Though the U.S. economy has been growing since the Great Recession ended, many people have not experienced the fruits of that growth. In communities across the country, some residents are thriving while others experience declining household incomes, low labor force participation and increasingly concentrated poverty, trends that often have been in place for years.
The issue of how to expand economic opportunity for all is one of increasing concern to economic developers. Not only does it impact their ability to grow their regional economies, but they also have an important role to play in potential solutions. This paper explores the issue of economic opportunity from an economic development perspective by presenting evidence of the problem, examining why it matters, and offering common themes and promising practices from nine case studies.
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