Agenda - Download

Welcome and Purpose of Event

  • Theresa Y. Singleton, Ph.D., Vice President and Community Affairs Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
  • Daniel Betancourt, President and CEO, Community First Fund, Lancaster, PA

Context and Research on Equitable Economic Development

This session will explain what equitable economic development is, provide an overview of recent research on the subject, and highlight an Equitable Innovation Economies Initiative co-organized by the Pratt Center for Community Development.

  • R. Eric Menzer, Chairman, Community First Fund, Lancaster, PA
  • Eileen Divringi, Community Development Research Analyst, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia - Presentation
  • Adam Friedman, Executive Director, Pratt Center for Community Development, Brooklyn, NY - Presentation

How Can Economic Development and Workforce Development Be More Closely Aligned?

This session will explain why and how one strategic plan for both economic and workforce development was created in the Lehigh Valley, as well as what’s next for the plan’s implementation. The session will also focus on an innovative workforce development initiative and the need for collaboration between the economic and workforce development sectors.

  • Matthew Tuerk, Vice President of Administration and Investor Relations Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation, Bethlehem, PA
  • Nancy Dischinat, Executive DirectorLehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board, Inc., Allentown, PA
  • Carlos Graupera, CEO and Executive Director Spanish American Civic Association, Lancaster, PA
  • Moderator: Chris Shannon, Community Affairs Manager Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Lunch and Keynote Address: How Can Different Sectors Work Together Toward an Equitable Economic Development Strategy?

The Fund for Our Economic Future has promoted economic growth and equitable access to opportunity in northeastern Ohio since 2004 through multiyear grants to regional economic development intermediaries and initiatives. Insights will be shared from the Fund’s Growth & Opportunity initiative, which emphasizes cross-sector partnerships and the interconnections in job creation, job preparation, and job access as core components to a successful economic development strategy.

  • Brad Whitehead, President, Fund for Our Economic Future, Cleveland

Different Perspectives on Equitable Economic Development

Moderator: Sean Zielenbach, Ph.D., President SZ Consulting, LLC, Alexandria, VA

Can Allentown’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ) Promote Equity?

The NIZ is a special taxing district created by state law that encourages development and revitalization in downtown Allentown, PA. The NIZ consists of approximately 128 acres in downtown Allentown and the new Riverfront district. This session will explore whether, and how, the NIZ can promote equitable outcomes.

  • Don Bernhard, Community Development Director, Downtown Allentown Community Development Initiative, Allentown, PA. - Presentation 
  • Alan L. Jennings, Executive Director, Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, Inc., Bethlehem, PA

Can Pennsylvania’s Economic Development Programs Support Equitable Outcomes?

Pennsylvania’s economic development programs provide a range of grants, loans, and tax incentives to promote job attraction, creation, and retention. Can these programs create greater economic opportunities that benefit low-income residents and deteriorated communities?

  • Scott D. Dunkelberger, Acting Deputy Secretary, Office for Business Financing, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development
  • Jeff Chapman, Director, Economic Development, State Fiscal Health and Economic Growth, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Washington, D.C.

What Are the Strategies to Promote Equitable Economic Development in Smaller Cities That Include Affordable Housing in Residential-Commercial Properties?

This session will underscore the importance of creating affordable and mixed-income housing in smaller cities of Pennsylvania as part of a broader equitable economic development strategy.

  • Ira Goldstein, Ph.D., President, Policy Solutions, The Reinvestment Fund, Philadelphia - Presentation 
  • Tripp Muldrow, Consultant, Arnett Muldrow & Associates, Greenville, SC
  • Alan W. Shuman, President, Shuman Development Group, Reading, PA
  • Moderator: Elyse D. Cherry, CEO Boston Community Capital

Summary and Next Steps

R. Eric Menzer, Chairman, Community First Fund, Lancaster, PA