Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Brampton is a fast-growing city in Canada, growing at 10.6%. It is also a young city, with an average age of 36, as well as 115+ languages spoken among 250 ethnic backgrounds. The city is positioned in the center of Canada’s Innovation Corridor. The Economic Development Office honors City Council’s priorities to make Brampton a City of Opportunity and a “mosaic” by celebrating diversity in: Scaling an award-winning Innovation District with a partner ecosystem model promoting inclusive programming and scaling the jobs of the future; Nurturing sector opportunities in medtech, manufacturing, food, logistics, and innovation; Targeting several foreign markets for FDI; Dedicating staff to the African and Caribbean markets; Dedicating staff to black economic development; Leading with an Investment Services team for data analytics, expeditor role for red tape reduction, and skills development for young people, including international students, with internships. Brampton is the only Canadian city selected for the IEDC Equity Fellowship in 2022 to make diversity in priority.
Metro Region Partnership: World Business Chicago (IL) has a sector-focused strategy, which supports a wide range of industries, from manufacturing and food and agriculture to innovation and technology, life sciences and healthcare, finance and fintech, and business and professional services. World Business Chicago played a key role in securing the newest Chan Zuckerberg Biohub bid for Chicago. It is also leading a collaborative effort to see Chicago named as home to an ARPA-H biomedical hub. Other priorities include business and workforce development, global strategic initiatives, community impact, research, public sector strategy, and large experiences. The organization’s actions include launching the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership (GCEP) in January 2023. GCEP, is a three-year partnership between the city of Chicago, Cook County, and six regional partners aimed at driving economic growth in the greater Chicagoland region. In the first quarter of 2023, GCEP produced 16 leads and three wins, including the retention of a division of S&C Electric.
Said Michael Fassnacht, President & CEO, World Business Chicago: “The Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership thrives on its robust collaboration and unified approach by bringing together diverse stakeholders from the city and seven counties, who collectively bring expertise, resources, and innovative strategies that are driving economic growth, attracting investments, and fostering a thriving business ecosystem. Within months of the GCEP launch, we have several success stories of companies prospected, retained, secured, and expanding in the region because of our strategy to advance the Greater Chicagoland region as one united force.”
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: The Greater Richmond Partnership (GRP) embodies the region’s commitment to ESG initiatives like diversity, equity, and inclusion. The LEGO Group’s decision to locate its only U.S. manufacturing facility here was influenced by GRP’s ability to showcase the region’s ESG commitments. As a minority-majority city, there are numerous organizations in the region to support LGBTQIA+ community members, youth, and LGBTQIA+ people of color. Pro-LGBTQIA+ state and regional leaders, non-profit organizations, and major employers bolster the quality of life for local LGBTQIA+ individuals. In December 2022, for the third year Richmond received a perfect score (100) on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index (MEI) scorecard for its work in LGBTQ protections.
Workforce Development: In May 2022, the North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP) facilitated the creation of a new chapter of the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) based in Shreveport-Bossier City, a two-year work-study training model to develop a pipeline of multi-craft maintenance technicians—Advanced Manufacturing Technicians (AMT). This is the second chapter in Louisiana, with the first in Natchitoches. With 34 FAME chapters across the U.S., this model facilitates employer-led partnerships between manufacturers and local training institutions. Both recent high school graduates and adults gain experience within a manufacturing environment and a simulated shop floor, in areas of electricity, robotics, fluid power, mechanics, and fabrication. AMT participants receive an associate degree with at least 60 credit hours and earn 1,800 hours of on-the-job, paid work experience and training. Around 85% stay with their sponsor companies. The Covid pandemic caused many skilled maintenance employees to retire. This program is designed to solve a critical problem for manufacturers and create an opportunity for area residents.
Said Justyn Dixon, NLEP President & CEO: “We assisted in standing up the Northwest Louisiana FAME chapter because we heard directly from industry representatives that have been involved with chapters in other areas of the country that it is a training program they value. We will remain a strong supporter of the chapter because of the collaborative partnership that has developed among the sponsor companies, who are now working together on solutions for workforce challenges they collectively face.”