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26 Things Economic Developers Need to Know This Week

The stories Dane thinks you need to see. April 4, 2024 edition.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
5 min read
26 Things Economic Developers Need to Know This Week

Welcome to this week's issue of What Economic Developers Need to Know This Week, where we explore the evolving dynamics of our economy. 

This week we have 26 tools, stories, graphics, charts, and videos that I think you'll find informative, useful, inspiring, and perhaps even humorous. Some are economic development related directly, and some only indirectly. 🤔

If you're wondering what to do with the info in this newsletter, send something to your board members. It will make you look good!


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1) Tomorrow at 11 AM central, I'm hosting a demo of how Sitehunt for economic developers in communities under 20,000 people. If this describes you or your community, please sign up.


2) Great read: Perspectives on place-based policy: Strategies for workforce and economic development.


3) An interesting new book I'm reading: Shopping All the Way to the Woods: How the Outdoor Industry Sold Nature to America by Rachel S. Gross.

No escape to nature is complete without a trip to an outdoor recreational store or a browse through online offerings. This is the irony of the American outdoor experience: visiting wild spaces supposedly untouched by capitalism first requires shopping. With consumers spending billions of dollars on clothing and equipment each year as they seek out nature, the American outdoor sector grew over the past 150 years from a small collection of outfitters to an industry contributing more than 2 percent of the nation's economic output.
Rachel S. Gross argues that this success was predicated not just on creating functional equipment but also on selling an authentic, anticommercial outdoor identity. In other words, shopping for the woods was also about being--or becoming--the right kind of person. Demonstrating that outdoor culture is commercial culture, Gross examines Americans' journey toward outdoor expertise by tracing the development of the nascent outdoor goods industry, the influence of World War II on its growth, and the boom years of outdoor businesses.

4) How Gen Z is becoming the toolbelt generation: More young workers are going into trades as disenchantment with the college track continues, and rising pay and new technologies shine up plumbing and electrical jobs.


5) On the same topic: The rise of blue-collar power by Didi Caldwell.


6) Taxes and migration: New evidence from academic research.


7) Here's an excerpt from Andy Portera's upcoming ebook "How To Win At Rural Economic Development".


8) Insurance rates are soaring for us homeowners in climate danger zones: Research shows the soaring costs hint at widespread, unpriced risk as the global climate warms, with states like California, Florida, and Louisiana hit hardest.


9) Florida is not so cheap compared with New York these days: A surge in Sunbelt real estate prices erodes financial benefits for those attempting to relocate away from Manhattan.


10) U.S. offices are as empty as they've been in at least 40 years:



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