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Attracting Immigrants: A Tool for Economic Development for Post-Industrial Cities

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NE OHIO NEEDS TO ATTRACT IMMIGRANTS:
SKILLED-WORKERS, ENTREPRENEURS, INVESTORS




By: Rose A. Zitiello, Esq.
Richard T. Herman, Esq.



_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _



Globalizing NE Ohio Is a
Necessary Path for Growth

NE Ohio is the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand hoping that globalization will go away, that jobs will not be sent packing to overseas markets with cut-rate labor and production costs, and that Cleveland’s progressive depopulation will stabilize and correct itself.

This approach has not been successful.

NE Ohio’s current predicament begs the question: Does globalization always have to be a negative, destabilizing force, or can globalization forces be harnessed for local economic development and job creation?

The answer is “yes” if we collectively decide to “go global” and develop a new globalization culture that enhances and touts NE Ohio as a world-class manufacturing region, an international leader in medical technology and health care, and a multicultural mecca that is connected to world talent, capital, and entrepreneurship.



Immigrants Hold a Key to Thriving Locally
in the Global Economy


Why start with immigrants? Three reasons: 1.) Immigrant influx can help counteract urban depopulation and increase income and real estate tax revenue for the region; 2.) Immigrants can help facilitate the worldwide networking and connectivity that is necessary in recruiting international talent, business, and capital; 3.) Waves of new immigrants are revitalizing U.S. cities with an infusion of new entrepreneurship, consumer markets, and a creative energy inherent in multicultural meccas.

Census 2000 has taught us that the U.S. is undergoing an economic and ethnic transformation fueled by new waves of immigration from Latin and Asian countries. Nearly 60% of all population growth in the 1990s was attributed to historic levels of immigration.

Hispanic and Asian-American purchasing power is $1 trillion annually. During the 1990s, Asian and Hispanic-owned businesses improved revenues by more than 415 percent. Businesses owned by Middle Eastern and African immigrants are similarly making great strides in the U.S.

Attracting new skilled immigrants will also be necessary to help alleviate the coming skilled labor shortage in the U.S. As the baby boomers retire, the workforce will stop growing. A “skilled worker gap” will start to appear in 2005 and grow to 5.3 million workers by 2010, and 14 million 10 years later.

New immigrants are not just creating new consumer markets, opening small neighborhood businesses, and filling skilled and unskilled worker gaps, they are also creating new technology industries and creating jobs. Cities like Austin, Denver, Boston, and San Jose have greatly benefited from high levels of immigrant technology talent helping to shape a work force with skills that firms need. Almost 25% of the founders of the biotech companies in the U.S. that went public in the early 1990s are immigrants.

In 1998, immigrant entrepreneurship collectively accounted for more than $16.5 billion in sales and over 58,000 jobs in Silicon Valley.

But its not just high-tech centers that are benefiting from targeted immigrant influx. The Spartanburg-Greenville region of South Carolina has become a world-class center for manufacturing, attracting foreign direct investment from more than 215 companies in 18 countries. This hill country region of South Carolina boasts the highest diversified foreign investment per capita in the United States.

The high entrepreneurial factor within immigrant communities, coupled with scientific accomplishment, international networks of fellow countrymen providing seed capital and access to inexpensive overseas labor markets, provide a formidable combination that can be leveraged for local growth.


Regions Around the U.S Are Already Employing
Immigration and Globalization Policies

Immigrant clusters have helped to revitalized cities and spurred growth through technology start-ups; international trade; small neighborhood proprietorship; real estate renovation; repopulation in distressed areas; infusion of youth; workforce development in shortage areas (such as nursing); creation of tourist attractions; and emerging multicultural consumer markets.

Cities such as Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Louisville, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and Schenectedy, and the state of Iowa, have recently employed ways to partner with their existing immigrant communities in order to pro-actively attract more of their countrymen, whether residing in or outside the U.S., to relocate to an immigrant-friendly destination for starting or expanding business operations.


Cleveland Ranks Near the Bottom of the Largest 50 Cities
In Attracting New Immigrants

However, Cleveland is not attracting its share of new immigrants, and it is suffering for it. A recent report by demographer William Frey found that Cleveland is ranked near the bottom of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the nation in its share of new immigrants.

Dr. Sanda Kaufman of Cleveland State University recently released a study entitled, “Immigration and Urban Development: Implications For Greater Cleveland,” which concludes that Cleveland needs to attract more immigrants who can populate the region and help revitalize the economy

As part of the plan to increase Cleveland’s population to at least 500,000 by 2010, Mayor Jane Campbell has convened the “Civic Task Force on International Cleveland” to examine ways that immigration policies can be used to repopulate and revitalize Cleveland.



