Suggested Federal Policy Highlights
Fund Workforce Training Programs
The need for funded, community-based workforce training programs was the most consistent theme that came from the Federal Policy forum. There are many ideas as to how to use funding for workforce training. Some examples:
- Through block grants. Economic development and/or workforce development block grants.
- By funding workers to build community gardens and other projects which can add value (in the form of good production, community building and developing a variety of work skills like problem solving, teamwork, math, science). Use funding to plant emply public land and pay workers who will develop skills along the way.
- By funding internships. These would put people to work and transfer expertise in the business world. They would also support businesses which could really use subsidized labor. Reverse internships (where young people train older people on new technology) could also build community, promote knowledge sharing and provide valuable employment for youth.
Fund Entrepreneurial Development
- Funding entrepreneurial development was the second most consistent theme. This is both good for job creation and how to build the innovation economy, by enabling and empowering would-be business owners with the tools and support (expertise) they need to think and work out of the box. Some examples of the ideas on how to do this:
- Have 'creativity' or 'innovation' centers which support and develop the skills of entrepreneurs through shared space, reosurces, facilities, support systems, expertise.
- Fund entrepreneurship/business plan competitions which will spark interest, generate excitement, and provide funding (prizes) for the most innovative ideas.
- Provide incentives/funding for venture capitalists and other innovative investors. Take risks with funding in order to grease a lot of wheels and get big results.
- Facilitate and fund entrepreneurial mentorship. Pair experience with drive, desire and creativity.
Provide Incentives, Fund, and Support Localized Energy Production
These actions will reduce emissions and provide workforce training opportunities directly in communities.
Provide Incentives, Fund, and Support Production of Local Goods
Supporting people who make things in this country, state, county, or city makes good economic development sense. The ultimate achievement: producing goods in the community in a sustainable economy.
Provide Support for Existing Businesses
There are many pressing needs for existing businesses, including funding (less restricted loans and grants), technical support (financial planning, marketing and other key elements for successful business operation), and infrastructure (space to occupy, visibility in the physical world and on the Internet and broadband).