Maxwell scholars partner on effort to grow Syracuse’s new economy
Maxwell School scholars are partners in a project
aimed at urban revitalization and positioning the City of Syracuse as a leader
in the “smart” sector of the new economy – industries that use technology to
drive economic growth and productivity.
The JPMorgan Chase Advancing Cities Initiative is
working in the context of Syracuse Surge, a $200 million strategy to redevelop
underserved neighborhoods and bring new tech jobs into the city. Syracuse Surge
includes the installation of a 5G network, a countywide STEAM (science,
technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) school, and expanded vocational
and business development opportunities.
In addition to Syracuse University’s Maxwell School,
“Challenge Team” partners include the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, Le
Moyne College, and the Allyn Foundation. Syracuse’s winning proposal outlined
local coalitions of elected, business, and nonprofit leaders working together
to address economic challenges, such as employment barriers, financial
insecurity, and neighborhood disinvestment.
Equity and inclusion are major goals of the
Advancing Cities Initiative in Syracuse. We “understand that this economic
growth will not translate into economic opportunity for all local residents
without intentional investments and partnerships with business and nonprofit
actors,” the City of Syracuse said in a news release.
The $3 million grant supports plans to kickstart
Syracuse’s tech sector, train workers for 21st century careers, and
ensure that racial and ethnic minorities, women, and veterans benefit from
investments in local economic development. It will be used for strategic
planning, workforce training, small business development, and programming.
Maxwell’s role evaluating the program highlights the
school’s commitment to applied policy research that can assist local
governments. Maxwell researchers are focused on documenting how the project generates
meaningful internal and external systems changes and meets goals with respect
to the number of people trained, small businesses attracted to the area, and
equity and inclusion.
“Understanding how programs successfully develop the
technology sector while meeting equity and inclusion goals is fundamental for
urban revitalization and success in the modern economy,” said Associate Dean
Andrew London. “This is real-time, real-world research. Maxwell experts expect
their evaluation will yield lessons that can be synthesized with findings from
the other Advancing Cities sites and applied in other contexts.”
JPMorgan Chase selected Syracuse as one of the
first five cities in its Advancing Cities Initiative. The competition drew 250
proposals from 143 communities. Several more rounds are planned.
“This is an exciting opportunity. Syracuse was
selected because it is a small city that has pulled together a consortium of
public, nonprofit, and private entities—including city and county government
leaders—to strategically invest in an equitable and inclusive technology
workforce and small business development,” London said.