National Fourth Economy Community Index Lists Top 10 Mega-Sized Counties for 2015

Posted ago by Fourth Economy

141204-FECIndexFourth Economy Consulting announces the latest release of its national community index, listing top counties from across the nation. The Fourth Economy Index highlights those communities ideally positioned to attract modern investment and managed economic growth within the fourth economy.

PITTSBURGH, PA – The latest release of the Fourth Economy Community Index (FEC Index, #FECIndex) was announced today listing the nation’s top ten mega-sized Fourth Economy Communities. These communities are recognized as the regions ideally positioned to attract modern investment and managed economic growth among all regions with a population greater than 500,000 people.

New Team Member Spotlight: Jason Bernard

Posted ago by Fourth Economy

Bernard-WelcomeFourth Economy Consulting is pleased to introduce the newest member of our team: Jason Bernard, our Director, Emerging Partnerships.

Jason brings to the table over a decade of experience as a strategic planner, facilitator and business developer. He spent that time leading strategic planning retreats, focus groups and workshops for clients in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. At Fourth Economy, he will focus his energy on advancing the Water Economy Network and assisting our team with the facilitation and management of client projects.

Jason lives in the Brighton Heights section of Pittsburgh’s North Side with his wife and their three month old baby girl. In what little free time he has left, he enjoys taking his dog to the dog park, shooting pool and irrationally obsessing over his favorite sports teams. An occasional actor, Jason has been seen on a number of local stages, commercials, and the silver screen.

Start Small, Stay Small and Build Products That Matter…Guidelines for Successful Micropreneurship

Posted ago by Susan Fisher

141202-MicropreneursIn the words of Steve Wozniak, “If you’re that rare engineer who’s an inventor and also an artist, I’m going to give you some advice that might be hard to take. That advice is: Work alone. You’re going to be best able to design revolutionary products and features if you’re working on your own. Not on a committee. Not on a team.”

Micropreneurs are a unique breed of business owner who independently work in a niche market, are willing to accept the risk of starting and managing the type of business that remains small, strive for a balanced lifestyle and have the chance to do the work they want to do. Similar to the old-world model of the neighborhood butcher, cobbler and blacksmith, micropreneurs offer products that make a difference and provide amazing value to niche markets. Modern versions of micropreneurs include programmers/developers, writers, solo consultants and online boutique owners (think Etsy). These distinct business owners strive for little to no expansion, are happy to work alone with no employees and are willing to forego outside funding. One discernible advantage that modern micropreneurs have is access to the Internet which allows them to launch and offer their products or services to a world-wide audience.

Arts, Culture and the Economy: Fourth Economy Participates in the Unsung Majority Rollout

Posted ago by ChrystalAlexander

141106-Art-CouncilAs part of our ongoing efforts to engage with the sectors that drive economic development, Fourth Economy joined the Pittsburgh Arts Research Committee (PARC)—an advisory committee to the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. The PARC worked with the Heinz Endowments and the Pittsburgh Foundation to review and comment on their study of small and mid-sized arts organizations in and around Pittsburgh, PA. On October 28, the Heinz Endowments and the Pittsburgh Foundation rolled out the final report with a daylong event including panel discussions, breakout sessions and networking called The Unsung Majority.

9 Themes Identified in Transformed Regional Cities

Posted ago by Rich Overmoyer

141106-Transformative-Cities

After hundreds of hours speaking with the leaders of America’s transformed cities, analyzing data until our eyes crossed and summarizing all of our findings in an action oriented report, I am ready to provide you with the cliff notes. To summarize,  we found that there are nine key themes to consider if you are looking to transform your community.

But first…

Forget the Smokestacks…Chase the Housing: A Case Study in Smaller City Reinvention

Posted ago by Steve McKnight

141104-Small-TownIt has been a busy year here at Fourth Economy. Many projects have kept us hard at work, traveling across the country and meeting great folks. A theme among these projects has been a growing desire and recognition for all places, communities and towns to reinvent themselves – transform, reimagine, pivot – all in order to attract new investment and the talent that fuels it. And within this theme is a common recognition that without quality options to live, sleep and interact, it is tough to attract that talent. Housing and the context that surrounds a community’s housing stock is (or should be) a cornerstone to any competitive and sustainable economic development strategy.

Too Cool for School? Think Again.

Posted ago by Ali Mabel

141103-Higher-Ed-UEDAFourth Economy has been immersed this year in conversations about higher education’s role in economic development. Over the summer we worked with a major research university to identify ways for improving their business engagement practices. This effort involved hosting a roundtable discussion with university-based economic development practitioners from around the country.

In October, Fourth Economy team members managed the 2014 University Economic Development Association (UEDA) Summit in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which brought together more than 230 economic development representatives from higher education, economic development organizations, consulting firms, federal agencies, and many other groups (you can view the agenda and presentations here). Conference participants shared and discussed best practices, including initial thought leadership from UEDA’s Body of Knowledge Committee, developed in conjunction with representatives from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).

Request for Information: Fourth Economy Seeking Information for Current Client’s RFP Directory

Posted ago by Fourth Economy

Burgh-BridgeFourth Economy Consulting announces posting of a Request for Information for a current client project. Submitting firms will be included in a one-stop-shop resource directory of best-in-class urban-regional + economic development planning firms. This directory provides client with stocked resource for direct RFP solicitation to leading firms.

Fourth Economy Consulting (FEC) is soliciting company information from urban-regional and economic development planning firms to be used in directory resource for a current client. FEC is presently working with a Midwestern client on the research and developmental stages of a large, multiphase statewide initiative. The client’s ambitious project has requested FEC to perform a preliminary expert study of successful regional economic and quality of life transformations in metro areas throughout the US.

On the Move

Posted ago by Jerry Paytas

Moving-FEC

Fourth Economy is on the move in more ways than one.  One of the big moves is our new space at 1501 Preble Avenue on Pittsburgh’s North Side.  While this move is only 2.5 miles in distance, it represents a major milestone in our company’s growth as we move from our startup space into an expansion space.  We are also on the move around the country, working in Providence, RI; Fargo, ND; Detroit, MI; and Buffalo, NY, in addition to working intensely in our home base of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

Higher Eds use Economic Impact Studies for what?!

Posted ago by Susan Fisher

University-Economic-Impact-StudyThe answer is Higher Eds use economic and social impact studies for a lot of different reasons. Underlying is the desire to showcase their good work and demonstrate the value their work creates. And they want to communicate that value in terms that will resonate with internal and external audiences.  Audiences may include: public officials, policy makers, community residents, investors, and Higher Ed faculty, staff, students and alumni. Economic and social impact studies help Higher Eds compete for state funding, maintain their tax-exempt status, help defend against criticism and help increase fund-raising.