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Economic Development

The creation of quality jobs in a challenging economy requires rethinking existing strategies. The Federal Reserve and the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) have partnered to offer free podcast interviews with economic development practitioners and academics. Podcasts cover innovative postrecessionary economic development strategies, emerging trends in job creation and workforce development, small business trends, and health care issues.

Podcasts are free to use but are subject to our legal notices.

Strategies to Mitigate Rural Poverty Using Human and Social Capital
August 2014
One outcome of the recent recession is that rural poverty rates are the highest since the mid-1980s. Mil Duncan, founding director of the University of New Hampshire's Carsey Institute, discusses the issues facing the rural poor in an Economic Development podcast.
Play (MP3 10:28)Transcript

Should Microbusinesses Matter to Your Local Community?
July 2014
Microbusinesses are a proven job-creation vehicle and promote economic growth. An Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) report suggests their size and impact has implications for local economic development. Kim Alleyne, at AEO, provides highlights from the report in this Economic Development podcast.
Play (MP3 9:33)Transcript

Competition to Incentivize Community Change: Working Cities Challenge
June 2014
The Working Cities Challenge seeks to spur collaborative leadership in Massachusetts's smaller cities and help improve low-income residents' quality of life. Prabal Chakrabarti, at the Boston Fed, and Jessica Andors, at Lawrence Community Works, discuss the initiative in an Economic Development podcast.
Play (MP3 14:55)Transcript

Measuring What Matters: Tracking Success in Economic Development
May 2014
How can economic development practitioners best measure and track their strategies' outcomes? Tim Chase, of the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, and Swati Ghosh, of the International Economic Development Council, discuss their research findings in an Economic Development podcast.
Play (MP3 13:01)Transcript

Economic Gardening: A Homegrown Approach to Growth
April 2014
How effective are economic development strategies that seek to grow local entrepreneurship and small businesses? Todd Johnson at Gallup and Dell Gines at the Kansas City Fed explore the successes and challenges associated with this approach in an Economic Development podcast.
Play (MP3 12:47)Transcript

Evolution of the Ecosystem: State Workforce Development Agencies
March 2014
State workforce development agencies are crucial in deploying federal funding related to job training and placement. In this Economic Development podcast, Rich Hobbie of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies and Burt Barnow of George Washington University explore how these agencies are evolving as funding streams change.
Play (MP3 11:56)Transcript

Help for Difficult to Employ Populations: Colocating Jobs and Training Opportunities
February 2014
Can business models be designed to support low-income populations by providing jobs, necessary training, and other support services? In an Economic Development podcast, Carla Javits and Jason Trimiew at the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund discuss their proposal for viable businesses that also include a workforce development component.
Play (MP3 12:55)Transcript

Global and Local Reach: Gauging the Impact of Immigration
January 2014
What are the economic development implications of immigration, and how can communities leverage immigrants as key workforce assets? Denny Coleman of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership and Michael Iacovazzi-Pau of Greater Louisville Inc. discuss findings from a recent IEDC report in an Economic Development podcast.
Play (MP3 14:57)Transcript

Small Business and the Modern Workplace
December 2013
What are the challenges facing small business after the Great Recession? Ty Barksdale of Sutton Bank and Jake Rouch of Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership describe demands of the current workplace, including that workers be adaptable, collaborative, agile, and entrepreneurial, in an Economic Development podcast.
Play (MP3 10:19)Transcript

Small Businesses, Big Effects: Investing in Microenterprises
November 2013
Microenterprise development initiatives can help to create and grow businesses and, in many cases, much needed jobs. Elaine Edgcomb and Tamra Thetford at the Aspen Institute discuss their proposal for encouraging microenterprise investment as a job creation strategy in an Economic Development podcast.
Play (MP3 12:25)Transcript

What Workers Really Think: Perspectives from the Front Lines
October 2013
Attracting and retaining workers is vital to the success of employers and communities. Carl Van Horn of Rutgers University's Heldrich Center for Workforce Development discusses the center's research on U.S. workers' perspectives on employment conditions and the future of the workplace in a new Economic Development podcast.
Play (MP3 8:29)Transcript

Equity-Driven Expansion: A Unique Model for Economic Development
September 2013
Large-scale economic development strategies can help facilitate job opportunities for low-income and minority populations. In this Economic Development podcast, Victor Rubin and Sarah Treuhaft at PolicyLink discuss their proposal that infuses economic inclusion into these strategies as part of the "Big Ideas for Job Creation" project.
Play (MP3 14:12)Transcript

