Conference Tracks:


Track 1: Livability

Economic development professionals worldwide have embraced the need to integrate livability efforts into economic development strategies. Partners for Livable Communities defines livability as “the … factors that add up to a community’s quality of life—including the built and natural environments, economic prosperity, social stability and equity, educational opportunity, and cultural, entertainment and recreation possibilities.” Sessions in the livability track will offer insights on the role of economic development in creating communities that develop, attract, and retain a quality workforce.

Track 2: Future Business, Future Worker

Automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics: these terms evoke different reactions depending on who you ask. They can mean reducing or eliminating costs to a business and helping boost thin profit margins. They can also mean career changes and ever-evolving training needs for workers in impacted industries. This track will help economic developers learn how to support our community’s future needs, both workers and businesses.

Track 3: Housing

Housing plays a critical role in creating places that attract the talent that our businesses need. The issue is as complicated as the varying workforce needs of employers: there is no one-size-fits-all housing strategy. In the race to attract and retain top, diverse talent to your community, investing in housing may be the difference between struggling and succeeding. This track will cover successful strategies and insights from experts and communities who are winning the race.

Track 4: Talent Partnerships

When it comes to talent, no one can succeed in creating competitive and diverse pools by going it alone. Creating and fostering talent partnerships is essential to meeting the needs of workers and businesses. Supporting those partnerships means having a deep understanding of the forces behind worker needs and business imperatives. Join the discussions in this track to hear from your talent partners: employers, educational institutions, workforce agencies, and others.

Track 5: Business Clusters

Perhaps the most important source of profitability are the knowledge and connections made between companies in similar industries. With a robust supply and value chain, companies leverage their resources within their clusters to provide community prosperity and boost the regional economy. How can economic developers support and, just as importantly, leverage this?

Track 6: Infrastructure

Infrastructure has always been important to business attraction, retention, and expansion. In 2019, the focus is on serving people as much as moving business inputs and outputs. People want transportation choices – the ability to take transit, walk, or bike to work and entertainment - in addition to high speed internet access, robust electrical systems, and choice over the source of their energy. In the race to secure your economic future through talent, innovation and place, infrastructure is the foundation for everything.