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Archive: Beth Siegel

No-Frills Manufacturing: Still A Major Job Prospect

Beth Siegel / Oct 29 2010

For Release Sunday, October 31, 2010

Beth SiegelIn our jobless recovery, where are the jobs of the future? Are big growth clusters the only real big opportunity? Is targeting clean energy and bioscience the preferred-above-all-others route? In the workforce field, should virtually all attention go to preparing people for health care and “green” jobs? How should cities and regions position themselves to turn the tide?

Missing from that familiar question list is a slice of the economy that’s significant, often communities’ greatest source of family-wage jobs: manufacturing.

That is not to say that no one is targeting manufacturing. Many communities have on their list of targeted clusters “advanced manufacturing,” as if using the term “advanced” gives one the sense that it is justified as a growth industry. In fact, this dichotomy between advanced manufacturing and traditional manufacturing does not represent the competitive environment. What is more relevant is that there are individual firms that can be competitive and there are many high-skilled jobs even in our more traditional industries.
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Is the Creative Economy Still Relevant?

Beth Siegel / Jun 04 2009

For Release Thursday, June 4, 2009

Beth Siegel

There’s more to the arts than their intrinsic value. The universe of drama, concerts, painting and sculpture also spells economic activity. And there’s something we’ve been calling a “creative economy” — the idea that beyond the intrinsic worth of arts, the culture and creativity they generate, there’s clear dollar and cents benefit for a community. And it’s not just tourism, inspiring learning among youth, drawing talented people to a city, even helping accelerate innovation in other industries.

Check the last months’ news, however, and you find the arts are struggling for economic oxygen. Every field from architecture to graphic design seems hard hit in this hard recession.

So what’s to be done — should we “forget” focus on the creative economy for the moment, or alternatively, forge strategies to support arts, develop creative enterprises more than ever?

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