A New Report Finds the City of Akron is Facing Some Serious Economic Challenges

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A new independent report says Akron faces economic and demographic challenges as the community tries to stimulate growth. It comes a few weeks after a mayoral Blue Ribbon report echoed similar findings.
The Greater Ohio Policy Center released the report titled the, "62.4" in reference  to the city of Akron's size in square miles. 

The report finds city leaders  need to expand opportunities and bring more young professional and immigrants to the city to turnaround an economic downturn.

Levea Brachman, Greater Ohio Policy Center executive director says they analyzed various federally collected data from 2000 to 2013.

She says the city needs to start training residents so they can take advantage of job opportunities in fields like health care and manufacturing. 
Brachman says the changes need to happen now to prevent “further slide.” 

“[City Leaders] need to start focusing on downtown and Akron as growth areas and be strategic,” she said.

The report compared Akron to other cities in the Midwest and Northeast of similar size dealing with the same issues. Mayor Dan Horrigan says the findings are a good starting point for change. 

“The city is becoming more involved in work force development and helping to break down some of those work force barriers for kids that are post high school,” the mayor said. “Whether it is the Akron early college initiative, which we have been very support of or looking at community college as an option to do that work force development, we are beginning to make change.” 

Horrigan says he is planning a brainstorming session with city leaders in the near future. 

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