Growth & Opportunity News: Fresh Look at Job Access
Growth & Opportunity is about growing the economy in ways that create more opportunities for all people through collaborative, interconnected cross-sector strategies that advance job creation, job preparation and job access.
The Fund for Our Economic Future's framework for how to take a collaborative approach to building stronger, more equitable local and regional economies through job creation, job preparation and job access efforts.
Job growth over the past 20 years occurred predominantly in suburbs and the conversion of rural areas, continuing a long-term trend since the 1950s.
Outward job growth affects all Northeast Ohio residents regardless of where they live.
Outward job growth disproportionately affects the 200,000 residents living in economically distressed neighborhoods. Commuters by transit in Northeast Ohio spend almost two hours more per day to get to the nearest job hub, versus those who commute by car.
The analysis is gaining attention from the likes of Forward Cities and Green City Blue Lake. In partnership with Cleveland-based think tank PolicyBridge, the Fund has spent the last few months engaging community leaders around this issue with the goal of developing concrete strategy and policy recommendations to address it. Look for a final report incorporating these suggested strategies and policies in early 2016.
The Cleveland Fed's Community Development staff has picked up this topic and taken a deeper look at transit access to job hubs in Northeast Ohio. Hot off the presses, "
A Long Ride to Work: Job Access and Public Transportation in Northeast Ohio," finds that residents with only a high school diploma -- the largest share of the region's workforce -- have the lowest levels of job access. Measuring job access by a 90-minute or shorter transit ride, these individuals are able to reach just 28 percent of jobs in the region on average. That compares to workers with at least a bachelor's degree, who can access around 35 percent of jobs in the same transit commute time. The report also shows that access varies greatly by county.
The Fed's report features this cool interactive map. Check out how accessible jobs are from your neighborhood. Click here.
On the flip side of this issue, the Cleveland Fed finds that half of Northeast Ohio's top 10 employment centers have access to only 15 percent or less of the regional workforce.
If you are pursuing similar work to understand where job growth is happening in your area and for whom, and want to compare notes, or if you have ideas or success stories you'd like to share on how to address the issue of job access in our communities, please
This neat, interactive
feature from the Economic Policy Institute illustrates how economic inequality affects us all. The problem was created and is fixable, the site states. One way to address it? "Ensure the economy provides a job for everyone who wants one." Sounds like Growth & Opportunity. Check it out!
From the Blogosphere
'Economic Opportunity for All' Must Include Our Rural Communities, Too
Rising inequality affects not just urban centers, but rural communities, too. Take, for instance, Northeast Ohio, where nearly half of the 18 counties in the region consist of small, rural areas, and roughly 20 percent of the region's population lives in these non-metro areas. Ten of the 18 counties have neighborhoods of economic distress.
Wayne County is an example of one rural community that is putting Growth & Opportunity measures in place. Rod Crider, president of the Wayne Economic Development Council, writes in this blog post about how this part of Ohio is working to retain its rural strengths, without becoming a destination for sprawl.
Growth & Opportunity in the Mahoning Valley
Civic leaders in the Mahoning Valley recently gathered at The Raymond John Wean Foundation in Warren, Ohio, to discuss how Growth & Opportunity is being applied there to address rising inequality, and what more can be done to strengthen and scale those efforts. Panelists included Dominic Marchionda, city-university planning coordinator at the Center for Urban and Regional Studies at Youngstown State University; Barb Ewing, chief operations officer of the Youngstown Business Incubator; Shari Harrell, president of the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley; and Brian Frederick, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Lorain County and chair of the Fund for Our Economic Future. Mike Shafarenko, manager of civic engagement, web and social media at ideastream, moderated.
Interested in organizing a convening in your community around the issues of job creation, job preparation and/or job access? Email us.