The IURC-NA team organised a kick-off webinar on the 10th of November 2021 for the regional thematic cluster on Education Jobs and Skills, with a specific focus on the field of Urban Regeneration. The main objective of this virtual event was to bring together a small cohort of IURC cities to share solutions and learn from one another in a collaborative, participatory and collegial atmosphere.
Part 1: Keynote presentation by Colin Tarbert from the city of Baltimore on Urban Regeneration
Colin Tarbert is President and CEO of the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), which serves as the economic development agency for Baltimore City and is responsible for growing the city by retaining and attracting businesses, expanding job opportunities for city residents, and increasing investment in city neighbourhoods.
In order to contextualize many of the challenges and opportunities in Baltimore today, Mr. Tarbert shared some pertinent data on the demographics of the city as well as legislation and policies such as the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) that have contributed to the creation of Baltimore Together. This strategy is a public-private initiative to implement a shared vision of inclusive economic growth, with specific goals, actions, and accountability measures over a 5-year period and is aligned with the Mayor & City Council’s policies to build an inclusive, equitable economy in Baltimore.
Through the creation and implementation of Baltimore Together they aim to show the world how to create an urban economy that is based on diversity, inclusion, and resiliency and that uplifts historically excluded Baltimoreans while attracting investment, businesses, and people committed to contributing to an equitable economy.
Part 2: Open Forum
The moderator led a participatory session on urban challenges, solutions, best practices, pilots, and/or policy initiatives related to the thematic topics of the cluster to uncover possible areas of collaboration amongst cities. The below list includes popular responses across attendees:
- Attracting young talent into the industry and retention
- Wage gaps amongst employees across industries and sectors
- Pandemic effects on the workforce, especially on women and radicalised populations
- Skillset level to enter sectors and keep up with changing challenges
- Aging population
The below pie chart shows the distribution (in percentages) of the categories selected from attendees.