NorTech, Cleveland Fed, Address Regional Economics and Building Inclusive Brain Hubs

NorTech, Cleveland Fed, Address Regional Economics and Building Inclusive Brain Hubs

Northeast Ohio is reeling from the effects of an economy too dependent upon 20th century manufacturing. As the 21st century advanced manufacturing sector attempts a slow rebound, one of the challenges facing the region is diversifying its workforce and entrepreneurial landscape to develop what Sandra Pianalto, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland calls a “brain hub.”

Johnathan Holifield - Sandra Pianalto












Johnathan Holifield, a co-founder of America21 and the Vice President of Inclusive Competitiveness at NorTech, a tech-based economic development powerhouse covering 21 counties of the Northeast, Ohio region agrees. But he adds that no region in the nation has yet to focus on investing in establishing inclusive economic frameworks, which are key to developing all communities of talent into productive contributors to a thriving local or regional innovation ecosystem, or “brain hub.”

Holifield and Pianalto spoke at a gathering of community and economic development leaders on Aug. 7, 2103, produced and hosted by the Center for Community Solutions Human Services Institute, the region’s longest-running educational event on health, social and economic issues. The event participants included hundreds from diverse organizations, including Cleveland State University, The Cleveland Foundation and PNC Bank.

Holifield says that without a vision of inclusive competitiveness, no region can achieve its economic competitiveness goals with a significant portion of its population contributing so little to the overall regional economy.

WKSU reporter, Kevin Niedermier produced this 4-minute audio segment below (click on the link), which includes an interview with Johnathan Holifield, Esq.

Johnathan Holifield and Sandra Pianalto on regional economics


Read Niedermier’s full report at WKSU.

See also:

Struggling Cities and the Promise of Inclusive Competitiveness (Johnathan Holifield featured in column at the Governing Institute)

America21 Report: Inclusive Competitiveness (21st Century Solutions to Avoid Economic Apartheid in America)

UPCOMING EVENT: Featuring Mike Green’s Saving America’s Black Boys Campaign and Johnathan Holifield as keynote speaker

Puget Sound Region Economic Solutions Summit

Aug. 16, 2013 at the William Factory Incubator in Tacoma, WA

Saving America’s Black Boys – Tacoma Economic Solutions Summit by Mike Green

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2 Responses to “NorTech, Cleveland Fed, Address Regional Economics and Building Inclusive Brain Hubs”
  1. Archie Brown says:

    I keep reading on this site about inclusive economics in the technology space. I understand the theory of it, but you must consider that every region in this country is trying to model their program after Silicon Valley, which is not by any means inclusive.

    I am not saying this to cry racism, because racism doesn’t bother me, because I do not expect anything from Silicon Valley, or white folks in general. I think that black people have to realize that it must start with us. We can not expect other people to educate, feed, clothe, lead or invest in us The more I read on this site, and others that talk about this issue, I wonder why black wealth is not held to the same accountability as white wealth.

    I don’t hear the black community calling out the black wealth about the location of their investments. If you did your research, you would find out that some of our wealthiest have their funds in venture and seed capital, but not so it can be invested with us. They would rather invest through the likes of Ron Conway, the so called, GOD FATHER OF SILICON VALLEY, which the last time I heard, he was not making his way to your local black community. If you could only be a fly on the wall, and check their portfolio, you would see where their investments are located, but then again, look at the lack of investments in black tech, and that will answer your question.

    I have no problem with where they put their funds, because they worked for it. It just amazes me that would even be having a dialog with white people about this issue, when we don’t have black people investing in us. I am about to move back to Atlanta, the so called black capital. I lived their for 20 years after I got out of the military until 2010, and there was not one black venture capital fund or black seed fund, that was available for black businesses, and especially in the tech space. I can almost assure you, that it is still the same, not just in Atlanta, but in black communities around the country.

    I really enjoy your site, just don’t enjoy reading inclusiveness in the tech space, when we don’t even have it in our own community. We have the wealth, passion, drive and intellect to create tech hubs in our community, but we do not have togetherness.

    I pray and hope that this changes very soon, because if not, the digital divide would be the least of our problems. We would become extinct by our own doing.

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