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Connecting Youngstown to Silicon Valley for Growth

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How do you go about the tough, on the ground work of rebuilding jobs and opportunity in a hard-hit part of the country? Where will the new investment and fertile business partnerships come from? Those were the questions raised last week when a group of 14 entrepreneurs and investors from Silicon Valley flew to Youngstown, Ohio to understand more about the economy in the Mahoning Valley. This is an area…

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What RI Is Doing to Create Economic Opportunity

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I’m from Rhode Island – if I’m from anywhere that is. (My father was an academic … and the only people who move more than academics are military men and women.) Recently, I had the opportunity to hear Gina Raimondo (D) speak, the innovative and courageous governor of Rhode Island. Governor Raimondo is doing a number of innovative things both to keep talent in Rhode Island and to create talent…

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The Pernicious Effect of the Housing Crisis on Manufacturing Jobs

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The housing crisis of 2007/8 is the very definition of the gift that keeps on giving. A decade later we see that much of the country continues to find it’s mobility negatively affected by the housing crisis. This is a surprising factor that is limiting growth in manufacturing jobs. In the past, if you were a worker in a Manufacturing plant with an advanced skill set and the plant closed,…

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What the Foxconn display plant choice tells us about the future of manufacturing in the United States and China.

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Hint: its not about repatriating old jobs at all. As President Trump is learning, it’s as so simple as badgering Apple to repatriate manufacturing of the iPhone to the United States.  Foxconn, the iPhone’s contract manufacturer suggests that there’s a bigger prize:  making the U.S. central to the supply chain for advanced screen display technology, with a large plant here in the U.S. which could add 10-50K jobs.  The iPhone is…

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White House, meet Burning Man: A Coda to the Obama Era

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An extraordinary coda to the Obama era is the story of the White House and Burning Man. As Dale Dougherty and I were developing the Maker City project, we worked with the White House to engage over 100 U.S. cities in making the pledges necessary to turn their cities and towns in Maker Cities. As I was leaving the White House one night two years ago I thought, “100 maker…

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Getting smart about manufacturing in the U.S.

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Some of our friends/partner have written a series of articles on why the Trump administration is going to have a (very) hard time moving the needle with manufacturing jobs. It’s not just that manufacturing jobs have moved to China. There are (at least) three other factors. Automation and the rise of robots to do the low-end work will eliminate many jobs entirely. What economists call “job density” meaning the number…

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Jeffersonian Dinner with Bill Eggers, Author of “The Innovators and Technologies That Are Transforming Government”

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“What government innovation in the last ten years has most changed your life?” In July, Civic Makers and the City Innovate Foundation co-sponsored a “Jeffersonian Dinner” — a loosely structured exchange of ideas around a central theme with a group of dynamic, engaging professionals. All attendees are asked to prepare an answer to one question to get the conversation started; side conversations are discouraged and everyone is asked to direct their comments…

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Chairman’s Letter – City Innovate Foundation

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By Peter Hirshberg Chairman, City Innovate Foundation Dear Citizens: The City Innovate Summit and the conversation we are having together here and now is a recognition that we have built a movement, that in the merest moment of time we have begun to change the way innovation comes to cities, how they can become more participatory and open. This movement is about 6 years old and started when the mayors…

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