• Economic development was the top issue for mayors in their annual State of the City addresses for the fourth year in a row, according to State of the Cities 2017, a report recently released by the National League of Cities. The report explains: 66% of state of the city speeches included significant coverage of economic development issues. Much of the coverage was positive, describing "jobs created and developments built." Wages and employment are generally up, while unemployment rates are down.  The top five economic development topics (in order) were: job creation business attraction downtown...

  • Last week’s announcement that economic development leader extraordinaire Michael Finney will become president and CEO of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council is a great opportunity to highlight an innovative incentive program Mike created and implemented while serving as head of Michigan’s state economic development organization. Community Ventures promotes employment and social enterprise in the state’s most distressed urban areas by helping structurally unemployed individuals pursue career opportunities at Michigan companies. The program works through: Employer grants – typically wage reimbursements for employers to cover in-house training and costs related to hiring...