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Mahoning Valley finds out what matters in post-recession economy

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Fostering growth in a post-recession economy was the topic that attracted Mahoning Valley civic, community and business leaders to a forum conducted in Youngstown Thursday.

The information shared at the forum is the result of a years worth of research to help community leaders identify factors associated with advancing a growing, opportunity-rich economy.

Those factors include entrepreneurship and innovation, education, and job growth.

Of course, job creation is an important factor but this new research finds that another link to jobs is even more important for economic growth

"I think the emphasis needs to be not just on jobs but on good jobs so that's a theme that's coming out of this," says Emily Pacetti with Fund for Our Economic Future.

The research found that job creation needs to also produce income generation for a community to realize real growth.

"So that growth isn't just about jobs. It's also about per capita income ... the wealth that we build over time. It's also about productivity. It's also about the product of our economy," Pacetti said.

The director of the Wean Foundation, the forums co-sponsor, says growth and opportunity need to have the same focus.

"Can we get lots of different parties together to compare notes, organize their work, organize their thinking and really start to have more impact," said Wean Foundation Director Jeffrey Glebocki.

By putting the knowledge gained through this research to work, some believe it could bring about a new economy.

I'm hopeful that it spurs directed action in each of our metropolitan areas to address the issues that have been identified and develop strategies that work in each of our communities," said Hunter Morrison with NEO Sustainable Communities.

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