Reinventing Local and Regional Economies – book overview

Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D has written a book! You may recognize him as CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. His latest project, Reinventing Local and Regional Economies, uncovers the depth of economic decline in various cities around the country and the impact it has globally and locally.

To get content for his book, Dr. Gordon interviewed more than 70 mayors, university presidents, economic development specialists and community leaders to gain their perspective on how their cities have responded to these trends. He developed these interviews into case studies that show how successful (or unsuccessful) these communities have been in trying to overcome the wave of economic hardship that has been sweeping our country.

A key part of the book was that Dr. Gordon was able to apply his experience with the success that Fairfax County has seen – an anomaly of growth during a time of struggle for most. The Washington Post called Fairfax County “the economic wunderkind of Virginia and in many ways of the Washington area…a magnet for government contractors and other major corporations.”

The vision Gordon had when compiling his book was to provide a resource for other cities who are currently struggling with rebuilding their economy. He has put together a “lessons learned” of sorts, that chronicles what has worked and what hasn’t for other leaders in attempting to bounce back after being hit. This book addresses issues that span every region in the country, and offer workable solutions that will add value to their economies.

Various cities were part of these case studies, including Birmingham, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Pittsburgh. In his book, Gordon addresses 6 key points for stabilizing economies:

  • Diversification
  • Creating industrial clusters and support systems
  • Building entrepreneurial businesses
  • Enhancing community assets
  • Bridging the gap between the public and private sectors
  • Incentives to spur development

That’s just a little teaser. To learn more, you can pick up a copy here.