Category: economic opportunity

Urban-Rural by the Numbers

This is the fourth post in a series about reducing the divide between urban and rural communities. To bridge the gap between urban and rural areas, we first need to understand what sets these communities apart and where they have common ground. Below are a few key stats about urban and rural populations, economies and housing, and

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The Future of Work for Opportunity Youth

Opportunity youth comprise a large share of the nearly five million 16-24 year olds out of school and out of work across the U.S. The group has one of the least secure footholds in the evolving structure of employment. Not only do these young people lack jobs; many also lack the training and credentials to

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Why Workforce Development Matters for Mayors

For the past five years, NLC’s Center for City Solutions has analyzed mayors’ state of the cities speeches, which highlight the priorities mayors are focusing on. The 2018 State of Cities (SOTC) report has a sample of 160 mayoral speeches between January and April 2018 and includes cities of all population sizes and across geographic

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For Cities, Opportunity Starts at Home

The National League of Cities’ (NLC) Community and Economic Development Committee is consistently one of the largest of NLC’s seven advocacy committees. That makes sense, given that survey after survey has shown that economic development is consistently among the top priorities identified by local elected officials. It doesn’t seem to matter how well or poorly

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NLC Cities of Opportunity Pilot Promotes ‘Healthy People, Thriving Communities’

On any given day, city leaders confront a challenging array of issues. From the lack of affordable, stable housing for city residents to the need for reliable transportation and greater access to good-paying, high-quality jobs, mayors and city councilmembers have no shortage of pressing items on their list of priorities. These to-do lists reflect in

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Sacramento – Urban Region, Rural Economic Driver

This blog post summarizes a case study from NLC’s Bridging the Urban-Rural Economic Divide report. This post is part of a series about reducing the divide between urban and rural communities. California, the state with the highest urban population density, has a capital city that is largely rural. Eighty five percent of Sacramento’s land area is rural

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In Wisconsin, Urban and Rural Go Hand in Hand

This post is part of a series about reducing the divide between urban and rural communities. In Wisconsin, rural and urban go together like ham and cheddar, Harleys and leather, and bicycle rides on winding country roads. Our state, home to America’s 31st largest city, is also speckled with 601 cities and villages that have a

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How Memphis Helps Minority- and Women-Owned Small Businesses Thrive

This post is part of a series on NLC’s Equitable Economic Development (EED) Fellowship. In 2016 and 2017, as part of the Equitable Economic Development (EED) Fellowship’s inaugural class, I had the pleasure of working with Mayor Strickland and the city of Memphis. NLC has been fortunate enough to continue collaborating with the mayor ever since, and

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Perspectives on the Urban-Rural Divide

This is the first post in a series about reducing the divide between urban and rural communities. The facts are stark. Economic change and recovery in our nation have resulted in vastly different opportunities and outcomes for individuals and families based on where they live. An urban-rural divide narrative is solidifying around these trends. It’s

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Seven Strategies for Data-Driven Economic Development

For cities, effective economic development demands informed, careful leadership from elected officials. Measuring the impact of economic development initiatives and projects can help city leaders determine whether they are meeting the needs of their community and local businesses. It’s important to point out that in the context of short-term political cycles, it may be tempting to stray

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