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Google Growing in Pittsburgh

Google Pittsburgh will be hiring several dozen employees to tackle their latest project: shopping.

The search engine giant announced an expansion today that will add anywhere between 100 and 200 jobs to fill the 50,000 square feet of office space leased in the Bakery Square plaza in East Liberty.

Andrew Moore, vice president of engineering and head of Google’s Pittsburgh office, says the company will hire a minimum of 75 people to work in the shopping and e-commerce division.

Google is looking for people with diverse educational backgrounds. Moore says he’s not just looking for engineers and computer scientists, but people interested in “shopping, curating shopping information and running shopping operations.”

Moore says Google Pittsburgh is giving people a reason to stay or even return to the city.

“As far as local Pittsburghers, there’s a very interesting phenomenon that we call ‘boomerangs,’” Moore said. “We have had many dozens of the engineers who come to Google Pittsburgh, relocating from elsewhere in the country because they grew up in Pittsburgh. They want to come back, but up until now, there haven’t been the right opportunities for them.”

Google has been expanding quickly in Pittsburgh; leasing a 70,000 square foot space from Walnut Capital one month after opening a 40,000 square foot office in the former Nabisco Plant in December, 2011.

Google Pittsburgh began in 2006 with two engineers. Seven years later, the company employs more than 250 people.

With the technology and electronics field growing in Pittsburgh, city councilman Bill Peduto said he hopes to create a new position called the Director of Technology, Innovation and Development.

“That persons job would be to make sure that not only large firms like Google, but small firms and start-ups and even people that are entrepreneurs that would want to start their own transmission shop would have the resources of a city government to help them to see their dreams come true,” Peduto said.

Mashable Magazine highlighted Pittsburgh as being one of the top 15 cities for technology startup investments in February.

Google currently leases three floors in Bakery Plaza. The company will be adding a fourth floor to accommodate the new hires. Renovations are scheduled to be completed in early 2014.