An Innovative Approach to Economic Development

Having been involved in economic development initiatives many years ago for the City of El Paso, I realize how challenging it is to recruit new organizations into a community. Companies consider so many factors: city infrastructure, employment base, education, transporation, tax abatements, and many other things. Cities like San Antonio were very innovative years ago when they focused on creating economic development opportunities around specific industries like healthcare before it was on anyone’s radar. Now the medical industry is one of San Antonio’s largest employers. Today I came across another innovative idea – this one being driven by higher education to rebuild urban communities. Legislation in congress called the “ Urban University Renaissance Act of the 21st Century” focuses on helping rebuild neighborhoods in urban areas around the country. What a great idea. The law would award grants to institutions of higher education to establish and maintain community outreach partnership centers and expand existing community engagement activities that address urban problems.  What better way to rebuild communities than by investing in education?

8/31 – Update

St. Mary’s in San Antonio is already following this approach. Read how. h/t  @StMarysU