Shared Prosperity and Opportunity for the Next Generation
When looking at the national numbers, the trend lines show a U.S. economy that has recovered from the Great Recession. Economic output has expanded, jobs have increased and unemployment has dropped to near pre- recession levels. Across the country and close to home, however, the recent prosperity has left too many people behind.
Inequality levels are at historic highs. Although job numbers have increased, median wages have stagnated at below 2007 levels.1 And while other areas of the country are booming, each of Connecticut’s metropolitan areas has struggled to achieve meaningful levels of growth and prosperity.
For Greater New Haven to fully prosper, it needs an economic expansion that reaches broadly into every community.
The Brookings Institution’s 2018 Metro Monitor Index of Inclusive Growth tracks economic performance according to three pillars of successful economic development: growth of an economy; prosperity as measured by the wealth and income produced by an economy; and inclusion in terms of how the benefits of growth and prosperity are shared.
Greater New Haven ranking among the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas 2006-16
- Growth: 74th
- Prosperity: 74th
- Inclusion: 61th
What the Community Foundation is Doing: Strategies for Promoting Inclusive Growth
During this time of growing inequality, The Community Foundation is committed to promoting an agenda of inclusive economic growth in Greater New Haven, providing benefits that are shared broadly among all residents.
The Foundation is calling on leaders in Greater New Haven to create an agenda for inclusive economic growth that not only benefits firms and professionals, but also reaches deep into neighborhoods that have struggled for decades. To help spur new ideas and approaches for this agenda, The Foundation invited Amy Liu, Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, as the keynote speaker for our Annual Meeting in April, and to meet with local public and private sector leaders. The Metropolitan Policy Program has advanced leading-edge work for how metropolitan areas can build their assets to create economic growth that is robust, enduring and widely shared.
Pathways from College to Career
New Haven Promise,The Foundation’s largest programmatic funding initiative, is creating a pipeline of educated and employable young people dedicated to Greater New Haven. Through the three pillars of its program — “To, Through, and Back” — New Haven Promise provides students with scholarships to schools of higher education in Connecticut (“To”); support and mentorship to ensure on-time graduation(“Through”); and meaningful job experience through paid internships with local employers (“and Back”).
|Promise scholars meet with prospective employers at the annual internship fair. Photo credit: New Haven Promise.
Robust and inclusive economic growth will be needed to provide the opportunities that will enable these young people to stay and build successful lives in Greater New Haven.
Opportunity in Distressed Neighborhoods
In 2012, ConnCAT was launched with seed money from The Community Foundation in order to provide skills and life opportunities to men and women who have struggled to find or keep jobs.
Modeled on Pittsburgh’s Manchester Bidwell Corporation — an internationally recognized arts and education center founded by MacArthur Fellow Bill Strickland — ConnCAT is located in New Haven’s Newhallville neighborhood. Learn more about ConnCAT's results.
Entrepreneurship and New Business Ventures
The Community Foundation uses Mission Related Investing to provide start-ups and small businesses access to the capital they need to grow and strengthen the local economy and create jobs. The goal is to create positive and sustainable social impact, with a focus in the Dixwell and Newhallville neighborhoods.
1. Shearer, Richard et al. Metro Monitor: An Index of Inclusive Economic Growth in the 100 Largest Metropolitan Areas. Brookings, March 2017.
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