To say that economic development is going through a revolution is an understatement. What we do about it as a country will make the difference between second and third tier communities making it or not. To put it succinctly, while the historic role of economic development has always been to focus on the expansion of the tax base, without taking any role in education or workforce development. Today, that reality is shifting. Economic development today is all about talent which means we will have to take a vested interest in workforce preparedness and skills training to ensure the sustainability of our communities.
A recent Brookings/ITIF report announced recently that nine out of 10 tech jobs were created from 2005 to 2017 in just five U.S. markets: Boston, Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Nine out of ten. Roughly half of the remaining 382 markets lost jobs in the same industries; others gained but not as substantially as the top five. So, what next? The authors propose—and we wholeheartedly agree—that the federal government invest in the top eight or ten most-promising-for-innovation markets in the middle U.S., providing the necessary jumpstart cities need to successfully seed growth. Not a crazy idea if you understand that some of our country’s earliest research parks were heavily funded with federal dollars (i.e., Raleigh-Durham, Boston, etc.)
We’ve been doing some planning work here at Waymaker and as we fine-tune our services and offerings, I keep coming back to this piece so beautifully articulated by David Brooks. A commentary on our country’s current division(s), it lands as a tribute to Frederick Douglass. Regardless of how Waymaker is positioned within the market, this belief is at the absolute core of what we do. Thank you @Nicole Thomsen for the share. It is the belief that all humans have souls. It is the belief that all people of all races have a piece of themselves that has no size, weight, color or shape, but which gives them infinite value and dignity. It is the belief that our souls make us all radically equal. Our brains and bodies are not equal, but our souls are. It is the belief that the person who is infuriating you most right now still has a soul and so is still, deep down, beautiful and redeemable. It is the belief that when all is said and done all souls have a common home together, a final resting place as pieces of a larger unity.