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Explaining Economic Development

Last week I was privileged to explain job to the wonderful students at Canton Elementary STEM Academy.
I am just now able to share in blog because I have been super busy.

Explaining what economic development is is already difficult because it is so broad. Explaining my job to 6th graders would be in a land somewhere between Daunting to Impossible, so I believed.

It ended up being neither. The children were intelligent, interactive, and enthusiastic- they made teaching easy. I was impressed with the questions they asked and how quickly they picked up on what economic development was all about.

I explained my vocation in the most simplistic way as possible. I would like to share some of my notes with you. Please feel free to use them in case you end up having to break down what economic development is and how it works.

  • WHAT: Economic development is all about making happy and healthy communities. Happy and healthy communities. Happy and healthy communities.
    • What makes a community? People.
    • Therefore economic development is, at its foundation, all about people.
    • What makes a community happy and healthy? Clean air, clean water, good schools, good hospitals, good roads and bridges, good recreation activities, good shopping and dining options, good jobs, good looks, fire and police protection, and good housing.
  • WHY: Economic development is important so people have good jobs, good housing, good safety and care services, and good educational opportunities. It's also important so people stay and have families, raise their children, and spend money. Lastly, economic development is important for sustainability for future generations.
  • HOW: Involve lots of different people with different backgrounds and experiences. Find issues and work together to solve them. Use tax dollars with integrity to citizens' benefit.
This was my format of how I taught 6th graders economic development and it worked. It should work for adults too. The information only covers the surface of economic development. Those in the field know its so much more, but you get it.

Feel free to share. Ask questions. Leave a comment.


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