Archive for People Power

Ohio Mid-Market 100 – Top Ohio Companies in 2018

Middle market companies drive the Ohio economy. According to the Ohio State University National Center for the Middle Market, middle market companies constitute only 3% of the US companies but account for 1/3 of all US jobs. The Montrose Group, LLC, a Columbus, Ohio based economic development and public policy consulting firm, annually develops and publicizes the Ohio Mid-Market 100 list to recognize growing and successful Ohio middle market companies producing high-wage jobs. The Montrose Group, LLC is partnering with the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Ohio (CCEO) to develop the 2018 Ohio Mid-Market 100 list. For 100 years, CCEO has been the central organization for local chambers of commerce executives to network and participate in critical professional development activities. Local chambers of commerce remain where business leaders gather to work together on common business, economic development and public policy issues for the improvement of the community. 2018 Ohio Mid-Market 100 companies must meet the minimum qualifications list below and come from a diverse geographic background across the state.

2018 Ohio Mid-Market 100 Minimum Qualifications:

  • For-profit Ohio-based business
  • Headquartered in the Buckeye State
  • Business pays above average wages, exceeding the national average of $17/hour
  • Business has revenues ranging from $10M to $500M
  • Growth of 20% accumulated over the past 3 years

Three Steps to Addressing the Challenge of Automation

Automation is not a new topic. It has been making America’s manufacturing industry the most competitive and productive in the world but it is also played a large part in dropping the number of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. About 9% of the US workforce is in manufacturing and this total has dropped from over 30% in the 1950s.  However, recent advances in machine learning, robotics and artificial intelligence are driving major changes in the economic marketplace all of which impact a region’s economic development strategy.  According to SAS, machine learning is a method of data analysis that automates analytical model building and, using algorithms that iteratively learn from data, machine learning allows computers to find hidden insights without being explicitly programmed where to look.  Robotics involves machines directly substituting for humans with human activity.  Artificial intelligence involves a machine mimicking “cognitive” functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as problem solving.  Occupations with the highest chance of being automated involve work that involve highly predictable physical activities as well as collecting and analyzing data.  Thus, occupations are more likely to change than be automated away.  Advances in computer software and the development of artificial intelligence is giving computers the ability to learn while the cost and ability of robots is making them more and more common place in the manufacturing sector.

By 2035, 47% of U.S. jobs might be at risk due to advances in machine learning, automation, and artificial intelligence according to a recent White House report. McKinsey estimates that almost half the activities people are paid almost $16 T in wages to do in the global economy have the potential to be automated through existing technology.  This may impact 2,000 work activities across 800 occupations and 60 M U.S. jobs.  Again, McKinsey estimates less than 5 % of all occupations will be fully automate, but about 60 % of all occupations have at least 30 percent of constituent activities that could be automated.  More importantly, automation is expanding beyond manufacturing into the service sector which dominates the US economy.  Restaurants, like the retail banks use of ATMs reducing the need for bank tellers, will become less of a job source.  The most important fact a community needs to consider related to automation’s impact on its economy is the fact that both blue and white collar jobs will be impacted in a negative fashion. Jobs that regions should focus on involve occupations managing others, specialized expertise such as scientific, engineering, computer or professional services, unpredictable physical activity and a large amount of stakeholder or customer interaction.

Addressing this automation challenge will not be easy and regions should focus on a three step plan.

