5 on Friday: Fuel for Thought, November 17, 2017

posted on Friday, November 17, 2017 in Blog

by Steve Dust, CEO, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber


Remember: 5 on Friday is a two-way street: please send me recommendations on books, reports, articles, blogs, videos, or anything you're reading or watching that impacts business and the economy.

ONE: Logistics Disruptors

Logistics is a big business in the Cedar Valley. Companies move materials in and products out to fulfill the needs of businesses and consumers — all over the globe. Just last night, Tesla unveiled an electric/battery-powered semi-transport. The PDF attached is a good, high-level research summary on the disruptors in the logistics space. These are things the Cedar Valley must pay attention to, from the perspective of current and future economic activity, and tax base for local government.

[PDF] THE TOP 5 DISRUPTIVE Trends Shaping Transportation and Logistics.September 2017, The Business Insider Research Team, September 2017

TWO: Will Iowa Grads Stay?

Here's an overview of how Iowa is doing when it comes to keeping our grads at home. Use the Data Tool provided on this page to dig deeper into your industry.

Iowa College Student Retention, Iowa Workforce Development, 2017 Report

THREE: Economic Inclusion

This an excellent and well-documented, but lengthy, report from Brookings on how economic inclusion across sectors benefits the firm and the worker, as well as the overall regional economy.

A key point early in the report: One reason for this is that faster metro-level growth creates the tight labor markets that make broad-based wage gains more likely. One study found that a 10 percent increase in metropolitan employment raises average real earnings per person by around 4 percent. These gains are greater in percentage terms for African-Americans, lower-income individuals, and workers with less education.

Opportunity for growth: How reducing barriers to economic inclusion can benefit workers, firms, and local economies, Joseph Parilla, Brookings Institution, Thursday, September 28, 2017

FOUR: State of New Economy Index

Although this particular ranking only puts Iowa in the middle of the pack of states, you should be pleased with the progress made at the state level to accommodate the New Economy. This progress isn't necessarily picked up in the Index.

The Index measures new economy activity, regardless of the particular focus of a regional or state economy. However, a defining trend of this era is the degree to which all have become more reliant on innovation as new technologies have become critical drivers of productivity and competitiveness.

The publisher of the Index, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF), is one of the most credible and knowledgeable voices in tech and innovation policy and practice.

The Index measures the degree to which state economies are knowledge-based, globalized, entrepreneurial, IT-driven, and innovation-based. The report then discusses overarching strategic issues facing states, examines the role of large and small businesses in driving growth, and finally discusses a number of innovative models around the nation to spur workforce training and technology commercialization.

This message aligns very nicely with the second of three goals for our Greater Cedar Valley 2021 economic development initiative: Target Technology for Growth, recognizing that it's the best allocation of our scarce talent resource, moving us farther, faster in creating wealth and economic vitality in the Cedar Valley.

The 2017 State New Economy Index: Benchmarking Economic Transformation in the States, Robert D. Atkinson and J. John Wu, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, November 2017

FIVE: Irvine CA’s proposal to Amazon

I've become more curious about Irvine, California because our youngest son, Andrew, and his spouse, Emily, moved there this week. (She's a data scientist with a United Healthcare-related firm.) Irvine has been known as the safest city in the nation since the early 1990's.

Irvine is the home and playpen for billionaire Donald Bren, the wealthiest real estate developer in the nation. Starting as Irvine Ranch, then becoming The Irvine Company, it owns about 20 percent of Orange County. Recently, Bren proposed to Jeff Bezos that Irvine become the location of the new, second Amazon headquarters. Bren offers to bankroll the entire $5 billion project, building initial building space available immediately then constructing new space as necessary. The expected 50,000 employees would fit well in this city that is near, but not adjacent to, Los Angeles, where the mean income level is already above that anticipated for Amazon's new employees (over $100,000).

The richest real estate developer in the US wrote a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos offering to pay for the insanely sought-after HQ2, by Tanza Loudenback. Business Insider, Oct. 19, 2017