CRCOG and the CRCOG Foundation co-hosted their third workshop on June 17th as part of the agency’s Next Generation Economic Development series. The program, entitled Anchor Institutions, Neighborhood Involvement and the Innovation Economy, drew nearly 100 attendees and featured keynote speaker Genie Birch, Co-Director of Penn’s Institute for Urban Research (see photo at left), Michael Kelly, Executive Director of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, Jane Baird, Board Chairman, Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (SINA) and Michael Morand, Office of Public Affairs and Communications, Yale University. An extensive response panel, moderated by Tom Condon, included Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, New Haven’s Economic Development Administrator Matthew Nemerson, State Senator Steve Cassano, Dawn Grant, Program Officer at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and Richard Manson, Program Vice President, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).
The workshop broadly focused on national and local best practices, strategies and challenges concerning leveraging anchor institutions as key engines of economic growth and neighborhood revitalization. Important takeaways included: transit and density matter; identify your region’s competitive advantage—highlighting assets instead of overplaying challenges; successful community development efforts focus on a shared destiny and are often realized through strategic partnerships (corporate leadership, government, philanthropy and neighborhoods); and anchor institutions can be instrumental towards supporting the local economy, through procurement and employment opportunities, as well as direct capital and neighborhood investments. Handouts, presentation materials and CT-N’s event coverage can all be accessed on CRCOG’s new website at http://crcog.org/crcog-foundation/.
CRCOG plans to host several additional economic development-based workshops in the coming year, focusing next on Industry 4.0 and attracting and retaining millennials. The agency will partner with the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving to arrange a joint debriefing session to discuss lessons learned and next steps based on CRCOG’s Next Generation series and HFPG’s Progress Points sessions.