Fund to Present Advance Northeast Ohio Plan to Federal Officials
Fund for Our Economic Future President Brad Whitehead presented Northeast Ohio's economic competitiveness strategy to federal officials and leaders from across the country on April 11 at a program hosted by the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.
The Fund has been working with regional partners and Brookings to pilot the development of regional business plans to accelerate economic growth. The plan developed for Northeast Ohio incorporates the strategies and initiatives being deployed to implement the region's economic competitiveness agenda, Advance Northeast Ohio.
Regional plans from Seattle and the Twin Cities will also be showcased at the Brookings program.
Whitehead highlighted how the Advance Northeast Ohio agenda has helped accelerate business growth, strengthen talent development, foster inclusion and promote more efficient local government. Elements of the regional plan developed with Brookings have been in place for years, and some elements are new initiatives. For example, a new initiative to expand small- to mid-sized manufacturers by boosting their capacity for product innovation is incorporated into the plan. That initiative, called the Partnership for Regional Innovation Services to Manufacturers, or PRISM, is being led by MAGNET, the region's manufacturing advocate.
Partners in Advance Northeast Ohio will use the plan to encourage the federal government to develop policies and programs that target the region's economic priorities. During the week of April 4 federal officials visited with Advance Northeast Ohio partners in Cleveland and Youngstown to explore developing a new initiative to support the region's economic priorities. The Fund, Greater Cleveland Partnership, NorTech, MAGNET and other groups have been working with Brookings for more than a year to promote such a program with federal officials.
"We hope this region-wide plan reflects the shared priorities of the region and coordinates the various initiatives under way to address those priorities," Whitehead said. "For some time institutions and individuals in the region have been calling for a more integrated picture of where our region is going and how we might get there. This plan is not a directive; rather it seeks to supplement and align the individual plans being implemented in the diverse communities of Northeast Ohio -- and to call out areas where we can work together. This plan illustrates how regional and local initiatives are aligned and how our region's assets can help local economic development efforts succeed."
The Fund will continue to work with the partners in Advance Northeast Ohio to update and enhance both the economic competitiveness agenda and the regional plan. Whitehead noted that a region as diverse and large as Northeast Ohio, no single plan can guide its growth. Nor can any plan that attempts to guide regional action be static.
"The global economy is constantly changing and that means the region will need to continuously update this plan so that the we can take the actions needed to strengthen our economic competitiveness," Whitehead said. "The Fund will continue to work with its partners in Advance Northeast Ohio to refine and update both our competitiveness agenda and this more detailed business plan."
Highlights, including video and audio downloads, from the Brookings Metro Business Plan event are available for download.