News, events and opinion that shape the future of Southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond

About Us

Our Mission

The Forum for Economic Development, Inc. was created as a dialogue to explore the possibilities and opportunities for creating manufacturing, industrial, and trade jobs that will impact the lives of the long-term unemployed and underemployed in Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania, with the aim of using local and regional resources in the forging of new and sustainable communities.


We research the economic development strategies of major actors in the SW PA area and the impact of their resulting actions on sustainable employment opportunities made available.

  • Where will new non-technical jobs come from?
  • What strategies exist for local civic and government leaders to create opportunities for sustainable jobs for the unskilled and longtime under- employed and unemployed?
  • How do we allow wage earners a share in the equity of the capital invested in their workplace?


We provide the news and relevant data on economic development activity in SW PA that is affecting the region’s economic revitalization including job creation, importing new industries and businesses, and opportunities for collaboration between government, privately owned companies and nonprofit entities.

  • Website- Showcase for news on research, reports and programs
  • Blog – Dialogue to induce relevant action between stakeholders, lawmakers, and those searching for work
  • College Courses on urban policy and practice
  • The Michael F. Moran Speaker Series Lectures from leaders making history in the area of economic development for southwestern Pennsylvania


We are designing and developing programs and initiatives to generate jobs for those most impacted by the 300,000 manufacturing jobs lost in PA since 2000: the undereducated, minority workers and people over age 50.

  • Workshops: Hands-on training & development of job seekers in collaboration with core employers to cause employable workers.
  • Symposium: Gathering of civic, government, private and non-profit organizations in community revitalization, workforce training, and economic development policy to forge a sustainable collaborative network to impact the jobs market and the employability of job seekers in southwestern Pennsylvania.


Michele Hricik Saling
President and Executive Director

Michele PhotoThe daughter of a bricklayer and the granddaughter of a steel worker, Michele Saling has had a decades-long interest in making a difference for the unemployed of southwestern Pennsylvania and those left behind in Pittsburgh’s “new” economy grounded in high technology and medical research. Saling attended Marquette University as an undergraduate and has journalism and education degrees from Duquesne University. After earning her law degree from Southwestern University School of Law, Los Angeles, CA, Michele Saling became the executive director of a nonprofit law center in Los Angeles, California for six years where she increased its services and clientele ten-fold.

For another dozen years, Ms. Saling maintained a solo law practice with a concentration in family law for the working poor while she attended the American Film Institute and the UCLA Writer’s Program.

Prior to law school, Saling also managed Saling & Associates, a Pittsburgh-based consulting firm that focused on business management and entrepreneurial development. Saling also designed and delivered an entrepreneurial development course and manual for the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation. In 1987, she was one of the original founders of a grassroots organization: Forum for Economic Development [FED], which later became incorporated in 2007 as a Pennsylvania nonprofit company. Dedicated to a range of rehabilitation projects, in one instance, FED formed a consortium of local business owners, civic leaders and average citizens to pursue its founders’ design plans to transform the Wilkinsburg train station. Though the project never saw fruition due to lack of funding, the desire to revitalize the community of Wilkinsburg has never left her. Saling resides in Wilkinsburg and it is her intention to develop a bed and breakfast and conference center in one of its historical landmark homes.

Saling continues to maintain interests in the film and e-publishing industries and with promoting film production in the greater Pittsburgh region.

Jared Neal Day, PhD
Director of Research and Programs

Jared-DayDr. Jared Day joined the F.F.E.D. in 2012, as Director of Research and Programs, following many years as a Research Fellow, Research Associate and Adjunct Professor at CMU’s Department of Engineering and Public Policy and Department of History. He is currently the editor and moderator of the F.F.E.D.’s Economic Development blog. Dr. Day obtained his Pd.D in Social History from Carnegie Mellon University in 1994. He is the author of many peer-reviewed articles and several books including Race and Renaissance: The African American Experience in Pittsburgh after World War II (co-authored with Joe W. Trotter) (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010), and Urban Castles: Tenement Housing and Landlord Activism in New York City, 1890-1943 (Columbia University Press, 1999). He is currently editing a special issue of the Journal of Urban History, dedicated to health care and urban redevelopment, work funded by F.F.E.D. He has taught at the University of Pittsburgh’s OSHER Academy for Lifelong Learning since 2010 and appears regularly as historical and current events commentator on the Lynn Cullen Live! program. As a private consultant, he has also conducted research on urban, environmental, and regulatory issues for the U.S. Department of Justice, and worked as a court-appointed expert witness on the history of federal and state public works programs.


Dr. Michael F. Moran
The Forum for Economic Development,Inc.(F.E.D.) would like to acknowledge the late Michael F. Moran, Ph.D., for his generous gift which will allow us to pursue our efforts to research,promote and design workforce development and community development projects for southwestern Pennsylvania.

His prior contributions to the Pittsburgh community include service as a tenured Professor at Duquesne University, and a practicing neuropsychologist. Dr. Moran was also the Director of the Graduate Program at Duquesne University, specializing in educational development and rehabilitation psychology.  As a longstanding proponent of educational development for children with learning impairments, he wrote the book Neuropsychological, Learning, and Developmental Characteristics of the Low Vision Child, published in 1982.

Originally from Altoona, Dr. Moran received degrees from Shippinsburg University (BS, 1958); Penn State (MS, 1961); Michigan State University (MA, 1964); and the University of Pittsburgh (PhD, 1969).     He was a U.S. Army Veteran of the Korean War, and a member of the American Psychological Association, the National Academy of Neuropsychology, elected to diplomat status by the board of forensic examiners and the board of medical examiners, the Pennsylvania Psychological Association and the National Rehabilitation Association.  He was also a member of the Duquesne Club of Pittsburgh and a Legacy Member of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

F.E.D. is grateful to Dr. Michael Moran for his generous donation.  His gift will continue to be recognized by us in many ways in the course of fulfilling our mission, including the naming of our upcoming lectures for 2013-2014 as The Michael F. Moran Speaker Series.

Thank you, Dr. Moran.


Sara Sachs, Freelance Photographer
Slideshow photos on Home Page