We may have gotten a new look, but our approach is the same. Growth & Opportunity is about growing the economy in ways that create more opportunities for all people through strategies that simultaneously address:
Building on distinct regional assets in order to create and retain good jobs with long-term payoffs for people of all skill levels.
Preparing residents for current and future jobs through systems reform that promotes coordinated, employer-connected and sector-focused education and training.
Job Access Strengthening the connectivity between where people live and work through more efficient transit and social/spatial networks; promoting sustainable growth patterns that enable improved access to jobs in the future.
"Imagine for a minute that you moved to a distant neighborhood for a job that paid $15 an hour because there were no similar opportunities within reach in your own community. The move forced you to leave behind your house, neighborhood, friends, and social support structures. Or maybe you couldn't afford the move, or a car and had no easy way to get to that job 15 miles from your home, so you stayed behind and tried to get by as best as possible even though job prospects were weak to nonexistent.
Sadly, too many people today face these tough choices," writes Fund for Our Economic Future President Brad Whitehead in a new post on the Living Cities blog. "In the wake of the recession, evidence suggests that middle-skill job growth has continued farther and farther away from our core cities. If we are to sustain our nascent revival and restore economic vibrancy to our communities, we must start a conversation across our cities, suburbs and surrounding communities about the spatial aspects of growth. While any job might seem like a good thing, any job anywhere can be a disastrous strategy in the long term." Click here to read the full post. And look for our Fund's "Call to Action" for Northeast Ohio in December!
More discussion on sprawl, population loss and financial stability can be found in this recent letter from Knight Foundation Akron Program Director Josh McManus reflecting on his first 100 days in the position.
The topic of accessibility, and how it affects the economy, has been at the forefront lately: This October 25, story in the Economisthighlights a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research that finds that accessibility affects unemployment; meanwhile Smart Growth America in an update to its landmark research Measuring Sprawl and Its Impact, finds "people have greater economic opportunity in compact and connected metro areas."
In Case You Missed It ...
Boston Fed President and CEO Eric Rosengren
Boston Fed on Economic Opportunity
Last month, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston held its 58th Economic Conference, focusing on "Inequality of Economic Opportunity." The Honorable Janet L. Yellen, chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, gave the keynote address. She discussed findings from the latest Survey of Consumer Finances, published in September, which reinforce that wealth and income inequality are increasing. In his own address, Boston Fed President and CEO Eric Rosengren spoke of the need for new thinking and tactics to create economic opportunity for all. His remarks focused on the importance of cross-sector collaboration and a shared vision at the local level specifically.
Transforming U.S. Workforce: A Recap
Also in October, the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Kansas City, along with the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, held a conference on "Transforming U.S. Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century." Discussion centered on some of the most pressing issues facing workforce development today, including an increasing semi-permanent workforce; fewer opportunities for post-secondary education and training; a lack of funding; and the struggle to engage small and mid-size employers. There was also evidence that the career pathways approach (like the one WorkAdvance takes) is becoming a prominent strategy to assist under-skilled and under-employed workers.
A Model for Investment
Economic Development: A Definition and Model for Investmenthas been making waves in economic policy circles around the country. Authored by professors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the London School of Economics, the paper explores the role of government in economic development. The authors also espouse a Growth & Opportunity agenda, saying that promoting any and all growth often comes at the expense of longer-term benefits, and that reconsidering the role of government in economic development requires taking a broader framework focused on building capacities that benefit all people.
The City Club of Cleveland and the Akron Press Club, in partnership with ideastream, present "10 Years, $100 Million: A Look at the Work of the Fund for Our Economic Future," a special lunch and panel discussion on Tuesday, December 9, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Quaker Station in Akron. David Molpus, executive editor of ideastream, will moderate a panel featuring Christine Amer Mayer, president of GAR Foundation and vice chair of the Fund, Amy Liu, senior fellow and co-director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, and Brad Whitehead, president of the Fund. Click here for tickets.
Call for Papers: Fed 2015 Policy Summit
The Federal Reserve Banks of Cleveland, Philadelphia and Richmond seek high-quality research on economic development, entrepreneurship, workforce development, education reform, and other related topics. The deadline to submit extended abstracts or drafts is 5 p.m., Friday, December 19. Submitting authors will be notified of accepted papers by January 31, and full conference papers will be due June 4. The Summit on Housing, Human Capital and Inequality will take place June 18-19, 2015, at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh.Click here to submit.
Save the Date: GOPC 2015 Summit
The Greater Ohio Policy Center (GOPC) will host its 2015 Summit, "Restoring Neighborhoods, Strengthening Economies," June 9-10, 2015, at The Westin Columbus. The Summit, designed for civic, business and nonprofit leaders from across the state and the country, will address a wide-range of topics essential to sustainable economic growth. Click here for more information.