Wednesday, November 07, 2007

the wind beneath the sails

Exactly one year before the 2008 presidental election (draft Mark Warner!), the Brookings Institution released a new initiative this morning titled: The Blueprint for American Prosperity: Unleashing the Potential of a Metropolitan Nation.

Based on their fundamental premise that the key driver of the national, if not the global economy is the economic dynamism of the metropolian area, the initiative will release a series of public policy papers in the coming months on a variety of subjects affecting the nation's metros. The goal is to reform the relationships between the federal, state, and local governments thoughout the country and share best practices, such that economic prosperity develops for each region.

Looking at the buckeye state - Ohio' s 7 largest metro areas - Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Akron, Toledo and Youngstown - contribute to 80% of the gross state product (g.s.p.) For example, Youngstown's non-pennsylvania metro population is 4.1% of the state's and 3.1% of the state's GSP.

[as a quick note: the selection of the boundary of a metropolitan area is determined by the connectivity of various counties' labor markets to one another. Depending on who is doing the calculation, sometimes the Youngstown metro is Mahoning, Trumbull, and Mercer counties; sometimes it is Mahoning, Trumbull, and Columbiana counties; and sometimes it is all four of these counties - one I saw added Mercer, a fifth county, to the mix as well. so definitions/boundaries are important. using any of these definitions, the Youngstown metro is still one on the top 100 (out of 363) metros in the country. remember this area still welds a considerable population.]

The PeeDee wrote a story in today's paper here, with a nifty ohio graphic.

- - -

During today's rollout which can now be watched here, Bruce Katz gave a very interesting presentation, filled with many beautiful, animated, and illustrative graphics on the status of America's metro areas.

Simply put, I would encourage every public official, every city council member, and every economic development specialist in the region to watch Katz's lively presentation. It's full of tidbits that really made me think out northeast ohio's position in the global economy.

In the question and answer period, a great query (with a passionate response) was asked to Mr. Katz about the recovery of the Great Lakes states. And throughout the day's events, Dr. Proenza and/or the University of Akron was mentioned/called out four times - which may have won the prize for most recognized university. It's nice to see the president and his institution getting recognized for their efforts. We all need to take a closer look at what Akron is doing. Having a university president who is so deeply involved on innovation initiatives at the federal level is an incredible assest - one that all of Northeast Ohio should try and learn some best practices.

Katz's statements during the rollout can be found here and the Brookings' paper on How Metropolitan Areas Fuel American Prosperity can be found here.

No comments: