Acronyms Can Affect Economic Development
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.
According to the U.S. Department of Education:
“In an ever-changing, increasingly complex world, it's more important than ever that our nation's youth are prepared to bring knowledge and skills to solve problems, make sense of information, and know how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions. These are the kinds of skills that students develop in science, technology, engineering, and math, including computer science—disciplines collectively known as STEM/CS. If we want a nation where our future leaders, neighbors, and workers can understand and solve some of the complex challenges of today and tomorrow, and to meet the demands of the dynamic and evolving workforce, building students' skills, content knowledge, and literacy in STEM fields is essential. We must also make sure that, no matter where children live, they have access to quality learning environments. A child's zip code should not determine their STEM literacy and educational options.”
Inflation, Cost of Living, Unemployment and Economic Development
These days it seems that nearly everyone has an opinion about the state of our nation’s economy, and the subject of inflation is at the forefront of these debates. The administration tells us there is no inflation. On the other hand the Federal Reserve says it’s just temporary. It does make you wonder how both can be true.
The simple definition of inflation is prices of goods rising over time and the value of currency declining. It takes more money to buy what we need. Some spend instead of saving because they know their money will buy less and earn less in the future. Many refer to inflation as a hidden tax. The middle class and the poor are affected the most of course. Those on fixed incomes really suffer.
Is Big Tech A Threat to Economic Development?
Amazon has now surpassed Walmart as the nation’s leading retailer, purchasing more than 100 companies since its inception. They own portions of many other companies and have plans to purchase more in the future. It seems like they sell everything. We are addicted to ordering from Amazon due to low prices, vast choices and fast delivery.
During 2020, the Covid “lockdowns” caused many businesses to close their doors. At the same time, Amazon’s sales increased by 38%, making $386 billion dollars. Many local businesses were deemed “non-essential” and had to close their doors for a period of time – some never to reopen
History - Why It is Important to Economic Development
Why is history important to economic development?
History is part of what creates a sense of place. You will often here that phrase in economic development. A community wants their place to be a desirable destination.
Every city or town has some kind of history and some interesting, quirky and/or beautiful features.
In my economic development work, I have had to examine many community websites. Some are good and some are bad. The good ones dedicate some space to showcase the unique attributes of the community. Everyone has something to highlight. Some just don’t take advantage of this opportunity.
Borders, Immigration and Economic Development
Why do we have borders? What are they for?
Borders are organizational tools, aren’t they? Countries are defined by their borders on the map. They are also defined by their laws, government leaders at all levels and often language and culture. Governments control their borders and protect their borders.
Borders also define states and counties. While economic development is often regional in aspiration, results are often specific to counties and cities.
Without borders we wouldn’t know where we are. We wouldn’t know what laws might be different depending on how many miles we drove in any direction. We could get in a lot of trouble.
Safe Neighborhoods and Economic Development
Are Inextricably Entwined
Did you know the Department of Justice has a nation-wide Project Safe Neighborhoods program? Their website states:
“…the program is based on the fundamental principle that law enforcement agencies and communities must work together to address violent crime to make our neighborhoods safer”
PSN is a community-based violence reduction strategy in which each local program is designed to address the specific violent crime problem in each district. Every U.S. Attorney across the country is implementing a PSN program tailored to the needs of his or her district.”
The Family & Economic Development
What does the family have to do with economic development? I will answer that question, but please bear with me for a moment.
During this, very different, Christmas season, it is even more important to value and cherish our families.
This is especially true in light of the attack on the family. Yes, the attack. An unfortunately-prominent activist group has published on their website, their goal of eliminating the “nuclear family.” This family unit has two parents and any number of children. Several years ago, someone wrote children should be raised by a “village.” The nuclear family, of course, in no way, reduces the positive impact of the extended family.
Freedom and Economic Development
Thanksgiving in Florida
One could argue the United States has been a great location for economic development. It must be, since millions of people have always come from other countries to start a new life. This of course, includes starting a new job or business. We can look back to the Mayflower this Thanksgiving season to find an example of this travel to America to obtain freedom and the desire to have more control over one’s destiny. The United States has become the most powerful, influential and prosperous country in the world. We have also been the most free.
Fair, Free and Democratic Elections
Can Economic Development Survive without them?
We are in the midst of our national election. As American citizens, we have the right and the privilege to vote. We need to feel confident our process is fair. Our freedoms are most evident when we exercise our right to vote. Our country is based on a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Economic development depends on these freedoms. There are plenty of examples where lack of fair and free elections prohibit freedom and economic development.
Is the U.S. Seeing a Manufacturing Renaissance?
October is Manufacturing Month. In that light, let’s take a look at how manufacturing is doing in the United States, Florida and Okaloosa County.
In 2018, 264,000 new manufacturing jobs were added in the U.S. This represents the highest number of new workers since 1988. As a percentage of total workforce, manufacturing rose for the first time since 1984.
Manufacturers in the U.S. added 499,000 jobs from November of 2016 to May of 2019, expanding by 4.0%.