  1. Compare regional industry strengths to what occupations will exist in 20 years. Traditional economic development strategy uses an industry cluster analysis to understand the economic strength of a region by measuring the jobs a particular community has in targeted, growing industries.  Automation dictates that doing an industry cluster analysis alone is simply not enough to prepare for the job shift coming.  A region’s industry cluster analysis must be compared and analyzed with an eye toward which of these occupational strengths will be gone in the near future.  As an example, a regional insurance industry leader with thousands of back office insurance jobs may want to plan for new industry growth around this highly skilled workforce as many of these claims representatives and underwriter positions will be lost to artificial intelligence software.
  2. Focus on redevelopment. Automation and technology will change America’s land use patterns.  What the Millennials are doing for Downtown housing and mixed use development will continue to be driven by e-commerce and driverless cars changing the face of retail today and creating new Smart Community’s.  E-commerce purchases over trips to the mall will create Grayfield Malls and driverless cars and trucks will transform our roadways and eliminate millions of transportation related jobs.  Parking garages in urban centers will become 24 hour buildings with fleets of driverless cars moving in and out to pick up passengers.  Grayfield Malls are new opportunities for logistics and fulfillment centers.  New, Smart Communities will provide enhanced governmental and transportation services.  Today’s parking lot and parking garage will have new life and potentially new uses.  All these land use changes driven by demographics and technology are signals that redeveloping existing sites is a major new economic opportunity to build communities attractive to the young, highly educated Milennial workers and help launch a new generation of start-up companies that every community is searching for.
  3. Build a STEM Initiative. One thing that has not changed is the economic advantage for regions focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields tied to technology based economic development.  These STEM jobs will succeed in the future while the growth of many high-wage, white collar advanced services occupations in financial services may be in jeopardy.  The economic reality of the 21st Century is that Amazon is approaching 300,000 employees while General Motors is sliding down closer to 100,000.  More importantly, regions with a strong base of STEM workers and a comprehensive technology based economic development strategy are positioned to develop the industries tied to automation- whether it is robotics or computer software.    These STEM occupations are good today but should be even better in the future but communities must take a proactive approach to making STEM jobs happen with comprehensive workforce development as well as company recruitment efforts built around these growing industries.

Automation is a scary topic but proper planning and executing on the development of a diverse, tech friendly strategy can position regions to succeed in these uncharted waters.

Five Trends Will Drive Economic Development in 2017

See your future… be your future—this advice from the movie Caddyshack may evoke laughter in many thinking of the actor Chevy Chase providing guidance to a young caddy in this 1980s film but understanding future trends has a major impact on economic development.  Demographic and economic changes coming matter to local and state policy makers, business leaders and economic development officials seeking to survive a global economy. Five trends will drive the economic success of local and state economies in the coming year. This trends include:

  • Automation
  • Millennials
  • Domestic Energy Production
  • Assault on Economic Development
  • FDI Growth

Automation is not a new topic. It has been making America’s manufacturing industry the most competitive and productive in the world but it is also played a large part in dropping the number of manufacturing jobs in the U.S.. About 9% of the US workforce is in manufacturing and this total has dropped from over 30% in the 1950s.  By 2035, 47% of U.S. jobs might be at risk due to advances in computers, automation, and artificial intelligence. Robot industry experts estimate the average fast food establishment will switch 1.2 workers from counter service to other tasks as remote order taking, delivery by robotic applications grow with the tipping point in 2020

Restaurants, like the retail banks use of ATMs reducing the need for bank tellers, will become less of a job source.  E-commerce purchases over trips to the mall will create Grayfield Malls and driverless cars and trucks will transform our roadways and eliminate Ms of transportation related jobs.

The importance of the Millennial generation will continue.  Millennials are the largest population pool in America right now.

This large pool of workers is a substantial economic asset for the nation and regions are battling to retain and attract this generation much more focused on quality of place.  Millennials like mixed use development patterns, are prone more to walk, bike or take an uber than drive their own car.  Big towns and small looking to recruit this generation need to revitalize their Downtowns into walkable, mixed use developments where people can live, work and play.

America remains in the Age of Energy.  While low oil and natural gas prices have slowed domestic energy production, the explosion of shale oil and natural gas is making America energy independent and creating a substantial opportunity to access reliable and cheap energy to retain and attract energy intensive companies in heavy manufacturing and technology industries where the cost of energy is a major factor when deciding where to locate.

A disturbing trend driven from the politics of the left and the right are attacks on economic development organizations.  The Speaker of the Florida House is attacking Enterprise Florida and legislation actually passed the House that would eliminate the organization.  Economic development organizations should watch these developments closely, develop economic development strategic plans to justify the use of tax incentives and to build stronger connections between companies and elected officials.

Finally, a major new growth opportunities lies in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).  China, who spent two decades sucking out American manufacturing jobs, now is shifting production and manufacturing facilities to the United States.  In fact, in 2016, China’s FDI in the U.S. was up 359%.  China’s manufacturing economy is the size of the American manufacturing economy.  Rising wage rates and an economic slow-down coming to China are driving Chinese money to the stability and strength of the U.S. economy.  Regions looking to grow should be sowing the seeds for a Chinese invasion.

Trends cannot be stopped but can be prepared for.  Communities adopting strategies to capitalize on these trends will be the economic leaders for the next several years.

