We’re hiring!

We’re looking for an innovative and creative professional with experience and expertise in graphic design, brand management, business development, and web design. Fourth Economy is hiring a Graphic Design and Communications Manager to help us communicate our plans and recommendations to our clients and the stakeholders they serve.

Send cover letter and resume and work samples that demonstrate your design approach and capabilities to pia.bernardini@fourtheconomy.com.

The Four Keys to Effective Collaborations

The Fourth Economy team strongly believes in the power of partnerships in improving community and economic development outcomes. Through our work, we have managed numerous collaborations and identified four keys that lead to effective partnerships.

Patience, Participation, and Partnership

Effective collaboration can be difficult and often takes time. Therefore, it requires that all stakeholders have patience throughout the process of building partnerships and developing solutions. As partnership groups face challenging times, it is critical that they overcome these difficulties together and remain engaged in the effort. One difficulty that may arise is that as individuals and organizations collaborate to further a common purpose, they are typically guided by their own self-interest. These motivations are not always negative and can often support the success of collaborative groups when they are aligned with the goals of the larger partnership. In addition to acknowledging these self-interests, during initial conversations, these groups should identify outcomes and boundaries to focus their work. The group should allow for some flexibility in these areas as issues can change, but too much flexibility will impede the group’s ability to effect change and could cause stakeholders to leave the group. Continue reading “The Four Keys to Effective Collaborations”

Fourth Economy’s Rich Overmoyer and Chelsea Burket Appear on “Our Region’s Business”

Fourth Economy CEO Rich Overmoyer, along with Director, Sustainable Communities, Chelsea Burket were recent guests on “Our Region’s Business” hosted by Bill Flanagan. They discussed Fourth Economy’s role as a platform partner for the Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient Cities initiative. Watch their appearance by clicking on the video below.

Dr. Jerry Paytas on the Fourth Economy

Our own Jerry Paytas appeared on the Sunday Business Page recently where he was interviewed by KDKA’s Rick Dayton. Dr. Paytas explained the origin of the Fourth Economy name and provided a brief overview of our philosophy for effective economic and community development. Click here or on the image below to watch the complete interview.


Fourth Economy’s Jerry Paytas Appears on “Workforce Central” Podcast

I recently had the opportunity to appear on the Workforce Central podcast, where I discussed the current state of the economy, trends that workforce boards should be aware of, and my thoughts about the impact of the upcoming election on the overall U.S. economy. Workforce Central is the official podcast of the National Association of Workforce Boards.  The podcast is hosted by Ron Painter, President of the NAWB.

It’s Time to Face the Facts about Our Public Spaces

reese-092016We know how important quality of place can be in building better communities and stronger economies. But with something so subjective, how do we know when we are getting it right? And if we value inclusive growth, how can we be sure that quality of place can be shared?

As Commissioner of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Kathryn Ott Lovell observes, “civic commons” in changing neighborhoods can be “platforms for economic and social integration” – a perspective she encourages as part of the now-national Reimagining the Civic Commons initiative. Continue reading “It’s Time to Face the Facts about Our Public Spaces”

6 Years of Equipping Change Agents

overmoyer092016Recognition: rekəɡˈniSH(ə)n/, noun, the action or process of recognizing or being recognized.

Fourth Economy has now turned six! Thanks to you, we’ve had a chance to put our ideas to work and make an impact – and people are noticing.

You may hear this week about our national recognition for being an Inner City 100 company (#53) as determined by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. We are big fans of the organization, which has been championing strategies to rebuild our most vital communities. Hanging out with them for two days and taking home a plaque commemorating our achievement was pretty awesome! Continue reading “6 Years of Equipping Change Agents”

Tax-rolls, Triple Bottom Line, and Trust: Thoughts on Inclusive Growth from Detroit

burket-092016Last month, I attended the NeighborWorks Training Institute in Detroit, which featured a daylong symposium on inclusive growth. Inclusive growth was defined broadly as growing the economy while simultaneously decreasing income inequality. As RW Ventures put it, decreasing income inequality in and of itself is a worthy economic goal – people are assets, and poverty is expensive; therefore, investing in programs and reforms that increase access to good jobs for people with barriers to employment should be a central goal of our economic development efforts. While a major finding of the symposium was that we don’t yet have many good examples of how this can be done, there was no shortage of food for thought. Continue reading “Tax-rolls, Triple Bottom Line, and Trust: Thoughts on Inclusive Growth from Detroit”

Data Assisting in the Fight Against Blight


What do Baltimore, MD and South Bend, IN have in common? While it seems like the two could not be more different, both are noted for their data-driven blight and vacant property strategies. Baltimore, for example, uses a GIS system to complement streamlined disposition processes with strategic code enforcement. South Bend maps property information including planning and code enforcement details at a single location. While the connection between vacant property, blight, code enforcement, and planning are all closely related, it is not always easy to connect the data behind these issues. Continue reading “Data Assisting in the Fight Against Blight”