Retooling for Growth

Building a 21st Century Economy in America's Older Industrial Areas

Slow job growth, declining home values, a diminishing tax base, and concentrated poverty are but a few of the growing obstacles for well-established but struggling cities. Challenged by decades of globalization, technological change, and dramatic demographic shifts away from the urban core, these former industrial powerhouses—particularly in the Northeast and Midwest—have been eclipsed by burgeoning American cities with a viable niche in the new economy.

In Retooling for Growth, experts present new frameworks, cutting-edge analysis, and innovative policy solutions through which the nation's government, business, civic, and community leaders can sculpt a sustainable and supportable economy for older industrial areas. The unique focus on rehabilitating weak market cities outlines ideas for reshaping the role of public agencies, the workforce, business organizations, and technology. Implementation of these measures addresses challenges such as fostering entrepreneurship, reducing poverty and inequality, and maintaining and augmenting the number of skilled professionals who reside and work in a community, among others.

This collection of essays offers practical, achievable strategies for revitalizing industrial areas and building upon the potential of existing but overlooked resources of economic, physical, and cultural significance. In this important volume, leading authorities provide a thought-provoking analysis of healthy economic development practices for both public and private sectors.

"The future health of our older industrial cities will be determined by their ability to adapt to these changes, reshaping local, state, and federal policies and harnessing the power of private investment to boost global competitiveness." From the Foreword by Bank of America chairman and CEO Kenneth Lewis and Governor Edward Rendell of Pennsylvania

Contributors: Chris Benne (University of California-Davis), Angela Glover Blackwell (PolicyLink), Pamela Blumenthal (George Washington University), Andres Cruz (Optimal Solutions Group), Laurel Davis (Optimal Solutions Group), Jeff Finkle (International Economic Development Council), Mick Fleming (American Chamber of Commerce Executives), Radhika Fox (PolicyLink), Kimberly Furdell (George Washington University), Shari Garmise (International Economic Development Council), Edward W. Hill (Cleveland State University), Pauline O. Hovey (Greene Education Foundation), Richard Kazis (Jobs for the Future), Randall Kempner (Council on Competitiveness), Kenneth Lewis (Chairman and CEO, Bank of America), Daniel Luria (Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center), Ann Markusen (University of Minnesota), Stephen Moret (Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce), Shari Nourick (Nourick & Associates), Jeremy Nowak (The Reinvestment Fund), Manuel Pastor (University of Southern California), Edward Rendell (Governor, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania), Joel Rogers (University of Wisconsin), Marlene Seltzer (Jobs for the Future), Greg Schrock (University of Illinois-Chicago), Mark Turner (Optimal Solutions Group), Rachel Weber (University of Illinois-Chicago), Harold Wolman (George Washington University and Brookings Institution).