Montrose 1st Quarter 2017 Economic Snapshot Illustrates Mixed Results

The 1st Quarter 2017 economic data illustrates mixed results for the nation and targeted states.

Demographic data is a strong indicator of the potential for economic success and regions demographic and economic indicators vary widely.

Personal income increased $57.7 B (0.4 %) in February, 2017, disposable personal income increased $44.6 B (0.3 %) and personal consumption expenditures increased $7.4 B (0.1 %).

Unemployment rates were lower in March, 2017 in 17 states and stable in 33 states and the District of Columbia and the national unemployment rate declined by 0.2 % to 4.5 %.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the U.S. continues to increase.  FDI in the U.S. grew to $420.7 B in 2015, an increase of 68 percent from 2014.

Total domestic energy production fell for the first time in years driven by low oil and natural gas prices according to the U.S. Department of Energy.  However, the United States remains on the road to energy independent driven by increases in natural gas production.

BGSU Center for Regional Development State of the Region Conference to Focus on Workforce

The 2017 Bowling Green State University Center for Regional Development again will host its annual State of the Region Conference on March 20, 2017. The event will provide an overview of economic conditions in our region as well as data and analytics on the current workforce in Northwest Ohio. The conference will also highlight innovative and actionable strategies for overcoming workforce challenges in our region, with a focus on strategies for bridging the generational divide between employers and the millennial workforce. Across Northwest Ohio, employers in sectors ranging from health care to manufacturing face a significant challenge in recruiting and retaining talent. Workforce challenges have many root causes including mass retirements, disjointed training programs, a lack of alignment between education programs and in-demand jobs, inadequate soft-skill development, and generational differences that result in a lack of understanding around workforce and career expectations. Despite these challenges, several organizations in our region and around the country are developing best practices for developing talent in this competitive environment. Hyland Software and Welltower, Inc. will share their strategies during the best practice panel following our keynote address by Lauren Rikleen, author of You Raised Us, Now Work With Us: Millennials, Career Success, and Building Strong Workplace Teams. The event is free and guests are encouraged to register at www.tinyurl.com/crdsor2017.

Kasich Proposes Workforce Agenda in HB 49

Following the release of the Governor’s Workforce Board Report, Governor Kasich proposed to implement his workforce development vision in HB 49 through a number of workforce development initiatives including:

  • Establishing Stronger Connections between Educators and Businesses: The governor’s budget increases business commitment at the local school board level by having superintendents appoint three, non-voting ex-officio business people on each school board and requiring teachers to engage in externships with businesses as part of their state licensure renewal and professional development plans.
  • Addressing the Skills Gap: The governor’s budget has higher education and K-12 collaborate to ensure that more students are prepared for post-secondary education and training by establishing transition classes for students needing remediation while still in high school and give high school credit for career exploration through work-based learning programs and provide an OhioMeansJobs designation to those students who demonstrate that they are job-ready.
  • Increasing Pathways to Employment: The governor’s budget aligns pre-apprenticeship programs with Ohio’s College Credit Plus program to provide college credit to high school students for completion of an approved pre-apprenticeship program.
  • Making it Easier for Schools to Provide Work Experience: Require public school districts to review and update their plans and policies to ensure that all students have the opportunity receive credit for appropriate work experience.
  • Leveraging the Strength of Ohio’s Public Library System: The governor’s budget positions libraries as “continuous learning centers,” and help adult learners access online programs to gain additional skills.
  • Encouraging Innovation in Our Classrooms: To continue to help schools implement their best reform ideas to improve student achievement, increase efficiency and tear down barriers to college and career training, the governor’s budget will allocate $30 million to the Straight A Fund.
  • A Continued Commitment to Mentoring: Ohio’s Community Connectors mentorship effort has sparked much interest in communities across the state, bringing together parents, schools, communities, faith and value-based groups, and businesses. The budget invests $20 million to support new community mentorship partnerships
  • Accelerated Completion of Technical Studies: Establishes a new program and appropriates funds to be used by the Chancellor of Higher Education to work with community colleges to develop a highly structured program to accelerate associate degree completion in fields that are either emerging or have in-demand jobs. Requires the Chancellor to select the initial Accelerated Completion of Technical Studies (ACTS) cohort of up to seven institutions through a competitive request for proposals process.
  • Completion and retention for educational success: Creates the Completion and Retention for Educational Success (Ohio CARES) Program to provide financial support to in-state undergraduate students admitted to a state higher ed institution or a private nonprofit institution but are in jeopardy of disenrolling due to a short-term lack of financial resources.
  • Finish for your future scholarship program: Chancellor creates the Ohio Finish for Your Future Scholarship Program to encourage eligible individuals that have disenrolled from an eligible institution to re-enroll at an eligible institution in pursuit of the individual’s first post-secondary credential.

