WILKES-BARRE, PA: Wall Street West (WSW), a public-private partnership involving nine northeastern Pennsylvania counties being marketed to Wall Street firms as a location for backup IT operations, has chosen Peppercom to assist in its communications outreach.
The Labor Department awarded WSW $15 million in funding last year for the three-year initiative, $800,000 to $1 million of which is estimated to go to communications, said project director Catherine Bolton. Peppercom will handle the bulk of the group's communications for the final two years of the outreach.
Peppercom's efforts, which will include holding seminars on IT security issues, will be directed at both northeast Pennsylvania, where it will help promote the training available to local workers; and Wall Street, where the region will be touted for its skilled workers; a telecommunications infrastructure that will permit live, "synchronous" trading; a power grid with controls separate from that of New York and New Jersey; and a separate water system.
To bring representatives of Wall Street firms to the region and spark their interests in it as a place for locating backup facilities, outreach efforts will include organizing seminars in the region on IT security and other events that would help establish businesses and Pennsylvania officials as "thought leaders."
Training local workers for the financial services industry, WSW is billing itself as an optimum location for Wall Street firms seeking to set up backup IT operations, a need first underscored after the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 that shut down Wall Street for a week.
"We really believe we have the assets to be a great backup, and because we're a private-public partnership, we can be a single resource for business coming here," Bolton said. "Instead of making 15 to 20 phones call to [get permits], they just have to connect through us."