Inclusive Growth

Inclusive Growth

Build On The Energy

Sep. 25 Convening

At The Foundation Convening, "Creating a Future of Opportunity," keynote speaker Tawanna Black, Founder and CEO of the Center for Economic Inclusion challenged local leaders to not be complacent in the face of persistant racial and economic inequality.

View Event Recap

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. For Greater New Haven to fully prosper, it needs an economic expansion that reaches broadly into every community.

An inclusive growth agenda

While there is no silver bullet for creating an inclusive economy, The Foundation's work will be guided by the following questions:

  • How can our community create greater opportunity for local residents in the future?
  • What are the skills that local residents will need to take advantage of expanded opportunity and what kind of education and training will be required to provide those skills?
  • How can growth and opportunity serve to bring local residents together and to create the shared future vision that will drive our progress as a community?

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The Numbers

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: 61st


A call to action 


Download Amy Liu’s presentation: Inclusive Economies in a Disruptive Age: How local leaders can advance growth, prosperity, and inclusion.

The Foundation is calling on leaders in Greater New Haven to combat these trends with a commitment to promoting 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 2018 Annual Meeting.

Highlights from Liu's presentation:

  • Greater New Haven has a rising number of jobs in young firms.
  • The economy must be more inclusive. Despite a recent increase in jobs, economic disparities have widened. Wages for African Americans have declined and jobs have migrated further away from neighborhoods with concentrated poverty.
  • Rapid changes in technology and demographic trends threaten to make inequality worse if nothing is done.
  • Mega deals attracting out-of-state corporations are not the answer. Startups and local business expansions create the largest share of jobs and hold the most promise for growth.
  • Inclusiveness is good for business because broad prosperity feeds more economic growth. 


“Inclusive growth is not a program. It requires a cultural shift in our mindset. It is not just a moral imperative. It is an economic necessity.” – Amy Liu 

More about inclusive growth


What the Community Foundation is doing


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 is providing capital funding to local start-ups and small businesses with social missions through Mission Related Investments (MRIs). Recent New Haven-based ventures receiving MRIs include Sea Greens Farms and Holberton New Haven.

Works Cited

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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