Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

ARS Forum Focuses on Building Economic Competitiveness in Regions

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

ARS Forum Focuses on Building Economic Competitiveness in Regions

Article excerpt

What do Hartford, Conn.; Fresno, Calif.; and White County, Ill., have in common? In all of these cities municipal leaders and others are implementing dynamic approaches to ensure the vitality of their local and regional economies.

In this age of new economic challenges, innovative strategies such as the Hartford-Springfield Economic Partnership, the Fresno-Clovis Regional Jobs Initiative and the White County Economic Development Group prove that cities can and are acting regionally to build competitive economies.

Last month municipal, business and civic leaders met during the Alliance for Regional Stewardship (ARS) Forum in Chicago to explore the important role of regional approaches.

A new monograph released at the meeting noted, "Clusters of communities acting as regions are large enough to achieve a critical mass of companies, institutions, infrastructure, and talent--yet small enough to allow for the close interactions among people, firms and organizations required to innovate and ultimately compete in the global economy."

In his discussion of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP), Ted Abernathy, executive vice president, stated that one of the main hurdles to achieving success in his region has been providing a stable structure to support the variability of business leaders and the local concerns of municipal leaders.

To address these challenges, leaders of neighboring counties came together to develop a RTRP, a public-private partnership of economic development agencies that work collaboratively to market the collective assets of the 13-county Research Triangle Region of North Carolina for the economic benefit of its communities. …

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