Making American Great Again in Five Steps

Donald Trump’s surprise victory was driven in large part with a frustration that Washington is not doing its part to improve the American economy. As the Trump campaign noted, the growth in any nation’s gross domestic product is driven by four factors: consumption growth, the growth in government spending, investment growth, and net exports. By most measures, the growth of the American economy in the last 15 years has slowed substantially compared to the Post World War II Era. In part, the slowdown in the American economy is connected to deindustrialization—only 10% of American jobs are in manufacturing compared to 15% in 2001 and over 30% in the 1970s. America is losing high-wage manufacturing jobs and many regions have not found a worthy substitute for these lost jobs.

Reviving the American economy in many ways depends on recharging the Great Lakes region. Southern states have experienced much stronger economic growth than Great Lakes states over the past quarter century. Faster population and market growth, greater business investment, and greater Federal spending have accelerated this growth in the South. Trump’s victory was clinched by the Industrial Great Lakes as he captured the growing frustration that Washington D.C. is hurting not helping the manufacturing heavy Great Lakes States. The economic facts illustrate a steep decline in high-wage manufacturing jobs in the key battleground states of Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. These four key battleground states have lost 855,025 manufacturing jobs from 2001 to 2015.

decline_of_mfr_jobs_2015

As the chart above illustrates, the United States and the Great Lakes region have seen their share of its manufacturing economy decline steeply over the past decade and a half. Donald Trump’s promise to “make America great again” really hinges on redeveloping the Industrial Great Lakes.

However, reviving the Great Lakes economy cannot be done by developing more manufacturing jobs alone—building a more diverse and globally competitive regional economy is essential. Revitalizing the Great Lakes economy needs to center on developing high-wage jobs and capital investment in advanced services such as financial services and healthcare, high-technology such as information technology and bio-tech, global firms through foreign direct investment and exports, energy-led economic development, and manufacturing. These are the industries producing the high-wage jobs that can create a stronger, diversified American economy.

In five strategic steps, we can make American great again!

1. Reduce Corporate Taxes and Reward Domestic Investment.
The federal government operates a $4 trillion-dollar budget, funded primarily by income taxes on individuals and businesses.

fed_
The topic of tax reform often focuses primarily on tax rates, and not shifting what we tax. The Trump Tax Plan is focused on reducing the U.S. tax on corporate profits for all companies from an industrial world high of 35% to 15%, but companies would no longer be able to defer taxes on overseas profits, and he would cap business interest deductions and charge a 10 percent repatriation tax for overseas earnings. Reducing corporate tax rates paid by large and small companies alike and driving global investments back into the United States are good economic development policies.

Big Tax Idea. The federal government can learn a lesson from its state government partners about how high-wage job production is spurred when companies receive tax incentives. All fifty states provide tax credits, abatements, grants and/or loans to companies that agree to create jobs and make capital investments. A federal job creation tax credit could provide a similar incentive to companies choosing to invest in the United States and create high-wage jobs.

 

2. Build a Budget that Addresses the Infrastructure & Workforce Gap. The federal government operates primarily a social service agency. As the chart below illustrates, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other social service programs dominate the federal budget. While the American economy is likely too big for the federal government to influence through its government programs, federal government programs can have a major impact on regional economic development. Two areas that need attention include federal government spending for infrastructure and workforce programs.

fed_govt_funding_categories

Private sector leaders considering business expansion need the infrastructure in place at the site and skilled workers ready to work. Yet, these top business issues constitute a very small portion of the federal budget. The United States today invests in infrastructure about half of what it did at the beginning of the 1980s, and economic development projects that need roads, water, sewer, environmental contamination, power and other critical infrastructure are needed the federal government to fill the infrastructure funding gap. Donald Trump $1 trillion infrastructure proposal would be a catalyst for greater private sector investment. It is important that this massive new federal infrastructure program not just fund highways, roads, and bridges but also create a site development program that provides funding for infrastructure, including the delivery of power, to sites planned for development.

