The Economic Growth & Mobility Project (EGMP) is a multilevel effort to bring entrepreneurial solutions to achieve inclusive economic growth and create pathways out of poverty in communities across the Third District and our nation. A central component of the initiative will be in creating Research in Action Labs that promote research-informed practice, focusing specifically on community and individual solutions in the areas of job creation, job access, and community infrastructure.

Two of those focus areas are featured in this issue. On the topic of job access, one article explores the emerging trend of skills-based hiring and presents research around this potential solution to the growing skills mismatch impacting employers, job seekers, and the economy as a whole. In regards to job creation, another article summarizes a panel discussion at a recent Philadelphia Fed research symposium on the topic of inclusive economic growth strategies.

In addition to the EGMP, the Philadelphia Fed recently launched the Consumer Finance Institute (CFI), which produces leading research on how credit markets and payment systems affect the economy. It also seeks to foster healthy household finances, a stable financial system, and a resilient economy. An infographic in this issue illustrates trends regarding debt in America. This infographic was made possible by the Consumer Credit Explorer (CCE), an interactive tool publically available on our data dashboard that allows users to examine trends in consumer credit use at the regional, state, and national levels.

With our two focuses on the EGMP and the CFI, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia makes clear that household financial stability is integral to regional economic vitality. Poverty — the lack of income to meet basic human needs — not only inhibits individual households from reaching their full potential, it also hinders regional economic growth. In order to strengthen our nation’s economy in ways that enable economic mobility and prosperity, we must invest in opportunity. The Philadelphia Fed’s flagship community development conference, Reinventing Our Communities, will be held October 1–3 in Baltimore on the theme of Investing in Opportunity. We hope you will join us, along with our partners from across the Federal Reserve System and the Johns Hopkins 21st Century Cities Initiative, for a national conversation on these urgent issues. I look forward to seeing many of you at the conference and to working together in 2018 and beyond.