Over the past four decades, the forces of economic restructuring, globalization, and suburbanization, coupled with changes in social policies and policy transformation have dimmed hopes for revitalizing minority neighborhoods in the U.S. Community economic development offers a possible way to improve economic and employment opportunities in minority communities. In this authoritative collection of original essays, contributors evaluate current programs and their prospects for future success.
Using case studies that consider communities of African-Americans, Latinos, Asian immigrants, and Native Americans, the book is organized around four broad topics. "The Context" explores the larger demographic, economic, social, and physical forces at work in the marginalizationing of minority communities. "Labor Market Development" discusses the factors that shape supply and demand and examines policies and strategies for workforce development. "Business Development" focuses on opportunities and obstacles for minority-owned businesses. "Complementary Strategies" probes the connections between varied economic development strategies, including the necessity of affordable housing and social services.
Taken together, these essays offer a comprehensive primer for students as well as an informative overview for professionals.
"This collection is both timely and important.... The variety of cities and ethnic/racial communities discussed in these readings suggests that the inherent pragmatics of effective community development demand a sensitivity to place and cultural context that is too often missing in the field."
—David Bartelt, Geography and Urban Studies, Temple University
"Jobs and Economic Development in Minority Communities is an excellent book. It fills a gap in the urban economics literature and it enriches the academic content of the field of community economic development."
—Cecilia Conrad, Stedman-Sumner Professor of Economics, Pomona College
“Each chapter draws on either case material or quantitative assessments to document the employment and economic dynamics of low-income, minority communities. Many chapters focus on specific minority groups in cities such as Los Angeles, New York, or San Francisco. All are thoughtful and informative. The editors argue that any effective community economic development strategy will have to be multidimensional, and their book appropriately reflects this understanding. Summing Up: Recommended.”
"The various authors put development in the context of such issues as sprawl, immigration, and welfare reform. They consider both workforce and business development, and discuss how social networks, social services, and affordable housing might connect."
“This book is highly recommended, and its in-depth treatment of the historical and social context of concentrated poverty and policy alternatives would make it particularly useful in a graduate seminar….The editors have done a remarkable job of putting together a volume in which each chapter seems to build on the examples and policy recommendations of the others. Rather than being an assortment of articles on a theme, the chapters together create a ‘collective wisdom’ of community economic development.”
—Journal of American Ethnic History
"The compendium’s most valuable contribution is its challenge to prevailing assumptions about the regional character of job markets and best practices in workforce and enterprise development….Practitioners and applied scholars will find useful frameworks for promoting, designing, and implementing holistic, community-based metropolitan economic development plans. The collection’s challenges to status quo thinking about ‘best practices’ translate into reasoned approaches for nongentrifying, nondisplacing, and economically and socially effective economic development."
—Economic Development Quarterly
"(A)n extremely valuable addition to debates focused on stimulating jobs and economic development in minority communities. It importantly -- and quite correctly -- emphasizes the need to sensitize community development activities according to geographical, cultural, and socio-political contexts and the need for interventions to be both cross-cutting and multi-dimensional."
—Town Planning Review