TIP Strategies is proud to collaborate with the National League of Cities (NLC) First Tier Suburbs Council on a unique new venture: the Economic Development Summit Pilot Program. The program provides a selected community or group of communities the opportunity to partner with TIP and the First Tier Suburbs Council to host a day-long economic development forum. TIP will be providing data analysis and economic development insights to guide the event.

The application process ran from November 2018 through February 2019. More than a dozen very strong applications were received from around the country. After conducting a through selection process, the Mid-America Regional Council’s (MARC) First Suburbs Coalition—a group of 19 cities in Greater Kansas City—was announced as the awardee on March 11.

The selected applicant had chosen housing affordability as the emphasis. In MARC’s press release, Kristin Inman, co-chair of the First Suburbs Coalition and a member of the Mission City Council, stated, “We plan to use this unique opportunity to focus on housing issues in first-tier suburbs, including affordability, choice and neighborhood stabilization.” Kristin added, “Housing is critical to economic development because it impacts access to jobs and education and our quality of life.”

TIP and MARC have already begun collaborating on the pilot program and the Summit has already been scheduled for July 2019. Results from the data analysis and findings from the Summit will be compiled into a report that will be provided to MARC in November. This document may also be developed into a best practices guide that will be made available as a learning tool for other NLC member communities to understand how to navigate obstacles to long-term regional economic success. Additionally, the Summit report will be featured on the NLC website, blog, and at NLC’s City Summit 2019 in San Antonio, November 20–23.

Congratulations to MARC’s First Suburbs Coalition for their selection!