Traditional economic development objectives like business recruitment and job creation can be critical contributing factors to a place’s economic well-being. Shared economic prosperity, however, depends on so much more. A thriving economy requires sound stewardship of a place’s natural resources. It relies on the ingenuity of a skilled workforce, and consequently, a high-quality education system. It’s driven forward by the innovation of entrepreneurs and small business owners. At its foundation is modern, well-maintained infrastructure like transportation networks, broadband, and public water service. The social connections among neighbors, civic groups, and other service-oriented organizations can impact whether a community overcomes economic challenges or struggles to do so. Fostering a dynamic, resilient economy hinges on all this and more.
Our Economy is an economic development planning initiative that aims to build common understanding about how all of these different factors affect the regional economy. It then aims to use that improved knowledge base to spark a regional discussion about where economic challenges exist, the goals we need to set to overcome those challenges, and the actions we need to take in order to achieve those goals.