Retooling for Growth: Building a 21st Century Economy in America's Older Industrial Areas

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Richard M. McGahey, Jennifer S. Vey
Brookings Institution Press, Jul 1, 2008 - Political Science - 437 pages

Slow job growth, declining home values, a diminishing tax base, and concentrated poverty are but a few of the growing obstacles for well-established but struggling cities. Challenged by decades of globalization, technological change, and dramatic demographic shifts away from the urban core, these former industrial powerhouses, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest, have been eclipsed by burgeoning American cities with a viable niche in the new economy. In R etooling for Growth, experts present new frameworks, cutting-edge analysis, and innovative policy solutions for the nation's government, business, civic, and community leaders to sculpt a sustainable and supportable economy for older industrial areas. The unique focus on rehabilitating weak market cities outlines ideas for reshaping the role of public agencies, the workforce, business organizations, and technology. Implementation of these measures addresses challenges such as fostering entrepreneurship, reducing poverty and inequality, and maintaining and augmenting the number of skilled professionals who reside and work in a community, among others. This collection of essays offers practical, achievable strategies for revitalizing industrial areas and building upon the potential of existing but overlooked resources of economic, physical, and cultural significance. In this important volume, leading authorities provide a thought-provoking analysis of healthy economic development practices for both public and private sectors.


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Policy and Practice
Report of the 106th American Assembly
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About the author (2008)

Richard M. McGahey is a program officer in the Economic Development Unit at the Ford Foundation. Jennifer S.Vey is a fellow in Metropolitan Policy program at Brookings. Kenneth Lewis is the chairman of Bank of America. Edward Rendell is the governor of Pennsylvania.

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