On Monday, the Madison Regional Economic Partnership (MadREP) and the Urban League of Greater Madison, hosted Susan Longworth of the Federal Reserve Bank Chicago to present on "Conclusions from Conversations about Economic Inclusion from the Midwest."
Longworth focused on rates of unemployment, family poverty and labor force participation along with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as she reviewed her recently co-authored publication by the same name.
Conclusions were drawn from focus groups with 175 participants in 13 medium-sized Midwestern cities experiencing varying rates of unemployment, family poverty and labor force participation. Many of the locations represented older industrial cities with limited public and philanthropic resources, challenging demographic trends and a loss of manufacturing employment opportunities. Her presentation highlighted preexisting barriers and divisions; residents’ suggestions on what leaders can do to create sustained economic resilience; and considered implications for inclusive policy and practice.
After an informative presentation, MadREP Vice President Gene Dalhoff facilitated a question and answer session with Longworth and the event’s 50+ attendees. “Susan’s work provided an important glimpse into how leaders in several cities in the Midwest view the challenges and opportunities associated with economic inclusion in their communities,” said Gene Dalhoff, MadREP V.P of Talent & Education. “It is important conversations such as this that are, and will be, necessary to move the needle in creating local economies that benefit all populations.”
The discussion was streamed live on Wisconsin Eye and is still available on their website.