Kleinfeld: Pittsburgh playing increasingly important role in Alcoa's future
September 30, 2013
From:  Pittsburgh Business Times 
By:  Justine Coyne


Alcoa Inc. Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld said the company is standing on the shoulder of giants.


On Monday, Kleinfeld was in Pittsburgh to celebrate the company's 125th anniversary and pay homage to its past. Kleinfeld said without the strong foundation that was built from Day One, the company would not have the footing it does today as it is going through a strategic transformation.

The company's headquarters moved to New York City in 2006. But with Alcoa's increasing emphasis on innovation the role the Pittsburgh region plays in the operation continues to grow, Kleinfeld said. That's particularly with the work being done at the New Kensington-based Alcoa Technology Center.

"This is absolutely mission-critical for us today and for securing our future," he said.

Alcoa (NYSE: AA) employs roughly 2,000 employees throughout it operations at the Alcoa Technology Centers, its North Shore offices, and TRACO Inc., a Cranberry-based window manufacturer the company acquired in 2010.

Kleinfeld told me that as the company increases its focus on value-added businesses, the work done at the ATC will play an increasingly vital role in the future of the company.

"If you look at this year alone, 57 percent of our revenues are value-added products, and they make up 80 percent of our profits," he said.


Kleinfeld said the shift is working well to position Alcoa to become less dependent on commodity pricing.

The work done at the ATC is also attracting customers and business leaders to make a pilgrimage to Pittsburgh, Kleinfeld said. Stretching from industries that have relied on aluminum for decades, such as aerospace and defense, to industries that are developing a greater need for the material, such as automotive and consumer electronics, all eyes are on the advancements coming out of the facility.

"(The ATC) is a very critical resource that you wouldn't find anywhere else on this planet neither by Alcoa or anybody else," he said.


More from my conversation with Kleinfeld will be in this week's print edition.

 

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/blog/innovation/2013/09/pittsburgh-playing-increasingly.html?page=all

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