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By Jason Keller, Ashlee Sang       March 5, 2020

Introduction The term ‘food desert' most often evokes images of residents in urban communities without access to a full-service grocery store. It seems incongruous that one would exist in the middle of the nation's ‘bread basket.' However, it is estimated that as much as 20 percent of rural counties are ‘food desert' counties, meaning residents must travel more than 10 miles to ... Read More

By Susan Longworth       February 18, 2020

The city of Aurora, Illinois, is taking steps to encourage collaboration with the launch of the Thrive Collaborative Center (TCC). Aurora is one of the cities that participated in focus groups about economic inclusion that the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago held throughout the Seventh Federal Reserve District.1 The need for increased collaboration within and across sectors was a prominent theme... Read More

By Jane Dokko, Jonathan Lanning       February 5, 2020

In the next decade, what will be the most important advance or “big story” in community and economic development? In this article, we anticipate seven promising and aspirational contributions from the field of economics that may increase our chances of solving some of our most pressing challenges associated with poverty in low-income neighborhoods. In the past decade, our economy experienced the ... Read More

By Susan Longworth       December 18, 2019

Lack of access to reliable transportation is often cited as a barrier to employment. In fact it was frequently cited as a significant obstacle by participants in focus groups on economic inclusion hosted by the Federal Reserve of Chicago.1 The challenge is especially significant in smaller, low-density cities with limited public transportation infrastructure. The city of South Bend, Indiana, is a... Read More

By Steven Kuehl       December 2, 2019

Scott Grotewold and Stephanie Wormack, fair lending risk specialists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, discussed a recent fair lending settlement, alternative data and machine learning insights, and a proposed rule that interprets a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on disparate impact at an economic development forum in Milwaukee. Key takeaways included: In response to allegations of ... Read More

By Taz George, Malcolm Thomas       October 7, 2019

In places where labor markets are tight, many policymakers and economic development practitioners are increasingly focused on growing the workforce and improving access to opportunities for populations that have long faced barriers to economic inclusion. In this post, we take a closer look at one place with very little slack in the labor market, Des Moines, Iowa. The data suggest linkages between... Read More

By Garvester Kelley, Susan Longworth       October 4, 2019

CDFIs (Community Development Finance Institutions) are private, mission driven financing entities that provide capital to low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities. Their mission compels them to serve customers who cannot meet conventional underwriting requirements by providing innovative, targeted financial products complemented by development and/or technical assis... Read More

October 3, 2019

Community Development and Policy Studies (CDPS) recently welcomed three new economists to the Policy Studies team: Nathan Anderson, Jonathan Lanning, and Jung Sakong. The growing team, led by Jane Dokko, expands the Fed's research on promoting the economic resilience and mobility of low- and moderate-income households and communities. The economists bring diverse experiences, as well as a shared ... Read More

By Susan Longworth       July 24, 2019

The recent Cleveland Fed Policy Summit focused on “Connecting People and Places to Opportunity.” This blog summarizes key points made during a panel entitled Inclusive Economic Growth: Tools for Smaller Communities, featuring Alkeyna Aldridge from the city of South Bend, Indiana;1 Alisa Costa from Pittsfield, Massachusetts,2 and Dedrick Asante-Muhammed from the NCRC.3 The discussion demonstra... Read More

By Scott Grotewold, Thomas H. Klier, Steven Kuehl       July 1, 2019

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's Community Development Division regularly holds economic development forums around the Seventh District that provide both a general economic overview and focus on topics of interest to stakeholders. On May 23, the topic was “Updates on the Midwest Economy & What Bankers Need to Know Regarding Recent Fair Lending Discrimination Settlements.” Updates on the... Read More

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