A Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago report is profiling several communities hit hard by manufacturing job losses. Fort Wayne and Gary are among 10 Midwest cities examined as part of a larger initiative highlighting state and regional relationships, job competition policies and macroeconomic forces. You can view the full Industrial Cities Initiative report by clicking here, as well as the profile of Fort Wayne by clicking here and Gary's profile by clicking here.

May 20, 2014

News Release

CHICAGO, Ill. – Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago researchers recently published profiles of 10 Midwestern cities that experienced significant manufacturing job loss in recent decades.

The cities are Aurora and Joliet in Illinois, Fort Wayne and Gary in Indiana, Cedar Rapids and Waterloo in Iowa, Grand Rapids and Pontiac in Michigan, and Green Bay and Racine in Wisconsin.

The profiles include insight from various local leaders on the cities' actions in the wake of the job loss that have either helped or hindered redevelopment efforts.

“We did this to help the residents of these Midwestern cities better understand the approaches that contributed to their rebound,” said Susan Longworth, a member of the Bank's division of Community Development and Policy Studies (CDPS) and editor of a book, Industrial Cities Initiative, that contains the profiles. “These profiles can also serve as a springboard for discussion by community leaders in other cities to help them understand what approaches are working in other places confronted with similar circumstances.”

The profiles were written as part of a project also called the Industrial Cities Initiative (ICI) and are based on interviews with a variety of community leaders involved in redevelopment efforts. The ICI looked at the cities' conditions, trends and experiences and concluded that efforts to improve their economic and social well-being are shaped by:

-Macroeconomic forces: Regardless of their size or location, these cities are impacted by globalization, immigration, education and training needs, demographic trends including an aging population, and the benefits and burdens of wealth, wages, and poverty.

-State and national policies: State and national policies pit one city against another in a zero-sum competition for job- and wealth-generated firms, say economic development leaders.

-The dynamic relationship of the city and the region in which it is located: Regional strengths and weaknesses to a large extent determine the fate of the respective cities.

The following is a link to the complete ICI project report, which includes the individual city profiles:


Source: The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

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