Solving the Revitalization Puzzle? Putting the Pieces Together
August 2013
Some economic development efforts have expanded beyond traditional strategies to address a more comprehensive set of issues, including neighborhood revitalization. In a new Economic Development podcast, Shirley Franklin, CEO of Purpose Built Communities and former Atlanta mayor, discusses an approach that encompasses many stakeholders and yields beneficial community results.
Play (MP3 9:05)Transcript

Aligning Regional Workforce Efforts: An Effective Industry-Informed Strategy
July 2013
Regional collaboration can be an effective approach in responding to labor demands of local employers. In this Economic Development podcast, Laura Chandler of the Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Council and Sam Covert of the Mobile Area Educational Foundation discuss how robust coordination among local workforce development players leads to more successful management of industry partnerships.
Play (MP3 12:58)Transcript

In the Neighborhood: Where Economic and Community Development Meet
June 2013
Disinvested areas of cities must often combine community and economic development efforts to achieve the goals of both. In this Economic Development podcast, Rick Sauer and Lynn Martin Haskin of the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations discuss how local institutions can support economic development at the neighborhood level.
Play (MP3 11:43)Transcript

People-Centered Practices: Improving the Workforce Potential for Those with Disabilities
May 2013
How can the workforce development system better respond to people with disabilities? Kathy Krepcio, of Rutgers' Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, and Michael Morris, of National Disability Institute, discuss innovative programs and policies designed to ensure this sector is poised to meet employers' labor needs.
Play (MP3 14:32)Transcript

Employer and Lower-Wage Employee Perspectives on Training and Advancement
April 2013
There is value for both the employee and employer in enhancing the skill sets of lower-wage workers. Mark Popovich of the Hitachi Foundation and Jenny Benz of the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research discuss findings of a recent study on this topic and implications for policy and practice.
Play (MP3 11:17)Transcript

Revitalizing Downtown through Entrepreneurship
March 2013
Many cities support entrepreneurs as a way to create jobs, increase investment, and restore vitality, especially in the urban core. In this Economic Development podcast, Ray Leach from JumpStart and Joe Marinucci of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance discuss how communities can create a thriving entrepreneur base through innovative approaches to support services and by reimagining partnerships among local organizations.
Play (MP3 12:51)Transcript

A Case for Greater Company Participation in Workforce Development
February 2013
How can employers be effective partners in improving the local workforce ecosystem? Peter Cappelli, professor and director of the Wharton School's Center for Human Resources, discusses how firms can provide on-the-job training for skills needed within their organizations.
Play (MP3 8:39)Transcript

Women Entrepreneurs Mean Business
January 2013
What are the current trends in female entrepreneurship? Alicia Robb, senior research fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, discusses recent data on women-owned firms and the challenges and opportunities in expanding this sector.
Play (MP3 11:25)Transcript

Why Connecting Economic and Workforce Development Matters
December 2012
Christopher King, director of the Ray Marshall Center at the University of Texas's LBJ School of Public Affairs, discusses how the country's shift to a knowledge-based economy has brought the fields of economic development and workforce development closer over the past 10 years.
Play (MP3 10:21)Transcript

Metrics for Success: Critical Elements for Workforce Development Programs
November 2012
How can workforce development programs achieve the greatest impacts with limited budgets? Elizabeth Weigensberg, senior researcher at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, discusses her recent research on the most successful workforce development program components and provides recommendations for how existing programs can be more effective.
Play (MP3 15:18)Transcript

Collaborative Efforts: Colleges and Nonprofits Partner to Enhance Workers' Skills
November 2012
Maureen Conway of the Aspen Institute discusses the results of the Institute's Courses to Employment project, which analyzed how community colleges and nonprofits worked together to help low-income adults succeed in the classroom and labor market.
Play (MP3 8:22)Transcript

Working Solo: Trends in the Growing Self-Employment Sector
October 2012
Stephan Goetz, director of the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, discusses his recent research on the growing impact of self-employment as an economic development strategy. He also describes the types of local programs and policies that can support this sector.
Play (MP3 9:38)Transcript

Generating Jobs in Challenging Times: A Texas-Sized Story
August 2012
How can a city create an attractive business climate and leverage its unique assets to gain and retain jobs? The Greater Houston Partnership's Craig Richard discusses an approach that has worked in his city to propel significant job growth despite the weak national recovery.
Play (MP3 8:19)Transcript

From Textiles to Turnaround: A Tale of Two Cities
July 2012
Many cities have experienced the contraction of a once-dominant industry. The Richmond Fed's Kim Zeuli examines two North Carolina cities—Concord and Eden—that lost their textile employment base and learned to adapt to changing conditions.
Play (MP3 11:25)Transcript

