Archive for November, 2009

2/3’S OF ALL JOBS ARE CREATED BY YOUNG SMALL BUSINESSES

November 25, 2009

KAUFMANN – WHERE WILL THE JOBS COME FROM (more…)

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT LEADERSHIP “The Mayor of Hell” John Fetterman, Braddock PA.

November 24, 2009

ATLANTIC ARTICLE

Economic Development Leadership –

Everyone wants it but not many have it!

Meet John Fetterman, one of the 27 “Brave Thinkers” designated in the November 2009 issue of Atlantic Monthly magazine.

Fetterman made the rounds of Indiana recently stopping at Notre Dame for a presentation at the Hesburgh Program in Public Service about Reimaging Post Industrial Towns.

Fetterman, first elected in 2006 chronologies efforts during his 1st and 2nd terms in office to “save” the distressed city Braddock Pennsylvania

Braddock in the thriving 50’s & 60’s had a population of about 30,000.  Today bankrupt, Braddock’s 75% African American residents  have a median household income of about $14,000 with 30% being unemployed.  Another interesting fact is 55% of the students have at some time been suspended from school.

Braddock, a one-time regional commerce center, lost all of its downtown businesses.  Median home prices now range about $5,000 with over 1,ooo once occupied, now vacant, home sites abandoned to city ownership.

Fetterman, a Harvard Public Policy graduate, came to Braddock to work with disenfranchised youth and adopted Braddock as home.

He uses the traditional menu of redevelopment tools coupled with a passion for success, repurposing buildings, artisan regentrification, anchoring a large-scale attraction, urban agriculture, homesteading and youth employment.

Two themes gathered from his presentation  important to all economic and community developers –

      “Poverty is equal opportunity punishment”

       “Better to do nothing than something that fails’

Interesting study of leadership – as Fetterman stated in his presentation “how does a white ‘biker looking due’  living in an African American community with severe social and poverty concerns rise to political leadership.”

Visit his web site  – http://www.15104.cc/

Chuck Eckenstahler

WHY WE HAVE GHOST TOWNS IN THE MIDWEST.

November 22, 2009

Why do we have ghost towns in the Midwest? 

Richard Longworth answers this by examining transportation……the movement of resources from supply origin to demand destination.

Chroniceling the growth of the Midwest from its earliest times, Longworth traces the history of transportation from water transport, to rail and then highway.

As the Midwest moved from one mode to another there were winners and loser communities, some grew and other became “ghost towns”.

He suggests that human intellect “manufactured”  by some 17 global and nationally known higher education institutions is the Midwest resource of the future.

This resource is mobile via the internet and is easily transportable evidenced by the exodus of highly educated young people from the Midwest to other locals viewed as better places to live.

Longworth suggests “Place Matters”.  To retain this resource communities with “Power of Place” –  “territorial endowments” and “social capital” will succeed in capturing this resource.  Others may not succeed and be future ghost towns.

A must read for every community planner and economic developer.

Chuck Eckenstahler

Michgan School “Rightsizing” – Alternatives and Financial Benefits

November 20, 2009

MI SCHOOL DEMOGRAPHICS AND FACILITIES 

With knowledge that Michigan School Districts will need to permanently or temporarily close  schools, this paper explores a process to examine whether closing is necessary, when is the optimum time to close and whether a permanent or temporary reduction in school capacity is needed.

Occupancy cost analysis is provided for a 20-year term for three scenarios 1) do nothing, 2) close and “mothball” school facilities with the intent of future reuse, and 4) closing and disposal of school facilities.

Analytical process considers K-12 population growth (or decline) and student capacity of existing facilities. 

The paper “The Declining Population Demographic and Impact Upon Educational Facilities Supporting K-12 Education in Michigan” was presented at the Michigan State Land Policy Institute Conference April 2009.

(more…)

Michgan Statewide School Infrastructure

November 20, 2009

MI EXCESS CLASSROOMS

 “Rightsizing of Schools Districts:” to become a community planning priority.

(more…)

Michigan Economic Development – op ed

November 18, 2009

ED .SPEAK 5 11 09

Chuck Eckenstahler opinion of Michigan Tax Increment Financing as principal tool for local economic development