In 2018, the Upjohn Institute launched a three-year initiative to research how communities can create broadly shared prosperity by helping residents get and keep good jobs.
About the Initiative
This initiative brings together Institute expertise on place-based scholarships and local labor market issues, including economic development policies such as tax incentives and customized business services. We take a holistic approach to examining the strategies communities can deploy on both the supply and demand sides of the labor market, and the institutional supports necessary to create vibrant local economies that distribute gains widely.
In this effort, the Institute benefits from growing linkages between its research and operations activities. The Institute administers federal and state workforce training programs in a four-county region in Southwest Michigan and advises communities throughout the nation on best practices in areas such as economic development, talent development, and the design of place-based scholarships.
The Institute also collaborates with the Kalamazoo Promise, the first of the current generation of place-based scholarships, and the City of Kalamazoo, which is engaged in innovative place-based development through the Foundation for Excellence and Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo. The Upjohn Institute works with the city and the Kalamazoo Promise around best practices, data systems, and evaluation, and hopes to use lessons learned locally to inform other small- to mid-sized cities facing similar challenges.
The Promise: Investing in Community initiative releases a report summarizing its work each year:
Investing in Community: A Playbook for Connecting Economic and Skills Development
This second annual summary provides practical advice for community leaders and policymakers around four critical issues: defining local needs, linking job creation and skills development, local leadership, and evaluation.
Building Shared Prosperity
The Promise: Investing in Community initiative marked its first year with a wide-ranging report, Building Shared Prosperity: How Communities Can Create Good Jobs for All, intended to inform grassroots strategies for small and medium-sized cities and rural regions.