Big Infrastructure Idea. The federal government could create a program to set up mega sites prepared for development similar to Tennessee’s to develop large-scale sites ready for high-wage job development in partnership with private sector developers. This program could create a large funding stream to prepare for large scale developments at rural and urban sties to recruit a range of industries including manufacturing. The Tennessee Mega Site Program has lured several global auto manufacturers to the Volunteer State and served as a major driver of high-wage job creation

Addressing the workforce challenge is another critical piece in the Make American Great strategy. The federal government’s 47 workforce development programs have too little money and the sheer number of them illustrates their lack of focus on developing high-wage jobs. More importantly, trillions in welfare spending needs to shift the workforce development focus from the welfare recipient to the companies searching for workers.

Big Workforce Idea. The federal government should create one workforce development program and shift the funding to the states to operate their own workforce development program that funds employers who train their existing and new workers. North Carolina has a workforce training program that prepares workers in targeted industries, such as bio-manufacturing, to be certified and prepared for work with companies in those industries. This permits North Carolina to recruit global companies with the promise of workers ready to work in their industry.

 

3. Capitalize on All Sources of Energy. No sector illustrates current or future economic growth capacity more than the energy sector. Too often, Washington has made energy an ideological issue picking winners and losers among sources of energy. From small towns in South Dakota to the Appalachian Hills of Ohio and Pennsylvania to sundrenched Arizona and rainy Oregon, energy is a leading source of growth. The Make America Great strategy needs to embrace all sources of energy as needed and help regions and communities capitalize on whatever source of energy they possess. As the chart above illustrates, America has a diversified pool of energy sources. Natural gas and renewable energy has grown in recent years with increased domestic production driving down the costs for American consumers.

energy_consumption_sources

Federal regulatory policies attacking domestic energy sources such as coal cause substantial economic harm and should be stopped. For too long, the federal government has been driven by energy ideology. Federal environmental regulation has been designed recently to benefit certain sources of energy over others. American industry cannot run without a reliable and affordable source of energy. However, American energy policy ending the war on coal is not enough. Market realities make the short term domestic use of coal unlikely—shale developments have driven the price of natural gas to amazing lows.

Big Energy Idea. The federal government should be in the business of encouraging that energy production and distribution growth but also supporting the development of critical infrastructure needed to connect those energy sources to energy intensive businesses looking for power access. It should be the national energy policy to develop an energy-led economic development strategy using all sources of domestic energy focused on retaining and attracting energy intensive industries such as steel, chemical, paper, aluminum, data centers and others to the source of electricity or natural gas. Too often in many deregulated utility marketplaces, energy intensive businesses struggle to gain access to power because the utility companies lack a funding guarantee. A large portion of the federal government infrastructure program should provide funding to build the “last mile” of energy infrastructure to enable high-wage job creation. Federal matching funds could provide support for the last mile of energy pipeline and transmission line connections to energy intensive industries.

 

4. Address the Health Care Challenge. Few topics have as much political energy as does the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The Trump healthcare plan not only calls for the repeal of Obamacare but calls for legislation to give tax credits to the uninsured to pay for health insurance, allow insurance companies to sell health insurance across state lines, and allow people to deduct the cost of their premiums from their taxes. Trump has also proposed transforming the federal-state Medicaid program for the poor by giving block grants to the states, which would have flexibility to develop their own programs.

The direction of federal health care policy may also be driven in large part by the thinking of U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan. Speaker Ryan proposed a comprehensive health care reform initiative rejected by the Obama Administration that could well reappear. Ryan’s health care plan in part proposes to make health insurance portable and sales open across state lines, create a tax credit to support health insurance purchases by the uninsured, enhance health care pooling, reward employees for healthy choices, continue tort reform, mandate coverage for pre-existing conditions and permit young adults up to 26 years old to remain on their parents health insurance, and block grants funding for Medicaid to the states to permit them to determine how best this program should cover their citizens.

Big Health Care Idea. Federal funding for Medicaid needs to be turned into a block grant program for the states and states must be given the leeway to operate the health care program for the poor as they wish. A healthy population is a productive population and states need the flexibility with Medicaid funding to address this issue.

