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Transit is a powerful force for facilitating employment density and therefore, reaping the benefits of firms and people clustering together in cities. In order to counter the rising trend towards job sprawl (which holds important equity implications), policy makers at the local and regional levels are posing transit as a central mechanism for concentrating future employment growth in higher density, more accessible districts. This report explores how industries vary in their proclivity to locate in higher density, transit-served locations and assesses which industries have experienced recent growth near transit in absolute numbers. The outcome of this analysis is a better understanding of the types of industries that may have a greater propensity to be transit-oriented.
Due to structural economic and social inequality, low-income communities and communities of color continue to face many challenges in the economic-development process. Through eleven examples of community wealth building initiatives, the first section of this report offers low-income individuals and communities a number of strategies that revolve around comprehensive development, anchor-institution partnerships, community organizing, and technical assistance that can aid them in advancing economically and building their wealth. In the next section, this report outlines both historical and emerging trends in efforts to build skills and empower low-income community members.
Parking policies are an integral part of implementing equitable transit-oriented development (eTOD). Policies such as “free parking” (which increases housing and consumer costs), zoning and land use regulations that require an overabundancce of parking, and the application of suburban parking models to dense urban environments can have negative impacts on low-income communities. This report explores alternative parking strategies that can advance eTOD and provides examples of cases where parking reform has been implemented.
Anchor institutions are nonprofit or public place-based entities, such as universities and hospitals, that are rooted in their local community by mission, invested capital, or relationships to customers, employees, residents and vendors. An increasing number of anchor institutions and partner organizations have joined to form place-based networks, or anchor collaboratives, to develop, implement, and support shared goals and initiatives that advance equitable and inclusive economic development strategies. This report looks at the key factors for anchor collaboration, the backbone organizations that comprise them, their funding structures, and more.
Across the US, jobs that are directly involved in making and supplying more sustainable “clean technology” goods and services generally offer better pay. This roadmap includes policies that, when implemented, can continue to accelerate job creation and innovation based on sustainable and scalable clean economy industries in the Detroit area. Additionally, it provides case studies of these prospects being successfully turned into reality.
Citywide development that uses traditional business practices, which have historically benefitted from and perpetuated racialized inequality, can threaten to displace the most disadvantaged communities. This report provides tools and resources for groups that are advocating for more equitable, progressive development in their cities; these practices address the housing affordability crisis, displacement of long-term residents, low and stagnant wages, unemployment, persecution of immigrants, over-policing of communities of color, and a host of other issues affecting a city’s residents. Additionally, this report includes a checklist and guidelines for establishing and moving a successful coalition.
Asset poor families, those that cannot sustain themselves without income for at least three months or weather emergencies without falling into the safety net, are consistently vulnerable. Arizona seeks to align its economic development, safety net, and education systems to benefit both its citizens and its economy through an asset development framework. Assets reduce the risk of poverty and reliance on the safety-net, break generational poverty, enable people to start businesses and invest in education. This report explores why assets are so important and how social policy has conflicted with asset accumulation, provides evidence of Arizona’s asset-poor environment, identifies potential state policy strategies, and outlines a framework for action for system partners.
Although the manufacturing industry is experiencing a resurgence, employers within the sector are reporting that they face a skilled worker shortage. A strategy to improve the basic and technical skills of young workers could create real career pathways for opportunity youth and multiple benefits for employers, including: increased shareholder satisfaction and customer loyalty; increased diversity of the worker pipeline; increased worker engagement and retention as workers engage in on-the-job learning activities with opportunity youth and are inspired to model excellence within their professional fields. This report focuses on the strategies Michigan and Massachusetts are utilizing in order to address the gap between skilled worker demand and supply.
The Commission on Community Action & Economic Opportunity is composed of leaders who work at the local and regional levels throughout Michigan to promote economic opportunity. Through their Forums across the state, they hear directly from people struggling to avoid or recover from financial and personal obstacles. In their analysis of Forum testimony, this report focuses on how many communities have designed specialized local initiatives to address critical intervention points–crisis times when individuals are in acute danger of falling into poverty, or conversely when people are particularly motivated to make crucial changes to help themselves. Moreover, this report outlines and provides recommendations to programs that promote economic opportunity in Michigan.
Business and education communities share an understanding of the type, level, and quantity of skills and credentials needed by the workforce. However, community colleges often struggle to engage employers effectively. This report outlines strategies community colleges can take to partake in effective engagement with employers, in order to build deep, sustainable relationships that ensure their curriculum design and credentials meet the needs of industry sectors/clusters important to the region, and that students exit institutions able to demonstrate that they have the skills and credentials needed by business.