Conclusion

Globalization and domestic multicultural markets are here to stay. To survive and thrive in these seismic shifts of the new global marketplace, Multicultural meccas with hyper global connectivity will dominate the 21st century. Cleveland’s rich diversity and immigrant history provide a key to its future economic renaissance.





--------------------------------------

Rose Zitiello and Richard Herman are Cleveland attorneys and authors of “In the New Global and Multicultural Marketplace, Immigrants Hold a Key to Revitalizing NE Ohio” which can be viewed at www.rcjresources.com/Go Global/default.htm
.

To learn more about the economic and cultural development opportunities presented by immigrants to NE Ohio, attend “From There to Here: New Immigrants Redefining Our Community” presented by Tri-C’s Global Issues Resource Center on November 6, 2003. For info call: 216-987-2224. www.global-issues.org.
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
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9,945
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40
Mod Note: Post in Plannetizen Forum Deleted.
 

Miles Ignatius

Cyburbian
Messages
368
Points
12
On Track

I think the approach in identifying what the region can do proactively to attract new immigration is laudable as opposed to your neighbors who are looking for the "big hit" from some Fortune 500 employer, retail/tourism, the return of manufacturing on some grandeur scale, or worse yet, gaming. As we know it's a "mix" of things that make a strong local economy.

This will be accomplished in small steps; the challenge will be to recreate the "draw" that attracted the craftsmen to the Western Reserve over a 100 years ago who brought it the manufacturing success it enjoyed. Obviously, it's a lot different now but we shouldn't rule out that success cannot be achieved again.

By the way, neither of the links are operative....
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
Wasn't there an article on planetizen recently that attracting immigrants doesn't necessarily guarantee economic growth?

Why not try to attract people from other parts of the country first?
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
There trying to reverse the trend here, as even the immigrants are starting to leave. I also now that a large number of immigrants usually get held up here for a few days, untill they are cleared to move into canada.

I don't think this is the solution though for an economically depressed area. People are already scared of losing there jobs, as another manufacturing company, Buffalo-China, moves to....China. They don't want to have to compete for the remaining lower level service jobs.

Sure this can work for cities with healthy and diverse economies, but all it would do here is bolster the population of the poor.

http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20031211/1003144.asp

"Study after study has shown that immigrants take jobs that U.S. citizens don't want," he said. "We need to create an educational awareness component stressing that they're not taking away jobs."
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
923
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22
jresta said:
Wasn't there an article on planetizen recently that attracting immigrants doesn't necessarily guarantee economic growth?

Why not try to attract people from other parts of the country first?
There was a Planitezen article that attracting growth did not necessarily guarantee economic development. (Going from memory about an article read a while ago.) The rapid growth areas in the south had decreasing average incomes and were lower on several key quality of life indicators. Some areas in the north had increasing average incomes and increased quality of life. The difference was generally one based on education levels. Higher education led to higher than average income growth and quality of life.

Of course this was census data from 1990 to 2000 (dot com boom time). But it will probably still hold true 2000-2010.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,898
Points
27
jresta said:
Wasn't there an article on planetizen recently that attracting immigrants doesn't necessarily guarantee economic growth?

Why not try to attract people from other parts of the country first?
I find this concept quite interesting. With the U.S. population shifting westward and southward, is it possible to influence people to relocate to communities in the midwest and northeast that are losing population? I read an article recently that quoted a woman who had moved to Montana or Idaho from Las Vegas after her son was threatened at school. She had decided that relocating to a rural community would provide her kids with a safer environment. Sometimes I wonder what will happen as some communities become virtual ghost towns. Can people from large, densely built cities be enticed to relocate and invest in these communities?
 
Messages
9
Points
0
Mud Princess said:
I find this concept quite interesting. With the U.S. population shifting westward and southward, is it possible to influence people to relocate to communities in the midwest and northeast that are losing population? I read an article recently that quoted a woman who had moved to Montana or Idaho from Las Vegas after her son was threatened at school. She had decided that relocating to a rural community would provide her kids with a safer environment. Sometimes I wonder what will happen as some communities become virtual ghost towns. Can people from large, densely built cities be enticed to relocate and invest in these communities?

I agree. That's exactly the strategy of the Mayor of Schenectedy, NY, in targeting the entrepreneurial Guyanese immigrants living in New York City. Check out his website:

www.GuyaneseOpportunities.com
 
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