Communities Thrive When Businesses Have a Strong Workforce

Principal, Chris Spence, reflects on why he founded New Growth Group

New Growth has had a great few years marked by a growing staff, expanding client roster, and fascinating portfolio of projects that embody our vision: Communities thrive when businesses have a strong workforce and people have opportunities to advance in careers. Recently, I’ve had an opportunity to pause and reflect on how this organization can best promote more of this work, and it’s increasingly clear that we need to help communicate the essential importance of investing in American workers, especially in America’s heartland. This blog, along with other materials produced by New Growth, is about American workers, changing communities, and new approaches needed to see communities thrive.

With an office situated in the early 1900’s W.S. Tyler Company campus in Cleveland, OH, we are embedded in a place that has been dealing with the forces of change. The Tyler campus is one million square feet of former manufacturing space adjacent to downtown. The 1100 jobs that once occupied this space have dissipated amid changing technologies and business decisions leaving four city blocks of space ripe for repurposing. In this vein, we here in Cleveland along with people in many other parts of our country, are witnessing the economic churn that is creating separation where some people and communities are clear winners, and others are falling behind.

New Growth is built to be a solution for communities and companies dealing with workforce challenges. We provide strategy, grant development, implementation, and analytical support to our clients. Here is our core argument, which we will build out in our blog, materials, and especially in our projects:

  • Bar none, workers are the number one asset of any business or community; the skills and abilities of workers are the currency that drives communities and local economies.
  • The increasingly rapid pace of change is a newer variable that few communities have successfully tackled; and solutions are especially important in places that are falling behind.
  • There is a loosening relationship between workers and businesses coupled with public sector issues of effectiveness and efficiency that make it hard for any one organization to deliver a comprehensive solution.
  • Communities and businesses need to fundamentally update and change how they leverage each other to cultivate skills. And, skilled workers needs to be the number one priority for communities to thrive.

As we look to the future, our goal is to help shape the way communities invest in workers. We are always looking for new collaborators and clients working on the same issues.