Artsy Shipping City: The transformation of Duluth


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Drew Digby of DEED for the Blandin Broadband conference talks about economic and community development in Duluth Minnesota

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Artsy Shipping City: The transformation of Duluth

  1. 1. Drew Digby, Regional Labor Market Analyst, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Quick movie about Duluth and the region </li></ul><ul><li>The economic transformation </li></ul><ul><li>The dramatic recent changes </li></ul><ul><li>What’s worked. </li></ul><ul><li>What remain as our challenges </li></ul>
  3. 4. Duluth in 1980 <ul><li>The two biggest employers in 1980 were the government and manufacturing. </li></ul><ul><li>Direct Manufacturing jobs in Duluth accounted for exactly 12% of all jobs. </li></ul><ul><li>Government jobs, including the air force base, accounted for 23.9% of all jobs. </li></ul><ul><li>About 5% of all jobs were related to the port and railroads. </li></ul>
  4. 5. Duluth’s Fall <ul><li>Some have said that Duluth is where the Rust Belt began. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1981, the U.S. Steel plant closed, followed shortly afterward by the Duluth Air Force Base. </li></ul><ul><li>Unemployment rates in the 1980s reached 15%. Between 1980 and 1982, the number of people employed in Duluth fell by 4,000, or about 10% of all jobs in the city were just gone. </li></ul>
  5. 6. Duluth in 2009 <ul><li>The unemployment rate in Duluth in October 2009 was 7.1%. It was the 6 th month in a row that the unemployment rate was lower than both the state and national rates. </li></ul><ul><li>Even in the middle of the recession we have more than 58,000 jobs (compared to just 40,000 at the depths of the 1980s recession). </li></ul><ul><li>We have restaurants and stores opening in a recession. So much theater, music and other art that the biggest complaint is tracking it. </li></ul>
  6. 7. Higher Education <ul><li>Five colleges and universities in the Twin Ports (Duluth and Superior) enroll about 22,000 students. </li></ul><ul><li>October now matches the summer months for peak employment. </li></ul><ul><li>The institutions employ more than 2,800 workers at better than average wages . </li></ul>
  7. 8. Architecture and Engineering <ul><li>2003-2008. Sector grew by 72.4% in Duluth, peaking at just over 800 employees before dipping slightly in the recession, though companies have been adding back substantially since March. </li></ul>
  8. 9. Computer System Design <ul><li>Just one part of the Information Technology Sector. It grew from 240 employees in 2003 to 468 in 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>The larger Information Technology sector has 1,290 professionals in the Metro area, plus support staff. </li></ul>
  9. 10. Health Care <ul><li>In 2008, Health Care accounted for over 28% of the jobs in Duluth and more than 30% of the wages. </li></ul><ul><li>Just a service? No the Duluth market has found a niche to export, access to services, especially a variety of long-term care. </li></ul>
  10. 11. Manufacturing and Government <ul><li>Manufacturing, now just 5.8% of the jobs, less than half the percent just 30 years before. </li></ul><ul><li>Government Jobs, once nearly a quarter of all jobs, accounted for just 16.4% of the jobs in 2008, and that with higher education now accounting for a quarter of those jobs. Without the growth of colleges and universities, government employment would half what it once was. </li></ul>
  11. 12. Networks of Support <ul><li>Entrepreneurial Support. Small business development centers plus the Northeast Entrepreneur Fund plus various pools of investment capital and loans </li></ul><ul><li>The shifting terrain of economic development agencies, that despite struggles, have done some amazing things. </li></ul><ul><li>Professional organizations, especially in technology and professional fields </li></ul>
  12. 13. Private Investment, Public Initiatives <ul><li>There have been some amazing investors who’ve put their investment here. Hotels. Cirrus. </li></ul><ul><li>Interesting entrepreneurs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>True Ride/Epicurean. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Points North Consulting. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sinex Aviation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alan Zeppa and Zeitgeist Arts </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. Key Recent Initiatives <ul><li>Bridge Syndicate </li></ul><ul><li>Attracting and Retaining Young Adults </li></ul><ul><li>Social Capital </li></ul><ul><li>Knight Creative Communities Initiative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Art Works </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainable Twin Ports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pathways </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fit City Duluth </li></ul><ul><li>Duluth at Work </li></ul><ul><li>Blandin Community Leadership Program </li></ul>
  14. 15. Key Recent Initiatives <ul><li>At Home in Duluth </li></ul><ul><li>CREATE </li></ul><ul><li>Storefront Loan Program </li></ul><ul><li>Connect the Dots </li></ul><ul><li>Pioneering Healthier Communities </li></ul><ul><li>Prosperity Agenda </li></ul><ul><li>FUSE Duluth/Duluth Young Professionals </li></ul><ul><li>The DUSU </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  15. 16. It’s the Momentum <ul><li>Pathways. A train ride/bike ride and 6 bike racks. But it started the momentum. </li></ul><ul><li>Now it’s not just Grandma’s Marathon, but the Ten-Hour Triathlon </li></ul><ul><li>Would ArtWorks have gone anywhere without Zeppa? Maybe, but the momentum they created together. </li></ul><ul><li>New Ideas, ways of doing things take time. Minnesotans aren’t the best with new ideas or new people. </li></ul>
  16. 17. Challenge: Economic Sustainability <ul><li>How long will all of these new ideas pay off? Do we always need to be on the next curve? </li></ul><ul><li>More theater/music? How do we educate the audience and keep them growing. </li></ul>
  17. 18. Boomer Retirements <ul><li>How will businesses, community leadership, non-profit intuitions react as the Boomers retire. Where will the pressures be on spending? </li></ul>
  18. 19. The B.A. dilemma <ul><li>One of the best thing a young adult can do for their lifetime income is to get a B.A. degree, especially a B.A. degree in Liberal Arts. </li></ul><ul><li>The worst thing a young adult can do for their immediate job prospects in a smaller city is have a B.A. degree in the Liberal Arts. </li></ul>
  19. 20. Thank you <ul><li>Drew Digby </li></ul><ul><li>Regional Labor Market Analyst </li></ul><ul><li>Department of Employment and Economic Development </li></ul><ul><li>State of Minnesota </li></ul><ul><li>218.723.4775 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>