I am honored to serve on the Working Cities Challenge Advisory Committee for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.We had our latest meeting yesterday and were joined by the five cities in Connecticut that were chosen to participate for the next three years in solving problems on the ground through collaborative efforts of cross sectors within their communities. It was also interesting that several of the researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank were there to talk about preliminary research they’re doing on whether collaborative efforts actually result in better economic growth for a region. I’m fascinated by this.
Of course, we believe in Collaboration at Work here at CERC and we really take that very seriously. I think that over the next year or so there are going to be a number of collaborative efforts that might be able to show that through collaboration economic growth is the result. Let me just talk about some of them…
We want to convene a cross-sectoral group that’s involved in development from land use attorneys, environmental and civil engineers, commercial brokers, contractors, construction management firms, all to be convened with state and municipal officials to talk about the things that really make economic development happen in our state.
We want to develop a protocol with regional economic development organizations on business recruitment in the state of Connecticut.
We want to consciously seek out efforts to work with more than one town so that towns can come together and work on regional economic development issues.And we want to convene those business service providers that help businesses get information in order to start and grow their businesses.
We also want to work with data advocates to make sure we have the best possible data available to support economic development policies.
So as you can see, we really believe in Collaboration at Work and we think that can result in economic growth for Connecticut.
Hello and welcome to the March edition of the CERC e-news.
Many of you were likely at the Governor’s Economic Summit on Monday.It was one of the best, I think, that we’ve had since Governor Malloy has been in office, with both his message, and the message from the Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth Commission.Along with a panel discussing regionalization and collaboration in economic development, there was a workshop to talk through some of those issues.I found that fascinating and those of you who’ve been around awhile know regionalization is something that I’ve studied and advocate.
2018 is starting out to be quite the political year here in Connecticut, and the legislature is in session - it’s a short session but it sounds like they are very ambitious about getting some things done, not only on the budget but on economic development issues as well.
At the December meeting of the board of directors, they adopted a new value proposition for CERC and I thought I would outline that for you as there is resonance with what we have been doing and what we will be doing in the future.
Last Thursday at the Bushnell, we had our 8th annual Celebrate CT! event where we recognized the contributions of individuals, programs, and companies to the best of economic development during the last year.
We have a state budget! But we’re not nearly out of the woods yet. A new round of projected deficits is just over the horizon, and if prompt and substantial action isn’t taken, we’ll go through this again, and again.
Our regular readers know that CERC has been engaged in a national and global discussion about the definition of economic development. At the IEDC conference in Toronto, at the NEDA Conference in Providence, and in our discussions with clients and with towns as part of our Municipal Training, we are embracing a very broad-based definition of economic development.
Last week I was in Toronto for the IEDC Annual Conference. Toronto is a great city, and being in Canada gave us the opportunity to hear from many economic development professionals who do not usually travel to the US for conferences.
On Sunday, I participated in a panel on the future of Economic Development Organizations over the next decade.
I am taking the relative quiet of mid-August to reflect on CERC and its value proposition. Actually, we started a process back in April to help us answer that question. The CERC board and the staff all went through an exercise of defining our value proposition. A staff subcommittee has been refining that work, and this week we will meet with a board committee to take that work to the next step. Our goal is to gain clarity in how we and our partners define CERC’s value and be able to measure how we are accomplishing our priority desired outcomes.
In September I will be going to Toronto for the IEDC annual conference. While there, I will participate in a Learning Lab discussing “EDOs in the Next Decade.” I spent some time this week trying to define what I might bring to the table. Following are some of the ideas, and I welcome input as I finalize my remarks.