Friday, October 28, 2011

Study urges St. Louis region to pull together around economic development

BY TIM LOGAN • > 314-340-8291

The St. Louis region is at a crossroads, and if it doesn't make the right decisions in the next two years, it could spend the next two decades sliding ever deeper into economic irrelevance.

That's the stark gist of a massive study issued Thursday by the St. Louis County Economic Council — the latest in a long string of calls for the region to pull together if it hopes to thrive in the global economy.

The report, produced by consulting firm AECOM and paid for with a federal grant, runs 247 pages and sounds alarms heard here many times before. But in an interview last week its author minced few words.

"If you want to create jobs, you have to start acting like a region," said Chris Brewer, a vice president for economics at AECOM.

That means no more incentives to companies just for moving across a city line or even the Mississippi River. No more sniping among the different groups that work on regional economic development. And, he said, political leaders have to step up and speak for the region, not just their own patch of turf. More here.

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