What Real-World Economic Development Success Stories Can We Share?

ribbon cutting representing economic development success

Economic development success stories are commonplace in flourishing cities and regions. Many other cities and parts of the world linger behind. So what we are asking if for you to share you successes so that others can learn. What's working right now for you? What lessons have your learned from your experiences in both the Great Recession and the recovery?  If you are beating the odds in an area where loss of manufacturing or mining jobs has led to population loss and income decline, how are you doing it?

Using the form at the bottom of the page, give us a couple of good paragraphs, just informal and blog style, about what has happened somewhere recently. If we publish your story, which we will if it is understandable to others, you will have a web page that can be used in social media or other publicity.

What are the transferable lessons we can learn from your city or area? Sometimes economic development is just dumb luck, but probably not. So what should we know about the successful job creation ventures?

In a still sometime cautious economy, business investment in new jobs has seen a very gradual increase since the recent recession. Automation, robots, and online shopping are reducing the number of workers needed in sectors such as manufacturing, wholesale, and retail. Driverless vehicles threaten the many jobs provided for people who drive trucks, taxis, and busses. In a surprising number of places, the largest single occupation is that of driver. So we predict that automation and technology will make job growth challenging and continue to frustrate people who lack the skills currently in demand.

Other areas suffer because international trading partners can provide needed goods more economically than domestic producers. While business usually seeks rational solutions, the impact of dislocations on communities can be severe.  Tell us how you are surviving and thriving.

In times such as these, we suspect that economic development success stories will emphasize new collaborations, homegrown businesses that don't rely on luxury spending, appropriate levels of government support if genuinely necessary, taking advantage of existing designations of disadvantaged areas for special treatment, and careful and imaginative pursuit of community-based solutions for business problems faced by major employers.

Below you'll find a form where you can enter some narrative about what you have learned, keeping details of specific investments as vague as you wish. You also can send up to four photographs, which would be a nice but not essential addition to this category.

This site is rich with economic development concepts and good sense, as opposed to all the hype generally associated with this specialty. Let's keep it that way as we try to focus on practical tips for the new reality in U.S., Europe, and world economics.

What's Working Right Now in Economic Development?

Have you had a success in economic development in the last couple of years? We mean, since things sort of fell apart in September, 2008. Please share it, so others can learn new ways to get their cities and towns back on track.

Other People's Economic Development Success Stories

Click below for more contributions.

Formerly Boarded-Up House Found New Life Not rated yet
Editors Note: We had to change our site visitor's original title for this piece, due to some technicalities about the way the site works. But the author's …

Old industrial site and redevelopment Not rated yet
Is ownership of an old industrial site a constraint to redevelopment? I've been told that this commercial zoned land I bought once was some kind of old …

A Transit Oriented Development Fable Not rated yet
Once upon a time there was a little light rail system that didn't think it was anything special. It didn't think that it deserved to have potential riders …

Click here to write your own.

  1. Community Development
  2.  >
  3. Community Development Ideas
  4.  >
  5. Economic Development Success Stories

Subscribe to our monthly e-mail newsletter, called USEFUL COMMUNITY PLUS, which provides you with short features or tips about timely topics for neighborhoods, towns and cities, community organizations, rural environments, and our international friends. Unsubscribe any time. Give it a try.