 

5. Build a High-Tech Midwest Economy. Donald Trump tapped into voter unrest about the underlying struggle of an economy that has been losing high-wage manufacturing jobs since the 1970s. The Industrial Great Lakes reflects this struggle. While regions such as Columbus, Indianapolis and Chicago grow as centers for highly educated, advanced services centers, too many other regions who were once industrial leaders in big towns and small are struggling. The Trump campaign recognized this challenge and pointed out that manufacturing as a percent of the labor force has steadily fallen from a peak of 22% in 1977 to about 8% today while competitors such as Germany and Japan still have 20% and 17% respectively of their workforce engaged in manufacturing. Furthermore, Trump identified further challenges with current trade policy in that Trade policy factors identified by the Trump that permitted currency manipulation, the equally widespread use of mercantilist trade practices by key US trading partners, and poorly negotiated trade deals that have insured the US has not shared equally in the “gains from trade” promised by textbook economic theory.

To address the trade challenge, Donald Trump became the most anti-free-trade GOP candidate since World War II. Trump advocated canceling the United States’ trade agreements if countries do not agree to renegotiate them, applying a 35% tariff on Mexican goods and a 45% percent tariff on Chinese goods and he opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Trump also advocated major tax reform changes to make America a more attractive market. Donald Trump’s economic plan also promises to dramatically reduce the regulation on business and the financial services sector to spur economic growth, cut taxes and spend big money on infrastructure.

However, addressing trade issues to increase America’s manufacturing sector back up 20% alone will not solve the economic dilemma of the Industrial Great Lakes. America has the most productive manufacturing workforce in the world and it only takes 170 people to manufacturing what it took 1000 in 1950. Lima, Ohio offers an illustration. Lima actually has 26% of its residents working in manufacturing but negative population growth, a vastly lower homeownership rate, median home value, bachelor degree attainment rate, and median household income but a poverty rate almost three times the national average as the chart below illustrates.

lima_ohio_snapshot

What Lima and many former industrial regions lack is a large quantity of skilled and college educated workers primed to succeed in the advanced services and high-tech jobs driving growth in neighboring Findlay and other successful small towns.

Big High-Tech Ideas. The Trump economic agenda needs to focus on diversifying the Great Lakes’ economy through the creation of high-tech jobs. First, these high-wage industries need skilled labor with a college degree. The Trump economic agenda needs to increase the number of skilled workers but also the college educated workers in the critical Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields that are high demand and produce higher wages. The creation of these STEM workers begins by addressing the crisis in America’s urban schools through funding to high-performing charter schools and promotion of shared services among America’s schools. Next, the federal government needs to shift funding priorities to encourage students to enter these STEM fields that the nation desperately needs.

However, support for STEM workers is not enough to transform the Midwest economy into a high-tech Mecca. Global Innovation Centers need to be created by the federal government through public-private-partnerships with states, regions and private companies to accelerate broadband services, create venture capital pools and provide funding for critical equipment at incubators, accelerators & research parks that spur technology commercialization. Ohio’s Third Frontier Program offers a strong national model for how the federal government can turn research into early-stage company startups as well as support larger scale research institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic to create products and services in growing markets.

Conclusions

The Trump Agenda is an opportunity for the transformation of the American economy by.

  1. Making tax reform a reality by rewarding domestic investments;
  2. Addressing the infrastructure and workforce gaps through smart budget decisions that devote public and private capital into these two critical areas.
  3. Implementing a national energy policy focused on all sources of energy focused on retaining and attracting energy intensive companies;
  4. Fixing the health care system without killing what is working; and
  5. Bringing the benefits of the tech sector to all parts of the U.S.

How this gets done is another matter. The Trump Agenda is clearly being hashed out all over the United States. Three clear steps exist to move this agenda forward:

  1. What are now bullet points on a Trump Agenda website need to be transformed into substantial policy proposals with the development of policy papers, budget and policy proposals and ultimately legislation.
  2. The leaders of the Great Lakes, both public and private, should gather to reach consensus on how the Trump Agenda can transform their economy based upon these policy proposals; and
  3. Driven at the local level, economic development, public policy and private sector leaders of the Great Lakes region need to connect with the Trump Transition Team, lead on domestic issues by Ohio’s own Ken Blackwell, to support the Trump Agenda and promote dramatic change in Washington’s economic development policy that returns manufacturing to its previous glory but also supports the growth of energy, advanced services, global firms and high-tech industries.