Power in Partnerships: Addressing Workforce Development Challenges
June 2012
Workforce development issues require collaboration across sectors and geography. Damian Thorman, national program director at the John L. and James S. Knight Foundation, discusses the importance of public, private, and philanthropic partnerships in addressing local and regional workforce challenges.
Play (MP3 9:59)Transcript

Closing the Gap: Improving Minority-Owned Small Firms' Access to Credit
May 2012
Small minority businesses typically pay higher interest rates and receive smaller loans than nonminority-owned firms of similar age and size. Tim Bates, professor of economics at Wayne State University, explores ideas to increase access to capital so minority companies can create jobs and expand.
Play (MP3 12:58)Transcript

Can the Jobs Gap Be Filled through Temporary Public-sector Positions?
March 2012
Philip Harvey, professor of law and economics at Rutgers University, discusses how his proposed direct job creation program would create temporary public-sector jobs, and in the process, help reduce unemployment.
Play (MP3 8:46)Transcript

Tax Relief? An Innovative Proposal to Nurture New Entrepreneurs
February 2012
Bob Friedman of the Corporation for Enterprise Development discusses how federal tax preparation assistance for new businesses and the self-employed could facilitate job creation.
Play (MP3 8:41)Transcript

Trash to Treasure: Turning Waste into Jobs
January 2012
Instead of sending waste to landfills, a municipal approach that prioritizes the reuse, recycling, and remanufacture of materials can provide a range of new jobs. Georgia Tech's Nancey Green Leigh discusses how to create jobs from the waste diversion process.
Play (MP3 10:24)Transcript

Retrofitting Institutions: Feeding Job Growth with Energy Hogs
January 2012
Satya Rhodes-Conway and James Irwin, senior associates at the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, discuss how retrofitting public and institutional buildings spurs job creation in the real estate sector while reducing building operating costs.
Play (MP3 13:59)Transcript

Regional Innovation: When the Sum Is Greater than the Parts
December 2011
Economic development practitioners can foster strategic collaboration among regional concentrations of firms and industries to support job growth and investment in their communities. John Fernandez, the U.S. assistant secretary of commerce for economic development, discusses how to develop and maximize the effectiveness of regional economic development strategies.
Play (MP3 13:03)Transcript

The Doctor Is In: Economic Development Strategies in Health Care
December 2011
The health care sector has been an important source of new jobs in this economy. Dr. Ricardo Azziz, president of Georgia Health Sciences University, discusses the importance of the sector to the economic well-being of communities and how its growth can help catalyze economic development.
Play (MP3 10:39)Transcript

Social Networks' Role in Rebuilding Communities
August 2011
In a podcast, Atlanta Fed staffers Ann Carpenter and Nancy Montoya discuss the chapter they coauthored in the new book Resilience and Opportunity: Lessons from the U.S. Gulf Coast after Katrina and Rita. Their discussion explores the role of social networks in rebuilding communities.
Play (MP3 21:54)Transcript

Should CDFIs Join Your Job-Creation Team?
August 2011
CDFIs (community development financial institutions) are playing a growing and evolving role in job creation across the country. Donna Gambrell, director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury's CDFI Fund, discusses CDFIs and how they contribute to economic development in this second half of a two-part podcast.
Play (MP3 10:12)Transcript

Giving Credit Where It Is Due: CDFIs in LMI Communities
August 2011
Donna Gambrell, director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury's CDFI Fund, describes how community development financial institutions differ from other financial institutions and discusses their impact on low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities in this first half of a two-part podcast.
Play (MP3 7:43)Transcript

View from the Top: New Perspectives on Familiar Concepts in Economic Development
June 2011
Job creation and retention are top priorities for most communities across the nation and around the world. Jeff Finkle, president and CEO of the world's largest economic development membership organization, discusses how successful economic developers adapt to current issues, including the economic downturn, regionalism, and globalization.
Play (MP3 9:47)Transcript

New Economy, New Roles: Economic Development Organizations and Jobs
May 2011
Economic development organizations must develop and execute job creation programs in today's difficult economy, even as their budgets are reduced. Denny Coleman, president and CEO of the St. Louis County Economic Council, discusses how local organizations can still add to the quantity and quality of local jobs.
Play (MP3 11:57)Transcript

Not Your Father's Factory Job: Manufacturing and Economic Development
May 2011
Jay Moon, president and CEO of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association, discusses the increasingly technical and specialized skills needed to support advanced manufacturing. These skills, he says, are creating a greater focus on working with business, industry, and educational partners to develop a better skilled workforce.
Play (MP3 11:56)Transcript

