Key Issues and Opportunities in the New Economy

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The U.S. economy has shifted. Once driven by manufacturing and led by large corporations, it is now driven by technology innovation and led by entrepreneurship.  Between now and 2030, three key issues will dominate economic development.  How well we understand these changes and prepare our communities today will predict the health and vitality of our regions long term.

Tech-led entrepreneurship is driving most economic growth, yet a significant number of community and economic development strategies still focus on incentivizing the relocation of manufacturing. Some communities are bridging these changes by building entrepreneurship ecosystems and Innovation Districts.

Our workforce is undergoing a rapid and fundamental change: traditional industry jobs are being shed at alarming rates and incoming new jobs require a different skill set. Several solutions have emerged to better serve displaced workers, attract new ‘knowledge’ workers and educate workers of the future in innovative ways.

We must manage the generational leadership transitions already underway in our business community, at City Hall and in our organizations. Boom¬ers, Millennials and GenX leaders all bring needed talents to these turbulent times; how we manage incoming and outgoing leadership will accelerate or slow each region’s success in the New Economy.

Key Points and TakeAways

  • Technology innovation is responsible for nearly all current economic growth in the United States and is transforming how we work, live and grow our communities.
  • A new set of economic development policies and practices are emerging; moving us away from solely incentivizing manufacturing, to promoting technology innovation and New Economy industries.
  • Best practices in addressing the needs of displaced old economy workers, attracting ‘knowledge’ workers and preparing a new generation of workers for New Economy jobs.


Mo Collins

Mo Collins is a New Economy specialist with more than 20 years of public sector, non-profit and entrepreneurial experience. She has launched and scaled multiple tech-based economic development initiatives, earning both national and international awards and is a published academic and online author, writing on topics associated with technology innovation, networking and entrepreneurship. Look for her upcoming book WE: Women Entrepreneurs, for release in spring 2017.