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Fund for Our Economic Future President Brad Whitehead Addresses White House Economic Summit

CLEVELAND--May 18, 2010--Brad Whitehead, president of the Fund for Our Economic Future, today addressed the White House-sponsored Summit on Auto Communities and the Next Economy: Partnerships in Innovation in Washington, D.C.  Whitehead stressed the need for a significant federal partnership to best align and scale the appropriate resources for how business, government, philanthropy and others work together on critical economic development issues. Whitehead spoke at the working session: Innovations and Opportunities for Further Partnerships – Job Creation and Economic Development.

This White House-sponsored summit brought together hundreds of leaders from industrial metropolitan areas in the Great Lakes states, national constituency groups, and staff from Congressional offices and federal agencies to showcase innovative ways that local and state leaders are leveraging their communities’ assets to make a successful transition to the “next economy.” It also highlighted ways the federal government and philanthropies are aligning efforts to bolster state and regional innovations.

In his remarks, Whitehead highlighted the progress Northeast Ohio has made in developing a regional, collaborative, integrated approach to strengthening the region’s economic competitiveness, particularly in the area of entrepreneurship.  

“We are simultaneously working on system change and transformational culture change informed by practical experience working with specific portfolios of companies and initiatives,” he said. “This change is supported by an aligned network of partners from the private and public sectors, philanthropic and civic communities, business, labor, colleges and universities, and more.”  Working regionally, collaboratively and in an integrated manner is critical to this economic transformation, noted Whitehead, and the federal government can play a key role in helping make that happen.

Whitehead encouraged the federal government to work with organizations, such as the Fund, in supporting these approaches. In closing, he said, “Philanthropy is here and ready to be the ‘boots on the ground’ to make sure what we say we are going to do, gets done. We’re ready to get going now.” 

ABOUT THE FUND FOR OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE

The Fund for Our Economic Future (www.futurefundneo.org) is a collaboration of more than 100 foundations, organizations and philanthropists from across Northeast Ohio that strengthens the region’s economic competitiveness through grantmaking, public engagement and research.

Contact:

Chris ThompsonFund for Our Economic Future216-925-4902 (office)216-215-0329 (cell)cthompson@futurefundneo.org