Connecting people & communities to economic opportunity | Fall 2017
New, Interactive Site to Explore Your Community's Job Hubs
In our summer newsletter, we shared a preliminary map of Northeast Ohio's job hubs -- or, areas with a particularly dense concentration of traded-sector jobs. Last week, we launched a new,
interactive website devoted to the research that enables users to explore each job hub in more depth, including a look at how the number of jobs in each hub has changed over time, what industries these jobs are in, and where people who work in each job hub live. A full research report with preliminary maps and analysis for the major metros of Northeast Ohio and background on the methodology is available for download from the site.
The job hubs concept has received a lot of press lately, including articles on CityLab and in local publications like The Canton Repository. Use #jobhubs to share your thoughts and join the conversation on Twitter!
FROM THE BLOGOSPHERE
A Tool to Improve Economic Competitiveness
Speaking of job hubs, in a recent post on the
Brookings Institution's blog, The Avenue, Fund President
Brad Whitehead wrote that job hubs are one tool that could significantly improve business competitiveness, raise living standards for workers, ease fiscal burdens on governments, and enhance environmental quality -- and they have the potential to work for everyone.
Shari Harrell of the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley shares her reflections on a two-day Racial Equity Institute, part of a "Year of Awareness Building" designed to increase shared understanding of racial inequities, foster productive dialogue among community stakeholders and civic leaders, and determine strategies to meaningfully address social barriers to job access.
Economic Innovation Group recently released its 2017 Distressed Communities Index, showing that one in six Americans live in a distressed community, as measured by poverty rates, joblessness, level of educational attainment, and economic growth. Cleveland is the #1 most distressed among the country's 100 largest cities, while Youngstown is the most distressed among small and mid-sized cities.
A Community Looks to Avoid Becoming Smaller, Older, Poorer
A new report from the Stark Community Foundation is stirring things up in Stark County. "Strengthening Stark: A Call for Economic Transformation" assesses the current economic and social health of the county to determine its strengths and challenges going forward. It found that if Stark County continues on its current path, it will become smaller, older and poorer. The report calls for a Growth & Opportunity frame to tackle these issues.
In "Revitalizing America's Smaller Legacy Cities," the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the Greater Ohio Policy Center study how smaller cities across the country are faring. Among those performing well are Albany, Scranton and Grand Rapids. The report also takes a deep look at "some of the country's most left-behind economies," and what's necessary to improve their economic performance.
Lessons for Local Leaders on Building Inclusive Cities
With "the reality that the U.S. economy is not delivering prosperity for all" squarely in mind, the Brookings Institution this year launched a six-month exploration on how metro areas can increase access to opportunity, in conjunction with leaders from Indianapolis, Nashville and San Diego. "Nearing a decade since the Great Recession," the authors of the research write, "standard economic indicators portray an economy adding jobs, growing wages and boosting output. Yet the uneven distribution of growth and access to opportunity -- among both historically disadvantaged groups and an expanding swath of the population -- are calling into question traditional definitions of economic success and conventional policy responses." Read more about what this team of researchers and policy analysts learned by clicking below.
Despite Some Challenges, Group Exhibits 'Akron is for Entrepreneurs'
Gathering of Akron entrepreneurs discussing city's support ecosystem.
On Tuesday, October 3, 12 entrepreneurs gathered in downtown Akron to discuss the future of business in this city. Part of a larger community-wide inaugural effort called On the Table led by the
Akron Community Foundation to discuss the state of affairs in Akron, the conversation was hosted by Fund Akron Entrepreneurship Fellow
Heather Roszczyk and was comprised of business owners who had been featured in the Akropreneurs project, either in the
video series or on a
Diverse in every sense of the word, many of the entrepreneurs had not met previously, but as business owners they found much in common. They expressed frustration with discrimination (for both gender and skin color) and lack of accessible retail space, as well as fear over the future of health care for small business owners. But they also largely agreed that "Akron
is for entrepreneurs," -- a manageable-sized city that makes it easy to network and affordable for the early, lean years of starting a business. The group exhibited the very essence of an ecosystem being built "by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs" and how grassroots entrepreneurial efforts can have positive impact. Before the hour was over, plans were already being laid for future, continued conversations. Roger Riddle, host of the Akropreneurs podcast, caught the whole hour on tape -- stay tuned for a remix of the conversation in an upcoming episode.
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Want more information on Growth & Opportunity?
This newsletter is presented by the Fund for Our Economic Future as part of its efforts to identify and spread effective local and regional strategies for growing jobs in ways that also expand opportunity. For more information, visit our website,
www.thefundneo.org, or email Director of Communications