When is a marathon more than just a race?
Answer: When it’s part of an integrated economic development strategy.
by John Hull, director of market intelligence
Size matters when it comes to a metro area because size helps determine whether a metro is growing and on the path to prosperity, if it is stagnant … or even worse, declining. Research released last fall by the Brookings Institute comparing economic performance of the largest metros to mid-size and small metro areas shows large metros are talent magnets drawing large pools of workers by virtue of diverse amenities and a high level of opportunity. Brookings’ work shows small and mid-size metros trail the 100 largest metros in rates of growth in employment, personal income, and labor force participation.
This isn’t to say mid-size metros and smaller metros do not have a place in the modern economy. The Roanoke Region’s experience in the last 24 months illustrates significant potential.
American Electric Power Co. (AEP) will invest $12.7 million to establish its AEP Transmission operation in the City of Roanoke. AEP is modernizing, rebuilding, and expanding electricity transmission lines throughout its service area, covering 11 states and 200,000 miles.