The sharp downturn in economic activity precipitated by the global COVID-19 pandemic brought the need for recovery and resiliency planning into sharp relief for communities, regions, and states in 2020. The leaders of Idaho’s five economic development districts saw the need for immediate action and formed an innovative, strategic partnership to position their communities for a quicker recovery and long-term resiliency.
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.
As the global pandemic continues to affect communities around the world, recent access to the COVID-19 vaccine has provided a much-needed glimmer of hope for a return to normalcy. While the vaccine rollout overall has had its ups and downs, some communities have had great success administering doses to residents. One such community is Larimer County, Colorado.
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.
We are experiencing simultaneous crises in health, the economy, politics, climate change, and social justice—a combination few of us have experienced in our lifetimes. For some in our communities, survival is a daily challenge. And for others, recovery will be a long and difficult road. But it’s important for those of us in leadership positions to pause and think beyond recovery.
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.