September 1, 2019

The Dallas Sessions

It started over craft beers early evening, continued over Thai food later in the night, resumed the next morning over coffee and ended about noon. About seven hours in all.

These were the Dallas Sessions, a follow up to me spending four days in Washin...

August 25, 2019

Corporate America's New Promise

It was a sign of the times: The Business Roundtable, a group of chief executive officers of nearly 200 major U.S. corporations, issued a statement with a new definition of the “purpose of a corporation.”

The re-imagined idea of a corporati...

August 19, 2019

One Way to Attract Talent: Buy It

When skilled workers and firms in a similar industry are located near one another, it’s much easier to find talent with specialized knowledge.

These people will for the most part stay in the area, and go from one job to another, because...

August 11, 2019

Worse Than Bad

It was or rather is ostensibly an economic development website for a county in Kentucky, which is a good state for economic development.

But this particular website, which proclaims that the county is "open for business," (I've never heard that one before....

August 4, 2019

How many Washington, Jefferson, Jackson and Monroe counties are there in the United States? I have no clue. I could research it, but I won't.

Here is my point: I frequently get newsletters from economic development organizations, and sometimes it takes considerable scro...

July 28, 2019

When an economic developer gives me a tour of his or her community, invariably they will show me their best -- the assets that they would want a company to see that is considering investing in operations there.

But then I throw them for a bit of a loop: "Ok, now that I'...

July 21, 2019

I recently did a SWOT analysis for a rural community, where I noted that vacant, blighted buildings in the downtown was a problem that needed to be addressed.

Vacant and blighted housing is not just an urban problem. I see it in rural areas and small towns, which can ha...

June 14, 2019

We are witnessing a tale of two very different Americas, in which some people and entire communities are being left behind. It doesn't have to be this way. 

If you boil it down to its most simplest elements, economic development is about investing in people and inf...

June 3, 2019

When you read of the spate of store closures -- more than 7,150 have been announced by U.S. retailers so far in 2019 – you cannot help but think that something very big is happening.

And so it is. But to call it a "retail apocalypse," a phrase that has gained some popul...

May 15, 2019

Over the years I have come to realize that the wealth of a community is in its people. That is true for nations, states, major metropolitan areas, and small towns.

People make the difference. People matter. When I think of people and places, two inexorably linked phrase...

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