Small Things Really Matter: The Important Role of Microenterprise in Job Creation
April 2011
Microenterprises, which employ about 20 percent of the U.S. private-sector workforce, have been especially important since the recent recession. Connie Evans, president and CEO of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, discusses how economic developers can grow local jobs by supporting microenterprises.
Play (MP3 13:16)Transcript

The Job Hunt: New Clues for Small Business Job Creation
April 2011
Newly available data provide fresh insights into employment in the small business sector. Brian Headd, economist in the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy, explores the changing relationship of small business to jobs.
Play (MP3 7:45)Transcript

Healthy Workforce=Competitive Advantage
March 2011
Today, more companies consider the health of the local workforce when deciding where to locate or expand a business. Dr. Rhonda Medows, chief medical officer and executive vice president for UnitedHealth Group's public sector programs, discusses job trends and how economic developers can improve their communities' competitive advantage by improving the health of the workforce.
Play (MP3 9:37)Transcript

Ready to Work? The Long Term Impact of Child Health on Economic Development
February 2011
Chronic illnesses, including diabetes and high blood pressure, contribute to worker absenteeism, decreased productivity, and increased insurance costs to employers. Greater focus is being placed on preventive health care, including a closer look at children's health. Dr. Jay Berkelhamer, past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, discusses trends in child health and their implications for workforce development.
Play (MP3 10:15)Transcript

The Intersection of Medical Training and Economic Development
February 2011
A critical shortage in medical professionals, especially in rural and low-income areas, is a challenge facing medical colleges. Dr. Wayne J. Riley, president and CEO of Meharry Medical College, discusses the future of medical training and its implications for economic development.
Play (MP3 8:09)Transcript

Who Will Treat the Sick? Emerging Trends in the Hospital Based Workforce
January 2011
Hospitals and their satellite operations are facing human capital frictions as the public demands the latest treatments in the most upgraded facilities and as they prepare to respond to new legislation. Dr. Stephen Newman, chief operating officer with Tenet Healthcare Corp., discusses these workforce challenges and opportunities.
Play (MP3 7:39)Transcript

Healthy Businesses, Healthy Communities: Identifying and Responding to Local Small Business Challenges
December 2010
Small businesses are recognized as job creation engines as well as contributors to the economic vibrancy of the neighborhoods where they are located. Dr. Lisa Servon, former dean of Milano the New School for Management and Urban Policy, discusses the effects of the economic downturn on small businesses and local communities and approaches to promoting economic development in a time of major financial constraints and challenges.
Play (MP3 9:14)Transcript

Fact or Fallacy: Can Self Employment Improve Economic Opportunities for Low Skilled Workers?
December 2010
For some low-skilled workers, self-employment appears to be the best opportunity to improve their earnings, but is it? Dr. Magnus Lofstrom, research fellow with the Public Policy Institute of California, discusses whether self-employment improves the earning power of low-skilled workers as well as economic development policies that local and state governments could consider to help this vulnerable population.
Play (MP3 9:11)Transcript

Bridging the Gap: Overcoming Minority Small Business Performance Disparities
December 2010
Minority-owned small businesses make significant contributions to the U.S. economy, but there are still distinct disparities in business performance between minority-owned firms and nonminority-owned firms. Dr. Robert Fairlie, professor of applied economics and finance at the University of California Santa Cruz, discusses how minority-owned small businesses have fared in difficult economic conditions and policy options to address these challenges.
Play (MP3 7:56)Transcript

The Role of Technical and Vocational Schools in Easing Job Skills Mismatch
November 2010
Technical and vocational schools are well positioned to provide practical training that meets the needs of local employers. James King, vice chancellor for the Tennessee Technology Centers, discusses how these schools can partner with employers and position their graduates to thrive in today's emerging job sectors.
Play (MP3 12:35)Transcript

On the Rebound: How Resurgent Cities Generate Jobs and Investment
November 2010
Older cities once focused on manufacturing have faced declining fortunes for some time. Even with the economic recession adding new pressures to economic development strategies, some of these cities have managed to reinvent themselves into vibrant job centers. Dr. Yolanda Kodrzycki of the New England Policy Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston discusses the lessons these resurgent cities have for other communities.
Play (MP3 11:13)Transcript

Three in One: Growing Jobs, Developing a Workforce, and Stabilizing Neighborhoods -
September 2010
Current economic conditions have inspired practitioners and policymakers to think more deliberately about the overlap between economic and community development. The combination of fewer local businesses, fewer jobs for residents, and increased foreclosure rates has hastened holistic, neighborhood-based approaches. Tony Cipollone, vice president for Civic Sites and Initiatives of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, discusses how neighborhood-based economic and community development projects are working to create more vital and vibrant neighborhoods.
Play (MP3 13:32)Transcript

