is very affordable, we have outstanding medical care and great schools, and recreational and cultural resources abound.

What is the biggest drawback of working in your FEB area?
Pittsburgh is a city of hills, rivers, tunnels, and bridges and can be challenging at times getting from one part of the city to another. There are lots of twisting, winding roads, dead ends, and one way street making it difficult to give directions.

What's the one piece of advice you would give a fed moving to your area?
Expect to be surprised at how much you will like Pittsburgh. You may want to retire here. If you like four seasons living, you will especially like Pittsburgh.

In a word, describe feds in your area.
Friendly.

How are feds perceived in your area and how does that affect morale?
Overall, Federal employees are perceived as valuable members of our regional workforce, and there is not a morale problem. Like any large metropolitan area, you will find some people whose perception of Federal employees has been negatively influenced by stereotypes presented through the media.

What's the average commute for feds in your FEB area, or your personal commute?
My average commute to work from the suburbs is twenty-five minutes. The average commute for most Feds is 30-45 minutes.

Is the distance from D.C. a blessing or a curse?
Overall, the distance is a blessing. We are close enough to be able to drive to Washington D.C. in less than four hours, which allows us to have more regular personal contact with our co- workers at headquarters. Because of the close proximity to Washington, it is also easier to attract agencies from Washington to come to Pittsburgh for important events.

What's your area's can't miss attraction?
You must take the incline to the top of Mount Washington to see the spectacular panoramic view of Pittsburgh, particularly at night. Travel writers rated this view as the second most beautiful scenic view in America (just behind the Red rock of Sedona, AZ).