Before the COVID-19 pandemic, only one in four young adults in Dallas earned a living wage. Unfortunately, the pandemic only exacerbated the situation, particularly for minority communities. In response, local leaders came together to launch Dallas Thrives, a community vision focused on doubling living-wage attainment in a single generation.
When economic developers think about the intersection of workforce development and education, their focus is usually on post-secondary training and higher education. Recently, however, some communities are making an effort to prepare students for the modern workforce much earlier.
Disconnected young people, often referred to as opportunity youth, are the future of our economies and our workforce. We spoke to Anna Crockett, Community Development Analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, to better understand the challenges facing opportunity youth, their importance to our communities, and potential investment strategies for community leaders.
Opportunity Zones (OZs) have been a hot topic for economic developers and investors across the country. As the largest federal economic development investment in over a decade, OZs originally excited economic developers because of their promise to deliver community benefits, but as the market has unfolded, OZs have instead been met with criticism. Shifting the narrative to focus on both economic growth and community inclusion is an important step to ensure that OZs deliver on their potential and promise to strengthen the country’s disadvantaged communities.
Over the past decade concepts like full employment, the skills gap, and the gray tsunami have become pressing concerns in the economic development arena. Technological disruptions continue to cast a shadow on the future of jobs. In the face of these challenges, here are three trends that are worth paying attention to over the short term.
In 2015, TIP Strategies was selected by the Washington Department of Commerce as the lead contractor for multiple phases of the state’s $4.3 million US Department of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) grant. The statewide strategy and sustainability plan will provide a comprehensive blueprint for military and defense contractors and related support organizations to anticipate and mitigate potential losses through effective planning and strategic decision-making.
In June 2014, the North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP) adopted its five-year strategic plan, developed with the assistance of TIP Strategies. TIP’s principal and CEO, Tom Stellman, recently attended NLEP’s Annual Meeting to provide an update on plan implementation and outcomes to the organization’s Board of Directors.
In October, TIP Strategies founder and CEO, Tom Stellman was featured as a speaker at the independently organized TED talk event, TEDxBrookings. His presentation was part of the “Origins of Community” session. Tom’s talk addressed the changing geography of jobs before, during, and after the Great Recession.
The recent Politico article, “A Real Path to Shared Prosperity in America,” addresses a topic that has been a central concern for many of our clients. The article highlights findings from a conference of thought leaders held this summer at Harvard Business School to explore the critical question: How can our nation continue to grow while also providing a path to prosperity for more Americans?
Performance measurement is an increasingly important part of economic development strategic planning. In addition to traditional measures of job growth, income, and tax base, TIP has been working with our clients to establish broader metrics associated with challenges including sustainability, social equity, and other community development issues.