Thoughts on Migration Patterns

One of my favorite Seinfeld lines came when Jerry explained why his parents moved to Florida. “They turned sixty, and that’s the law.”

Every year, Atlas Van Lines analyzes the origins and destinations of interstate moves it handles. The idea is to get a 20,000 foot view of people’s moving patterns. Which states see an influx? Which ones see an exodus?

PA Last 10 Years Migration PatternsLooking at the numbers for Pennsylvania, for the last two years we have been classified as “outbound.” Which means more than 55 percent of Atlas moves in or out of Pennsylvania have been outbound. This movement reverses a 12-year trend in which Pennsylvania was considered “balanced.” That is, neither inbound nor outbound moves accounted for 55 percent or more of moves to and from the state. If we turn the calendar back a little further, we notice Pennsylvania was considered outbound from 1995 to 2000.

Statisticians have fun trying to guess what causes these kinds of shifts in moving patterns. I think the biggest influencers are opportunity and climate. As for the first, the 2014 numbers may well reflect a loss of opportunity in recent years. In August, the Keystone Research Center released a report on the commonwealth’s lackluster economic performance since 2010. Pennsylvania scored below average in job growth, joblessness, wages and income, and economic growth. The commonwealth’s overall grade was a C-minus. Clearly, such factors indicate people are likely to find greener career pastures elsewhere.

As for climate, a southerly draw is always likely. Perhaps the harsh weather events of recent memory influenced some to leave seek more temperate surroundings. You may recall in October of 2012, Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the mid-Atlantic region. Although New Jersey took the worst of it, Pennsylvania saw significant power outages, evacuations, and storm-related fatalities. However, adverse weather events can take place anywhere, anytime. So I don’t attach too much significance to one storm. (But Sandy was one heckuva storm.)

While it may be tempting to look at outbound numbers and see the hole instead of the donut, there’s a good case to make for Pennsylvania as a destination. Honest, hardworking, and educated people live here. The topography varies from beautiful to breathtaking. And this area is a prime location for doing business. Did you know that 60% of the U.S. and Canada are within one day’s drive of our commonwealth?

Those of us who live in Pennsylvania know it to be a great place to live and work. Our business, Weleski Transfer, has had roots in Pennsylvania since 1909. We’re proud to be here, and the climate has been good for us all the way around.

Check out the full 2014 Migration Patterns Report from Atlas, and the Migration Patterns Infographic, which provides a snapshot of the 2014 patterns as well as past 10 years data.

Holiday Charity Work

Taking Inventory Through Charity

The end of the year is a time when businesses usually take a physical inventory. But, at its core, business isn’t about things. It’s about people. So this time of year is also a good time to take a social inventory. What are we doing to help others? How are we making this world a better place?

I’m proud to say I work in an organization with a big heart. And it gets especially big around Christmas.

In early December, our office turned a moving van into a sleigh and hauled hundreds of new toys from Branding Brand, a company in Pittsburgh, to the Monroeville Mall. There we joined folks from throughout our community, working shoulder to shoulder in the annual “Stuff-A-Bus.” Orchestrated by 96.1 KISS FM, the five-day event collected 45 busloads (packed floor to ceiling) of new, unopened toys for the annual Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots. You can bet those toys are bringing smiles to lots of little faces. And feelings of thankfulness to their struggling parents.

Stuff A Bus Event - 96.1 Kiss FM - Toys For Tots    Toys for Tots Stuff a Bus Event    Stuff a Bus Event - Packing Toys in Moving Truck    Packing Toys for Tots Donations in Moving Truck


Employees at our Cleveland, Ohio branch, also supported the Toys for Tots in their community. They collected 1,400 toys and cash donations of $44,000. When they later delivered some of those toys, along with gifts from the Old Stone Church, to the Family Promise Christmas Party, the Weleski crew dressed in costumes to make their “presence” as much fun as possible for the 64 homeless kids who received the toys.

Toys for Tots 2014 Cleveland Browns Game    Toys for Tots 2014 Cleveland Browns Game - Military


Each year, Weleski employees give a portion of their regular earnings to the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. The withholdings are strictly voluntary, and we have close to 100 percent participation. We’re proud that our employees are so willing to give!

Angel Tree Charity
We were pleased to volunteer our service to the Ladies Guild of Mount Saint Peter Church in New Kensington in December. Their Angel Tree is a community outreach that raises money to purchase Christmas gifts for families in need. When they had no way to get the gifts delivered for wrapping and distribution, a special angel intervened. Weleski employee Andrea Scalise asked for our company’s help, so Weleski stepped up with a truck and crew to make sure 49 local families would have gifts under their trees. Weleski associates Bill Redalin and Mike Harbison played the roles of Santa and helper.



Adopt a Family Charity Work
It’s especially gratifying when you can take part in the giving personally, as our office did for the Alle-Kiski Area HOPE Center serving victims of domestic violence. We adopted two families, taking their wish lists to the store and buying the things they said they needed. Everyone in our Pittsburgh office got involved—we made sure those two families would not be wanting this Christmas. In the photo to the right you can see some of our folks who took part. When I look at their faces, I’m reminded that it truly is better to give than to receive!