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Integrating Sustainability and Economic Development

17 Apr

Promoting environmental sustainability and pursuing economic development strategies have typically been considered two separate and (often) competing goals. But times are changing, and a growing body of evidence supports the notion that sustainability typically delivers more enduring and broad-based economic returns. Cities across the continent are beginning to wed environmental sustainability to economic development, looking at investments in a sustainable economy as one tool to build broad-based prosperity. Continue reading

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Living Up to the Potential of Clean Transportation

17 Apr

Transportation accounts for a sizable share of our carbon output. In 2006 almost a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions came from the movement of goods and people. As we continue to tackle the task of curbing emissions from this unwieldy and varied sector of the economy, local governments and policymakers are devising techniques to integrate clean transportation investment into larger sustainability and economic development goals. Everyone seems to agree that we need to invest in improved (and more sustainable) transportation infrastructure, but a coherent transportation investment strategy that serves as a driver for economic development still seems to allude us. Continue reading

LADWP’s Pre-Craft Utility Program

16 Apr
Image from PEO, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives: http://www.flickr.com/photos/acwa/8461634441/sizes/h/in/photostream/

Image from PEO, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives: http://www.flickr.com/photos/acwa/8461634441/sizes/h/in/photostream/

California has long been a national leader in energy efficiency and clean energy, investing upwards of $6 billion a year across both sectors. Many of these investment dollars are held by public and private utility companies. This substantial investment in energy also presents a unique opportunity for utility companies to be drivers of economic development, leveraging their investments to create and transform jobs in the construction and utility sectors. Continue reading

Brooklyn Navy Yard

19 Mar

Revitalizing the manufacturing sector in the U.S. is an important economic development strategy to create well-paying middle class jobs.  Cities throughout the United States are piloting ways to advance this goal.  New York City is developing this strategy through the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a 300 acre, city-owned industrial park along the Brooklyn waterfront.  At its peak, the Brooklyn Navy Yard produced warships for the U.S. Navy. Today, it houses 330 businesses in film, media, design, and cleantech sectors, and employs about 5,800 people. Continue reading

For the Love of Manufacturing

18 Feb

The role of manufacturing in the global economy is changing. For years, technology has supplanted less-skilled work that used to be performed by humans. So-called “smart machines” are threatening to eradicate scads of high-skilled, middle class, and professional jobs that once seemed safe. At the national level, there has been much debate about how best to harness these advances in technology and productivity while still retaining the manufacturing sector as a critical component to build (and sustain) the U.S. middle class. As we’re grappling with how best to deal with the realities of the manufacturing sector, let’s look at some interventions that show potential to connect trained workers with advanced manufacturing jobs. The ideas that are gaining the most traction bring the public and private sectors to the table to help design worker training programs that meet the specific needs of today’s employers. Continue reading

Stepping Up for Veterans

13 Dec

Between 2011 and 2017, some 24,400 veterans will return from Iraq and Afghanistan. That has many groups asking what we can do to support our soldiers when they return home. Unfortunately, the employment landscape for veterans isn’t looking great.  Continue reading

Los Angeles: Measure J – Accelerate Traffic Relief and Job Creation

17 Oct

We’ve covered this measure before, so this will be brief.

THE PROPOSAL: If approved, this bill would extend the half-cent sales tax approved by voters in 2008. By extending the sales tax, the local transportation authority will be able to qualify for new financing options and can accelerate the timeline for completing a series of transit projects. Continue reading