Complex Community and Economic Development Issues Demand Partnership and Innovation

Article excerpt

As signs of recovery in the national economy slowly emerge, community and economic development practitioners and stakeholders are taking stock of a new landscape, new realities, and new opportunities. Doing more with less is not anew paradigm for community and economic development professionals, but if we are truly seeking innovative solutions to complex community and economic development issues, we can no longer afford to think in silos--we have to put it all together.

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In 2011, fully integrated partnerships will be necessary. This means economic developers, community developers, workforce boards, education stakeholders, and local government representatives must come to the table ready to learn new perspectives, identify winning compromises, and execute ideas. This issue's cover story on the 12 for Life program in Carroll County, Ga., highlights just this kind of partnership, in which businesses, educators, and local government united to address low high school graduation rates and create a ready workforce. Our "CED Roundtable," with Dr. Rolando Montoya and Mr. Jim King, also identifies robust industry partnerships as a critical factor in allowing community and technical colleges to provide timely and relevant training programs to meet the immediate needs of local businesses. …