Getting to Work: Community and Vocational Colleges Explore New Paradigms for Workforce Development
September 2010
Community, technical, and vocational colleges play an important role in preparing the workforce for the immediate labor demands of local employers and promoting full employment in their service regions. However, current economic conditions have challenged traditional models, prompting revised and sometimes new approaches. Dr. Rolando Montoya, provost at Miami Dade College, the nation's largest nonprofit institution of higher learning, discusses how a community college can nimbly adjust its curriculum to respond to the fast-changing workforce needs of local businesses and strengthen local economic development.
Play (MP3 14:26)Transcript

Jobs That Matter Most: Driving Economic Growth in New Orleans's Post Katrina Economy
August 2010
Like many cities that have heavily depended on a few key industries, employment and workforce development have long been a challenge for New Orleans. But the economic and natural disasters of the past five years only exacerbated the situation. As New Orleans continues to rebound from Hurricane Katrina, job growth and a more resilient economy will depend on simultaneously leveraging historic industry assets while growing new ones. Dr. Allison Plyer, co-deputy director at the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, discusses the vital role of New Orleans's export industries from her recent report, Jobs that Matter Most: Regional Export Industries in the New Orleans Area.
Play (MP3 11:45)Transcript

Counting on Quality Jobs: Transforming the Economic Development Landscape
August 2010
Creating quality jobs and rebuilding the middle class in a global, knowledge-driven economy requires new strategies, new partners, new goals, and new metrics of success. The role of economic developers has expanded to include everything from technology transfer to attracting retail that will expand a community's tax base. Putting this all together in an economic development strategy can be challenging. Dr. Shari Garmise, vice president for Knowledge Management and Development for the International Economic Development Council, discusses the findings and case studies compiled in the recent report "Creating Quality Jobs."
Play (MP3 13:18)Transcript

Revitalizing Urban Industrial Sectors: A Roadmap for Diversifying the Economic Base
July 2010
Creating a broad range of high-quality jobs in the urban core is a daunting economic development challenge, that is only exacerbated by the current economic climate. Using Atlanta as an example, Dr. Nancey Green Leigh, professor of city and regional planning at the Georgia Institute of Technology, discusses a roadmap for protecting and energizing an industrial sector as a viable source of job growth and economic investment.
Play (MP3 10:27)Transcript

Sweet Charity: Foundations as a Source for Community and Economic Development
March 2010
The overlap between economic development and philanthropy is growing. While we most often think of foundations as being involved in community development, they play increasingly more important roles in economic development. Douglas W. Nelson, retired president and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, talks about how foundations can support economic development as sources of flexible capital and data-driven policy advocacy.
Play (MP3 15:17)Transcript

Banking on Economic Development: Financial Institutions and Economic Development—A Changing Paradigm
February 2010
The importance of financial institutions in economic development efforts has varied by region. As communities struggle with funding economic development efforts, some are re-engaging banks in new ways. Indeed, the financial crisis has re-framed the banking sector's models of economic development deals. Bill Best, senior vice president for Community Development at PNC Bank and chair for the International Economic Development Council, discusses the key role banks play in community and economic development efforts during a time of recovery.
Play (MP3 8:39)Transcript

Resources Matter: Protecting the Environment While Growing the Local Economy
February 2010
Economic growth and the preservation of natural resources are increasingly interdependent. Chris Clark, commissioner of Georgia's Department of Natural Resources, discusses the very real and important connections among economic development, community development, and the sustainable use of natural resources, an interdependence that leads to productive industries and thriving communities.
Play (MP3 14:31)Transcript

A Brand New World: Why Sustainability Matters in Modern Economic Development
January 2010
Increasingly, communities are approaching economic development efforts within a sustainability context. Federal funding support has also shifted toward projects and programs that emphasize sustainability concepts. Edward Blakely, professor of Urban Policy at the University of Sydney, Australia, discusses how the economic crisis has transformed how we think about economic development finance and how communities can craft their economic destinies within the global economy.
Play (MP3 9:02)Transcript

Closing the Deal: Effective Incentives during Fiscal Challenges
January 2010
The financial climate has limited the availability and effectiveness of traditional economic development tools. States and counties are challenged to identify innovative strategies to promote economic growth and employment. Reagan Farr, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Revenue, discusses how Tennessee has adapted its incentive policies to attract investment and grow jobs in the midst of the nation's worst recession in decades.
Play (MP3 8:35)Transcript


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