Are Cities What Create Good Jobs?

Written by Thrive

With the 2012 US presidential election heating up, there’s lots of talk about “the job creators”. Some argue its big business. Most evidence suggests its actually small, local businesses that stimulate job growth (Check out Yes! Magazine and BALLE). But, what about cities? Do they create jobs?

According to Jim Clifton, at Gallup Management Journal, bring the right elements together, and they can. He says, “economic booms originate in the souls of individuals and great cities”.  With the right plan, any city can be a catalyst for job creation.

Elements of a good plan include:

  1. Focus on Local Solutions – “Recognize that the most important solutions are local”, including leadership, capital and investment, and entrepreneurial activity (just to name a few). Lucky for us, some of this is happening in Calgary. Folks come together on a monthly basis through the Communtiy Capital Network to explore opportunities to increase local capital pools, while The Trico Charitable Foundation, the Canadian Youth Business Foundation and REAP (amongst many others) work to stimulate the creation of small, locally focused businesses.
  2. Focus All Efforts on Good Jobs – Track labour market trends and projections and focus on training and employment opportunities in those areas. We’ve got this happening in Calgary too. For example, Momentum is launching its Green Buildings Program on February 13, 2012 which will provide training in the ‘green trades’ and increase participants’ access to career-track jobs that pay a living wage.
  3. Align Efforts City Wide – Rally folks together and collaborate to make a city’s plan come to life. Did you know that Calgary has such a plan? Its called imagineCalgary, and it includes “meaningful employment” as a target to collectively strive towards. Take a look at the plan and identify how you already are or can contribute.
  4. Keep Building Capacity Locally – Let imagineCalgary inspire you and then “jumpstart your city yourself”. Make your commitment public and tell others what you’re going to do by announcing it on Three Things for Calgary’s website.

Read Jim Clifton’s entire article, Cities: Where Good Jobs are Created. What do you think? Are cities the vehicles for job creation?



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