Kara Wood believes in the old economic aphormism “A rising tide lifts all boats.”
And Wood the managing director of economic management services for the city of Grand Rapids, believes that’s exactly what’s happening in her city now.
Need proof? She’ll point to recent reports naming Grand Rapids one of the country’s leading cities for job and economic growth.
First, Reuters named Grand Rapids one of the top cities in the nation for job growth, while Business Facilities ranked the city the No. 1 midsized city for economic growth potential.
“We’re thrilled, and certainly we are proud of the businesses that continue to invest in Grand Rapids,” Wood said. “The city sees itself as an investment partner with these companies, and we want to continue to support them, and see them continue to succeed.”
Reuters, the international news organization, recently published an analysis of seven-year job growth in metropolitan statistical areas throughout the United States. This analysis found that 40% of the new jobs generated during that time went to 20 top ‘superstar’ cities. These high performing cities represent about a quarter of the population and are experiencing out-sized job growth.
The Grand Rapids area is one of only two cities in the Midwest on the list. The rest of the top 20 cities are clustered around fast growing regions in the south and coastal areas, such as Atlanta, Austin, San Francisco and Seattle.
“We have very strong, committed businesses in the community and in the region,” Wood said. “We also have strong collaboration between the public and private to see continued growth.”
In its 15th annual ranking, Business Facilities’ 2019 Metro Rankings Report named Grand Rapids the No.1 midsized city in the country for economic growth potential. The magazine highlighted the region for its diverse economic strengths in automotive, food processing, office furniture, metals, plastics, biopharmaceuticals, medical devices and production technology.
Topping the charts
Grand Rapids out-ranked several other notable cities, including Madison, Wisconsin and Birmingham, Alabama The full ranking can be found here.
“The Grand Rapids region has experienced tremendous economic growth over the past several years,” said Birgit Klohs, President and CEO, The Right Place, Inc. “These rankings recognize our region as a national leader, and further solidify our area as a destination for business success. There is no better time than now to be doing business and living in West Michigan.”