Wednesday, July 25, 2012

America's Fresh Coast

I support more collaboration between the cities of Chicagoland. I'm intrigued with the talk about developing a fresh water cluster. But give the concern about the "Rust Belt" pejorative a rest:

But for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, an important part of the action plan includes changing the perception of the area from the "Rust Belt" to "America's Fresh Coast." While retaining its manufacturing prowess, he said the region could build upon its water assets and use it as a beacon to attract residents and business investment.

Another one of the region's assets is Rust Belt-ness, or Rust Belt Chic. The rebranding work is already done. Milwaukee in particular needs to do a better job of leveraging the new geographic stereotype. Use it as a beacon to attract residents and business investment.

Clamoring that your Rust Belt city is the exception to the rule is like staking your flag as the next great center of biotech. Everyplace else is making the same claim. Just go be great like Albany did with nanotech.


washington irving said...

I thought that you might be interested in this article -

Money quote - "I was very skeptical five years ago that I would do a meaningful expansion in Milwaukee," said Jackson, who then viewed the area as primarily a low-cost employment area. "But what I have found is the majority of talent we need in our company, we are able to acquire in that area."

Jim Russell said...

I am interested. Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention. Convergence/diffusion of the Innovation Economy:

Space is less expensive, it takes less time to find qualified employees in Milwaukee, and they stay with the company for longer than they would in California, Jackson said.