R5: Jobs & Economic Development
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m. EDT
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In an ideal world, Economic Development Organizations and Planning Departments would continually and consciously coordinate efforts to maximize the effectiveness of policies and strategies to increase employment and grow the economy. In reality, this is not always the case. Search through a random selection of Comprehensive Plans from around the country, and you may not find a comprehensive plan with a strong economic development component, or economic development will be mentioned only within the context of growing residential communities and populations. As the City of Baltimore has learned, you can’t grow the City without growing the economy, on a local, regional, and statewide basis. Employment and commuting data support this conclusion. Of the jobs in Baltimore, 66% are held by people who live outside the City, while 54.2% of City residents travel outside the City for work. In addition, the jobs within Baltimore have the third highest average annual income in the State of Maryland, while at the same time residents of the City of Baltimore have the lowest median income in the State. Our economy is a regional one, whether we planned it that way or not. Another lesson we’ve learned is that in order to retain and grow employment in the city, land use protections are necessary to preserve land available for employment-based activity. The City of Baltimore’s Maritime Industrial Zoning Overlay District (MIZOD), and newly proposed zoning code are examples of local policy designed to accomplish that goal, but without collaboration and partnerships with local and regional economic development organizations, land use controls alone cannot guarantee success. This session will explore best practices that are being implemented, new ideas for strengthening links between local, regional and statewide planning and economic development initiatives, and some of the challenges involved in these initiatives. Peter Conrad, AICP and David Dahlstrom, AICP, representing the Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) will discuss its ongoing role in promoting sustainable growth on a statewide basis, including a new initiative tentatively called “Placing Jobs”. Jill Lemke, a Planning Supervisor with the City of Baltimore Department of Planning, will discuss ongoing efforts to preserve land for maritime and industrial development that will have an impact on the larger regional economy, while creating partnerships with local economic development and regional planning organizations to promote long-term economic growth throughout the region, including participation in the Opportunity Collaborative. Richard Griffin, Director of Economic Development for the City of Frederick, MD, will share his insights and potential best practices on promoting stronger linkages at the local level. James Palma, a Senior Manager with the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, will introduce planners to current economic development trends that are affecting the economy, and discuss the various economic development programs and resources that can be used to increase employment and strengthen companies in their communities.