Weekly Reader

Friday, May 29, 2020

Economic Development
Manufacturing is a key sector driving growth and employment in Southwest Washington.  Join in on an informative discussion on Thursday, June 11th, 2020, from 10:00 to 11:00am supporting manufacturers. Discussion will focus on the current disruptions as well as opportunities for strategic investment to meet workforce needs. The event hosted by CEDC, CREDC and Workforce Southwest Washington will include information from Impact Washington about managing COVID-19 risks for your employees and how to get a free COVID-19 risk assessment. RSVP by Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020.  Contact Alyssa Joyner at ajoyner@workforcesw.com for more information or to RSVP.

“In a time when it’s easy to feel isolated, four communities focus economic development on building strong entrepreneurial ecosystems – knowing that others are doing similar work, and are willing to share and support, makes a difference”. Click here for the full story from the Kauffman Foundation.

“For the past two months, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the U.S. into lockdown. Now, the nation’s small businesses, most of which relied on foot traffic to generate revenue, are facing unprecedented challenges”. Click here for the full story from the Brookings Institute and possible ideas to impact the lower Columbia region.

“According to a poll commissioned by the advocacy group Partners for Automated Vehicle Education, nearly half of Americans say they would not get in a self-driving taxi. The poll, conducted online in February and March by SurveyUSA, found widespread skepticism and confusion about autonomous vehicles. Of the 1,200 adults surveyed, 48% said they would “never get in a taxi or ride-share vehicle that was being driven autonomously,” while 21% said they were unsure about it. A fifth of respondents said that AVs would never be safe, and another fifth stated incorrectly that it is possible “to own a completely driverless vehicle today.” You can get the entire story here.  The story outlined above reinforces the work done by the CWCOG over the last year. Watch for the release of the Electric Vehicle Readiness and Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Plan from the CWCOG in late June.

Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Doom Car-Sharing Services? Click here for the story.

Cities are closing streets to make way for restaurants and pedestrians. Click here for the story.

Community Development / Other
According to the National Association of Regional Councils. “State and local governments are being hit hard by the pandemic, and the consequences could be dangerous for democracy. Government and think-tank estimates project total losses in state and local revenue at 15 to 45 percent, shaving up to $1.75 trillion a year from the most essential things governments do. A survey by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities found that 9 out of 10 American cities plan to make deep cuts to their budgets and services. Half of those will need to make last-resort cuts to their police and fire departments. Public schools are overwhelmingly dependent on state and local revenue. If the estimates that school-district revenues across the nation will drop by an average of 15 percent or more prove right, the country would likely lose one in 12 teachers. In the worst-hit states, one-in-five may be let go”. Click here for the original story from The Atlantic.

Here is a link to the recent Executive Order on Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery.

Many of you may be aware that the CWCOG received an award from the Health Care Foundation to provide training for first responders and their families to help deal with the challenges they all face. Work on the effort has continued through the pandemic to move the initiative forward. This effort is initially in partnership with the Cowlitz County Chaplaincy, the Cowlitz County Sheriff, Cowlitz Fire District 2 and the Castle Rock Police. Watch for additional information on this effort.

Respond when you get your 2020 Census materials. If you have not received your census materials, yet you should be receiving them soon. Click here for the latest from the Census.

I ran across an editorial on LinkedIn that I wanted to share. The piece is from Robert Glazier and talks about our current situation with the COVID – 19 virus and provides some thoughts on how wearing a mask makes is safer for the masses. Click here to access.

According to the Census, adults in households with children were more likely to report permanent loss of employment and food shortages since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau survey. Early results of the experimental Household Pulse Survey released today provide a detailed and near real-time picture of how individuals and households are faring during the pandemic.  Survey results released recently showed 55% of households with a child under the age of 18 had at least one adult lose employment income since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, higher than the rate for all households. Additionally, adults in households with children who were not working the previous week — and reported a reason — were more likely to attribute it to permanent loss of employment since March 13, such as layoffs or business closures. Click here for the story from the census.

The latest updates from the National Association of Development Councils regarding COVID-19:

  • Upcoming Virtual Events & Training:
    • Join the Aspen Instituteon June 2 at 2 p.m. ET for the action/learning exchange “Ratcheting up Rural Response, Recovery, and Resilience: Five Good Ideas for Philanthropy Right Now.” This online event will bring together both funders – national, regional, state, and local – and rural practitioners to share good design ideas, additional challenges, and other promising approaches. Click here to learn more and register.
    • Join the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communitieson June 8 at 2 p.m. ET for the webinar “Advancing Water Equity in Coronavirus Recovery.” Topics will include affordability, water shutoffs, and funding and spending for water infrastructure and watershed restoration. Speakers will represent a variety of perspectives including those of national organizations and coalitions, water utilities, and community-based advocates, and the conversation will include philanthropic, nonprofit, and utility partners. Click here to learn more and register.
    • Join the Brookings Institutionon June 10 at 2 p.m. ET for the webinar “Mitigating the Economic Impacts of COVID-19 in Rural Areas.” A panel of local leaders will discuss the role their organizations are playing in supporting struggling small businesses and connecting them to resources at the local, state, and federal levels. Additionally, panelists will discuss how they are laying the groundwork for recovery in the months and years to come, and what further supports are still needed to ensure rural communities durably emerge from this crisis. Click here to learn more and to register.