SSTI Digest

The latest reporting and analysis on breakthroughs in technology-based economic development research and issues that matter most to you. To receive the SSTI Weekly Digest via email, sign up here.


While economic expansion continues, several states forecasted to experience contractions

While the longest economic expansion in modern times in the U.S. continues and fears of a nationwide recession have subsided, there are signs that growth is slowing, and some states may be at risk for a recession.

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2020: Innovation, education and budgets weigh on governors in latest round of addresses

Education, infrastructure and budgets are all on the minds of the governors in this latest review of state of the state addresses. With more than half the governors having completed their outlooks by the end of January, this week we review the speeches through the end of month and find repeated attention to education, energy and budgeting issues, with a statewide lottery being introduced in Alaska, new energy legislation in Illinois, and South Carolina also proposed a funding increase for state universities that do not raise in-state tuition rates.

When benchmarks breed bad behavior

The old adage, “we become/are what we measure” can push behavior of individuals and organizations into unanticipated negative space when the selected key performance indicators take on too much importance — sometimes amazingly negative space that becomes common practice and potentially damaging for the entire industry.

FCC moves ahead with $20 billion rural broadband funding plan

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced last week that it has approved the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund which will provide $20.4 billion over two phases to help expand broadband networks throughout rural communities. Phase one will provide $16 billion for use in communities that are currently unserved by broadband services with minimal download speeds of 25 megabits per second (Mbps) and 3 Mbps upload speeds.

Millennials are growing up and bucking assumptions — but not starting businesses

A recent survey of millennials by professional services firm Ernst and Young (EY) provides insights into how the generation is aging — and bucking some long-held assumptions. Evaluating the generation’s trends in living arrangements, lifestyle and career preferences, financial health, and social perspectives, EY found that some of the assumptions about millennials are not holding.

Recent Research: The financial constraints entrepreneurs face

What holds people back from starting a business? How does lifting financial constraints help promote entrepreneurship?

Useful Stats: 10-year Changes in Real GDP by County and Industry, 2009-2018

Building on SSTI’s recent analysis of county-level GDP by industry, this edition moves beyond a single year and examines the changes in real — adjusted for inflation — county GDP and the changes in industry-specific contributions to county GDP for the 10-year period from 2009 to 2018. As shown in the interactive map below, the total 10-year growth rate for counties averaged approximately 21 percent.

Study finds SBA’s FAST is working

The Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) is intended to increase innovation-based small business awareness and participation in the SBIR and STTR programs in places and populations that are underrepresented in the programs’ award portfolios.  Through FAST, the Small Business Administration (SBA) makes small, matching one-year awards to state programs on a competitive basis.

Tech Talkin’ Govs 2020: DE, HI, ME, MA, NE, NM, SD, WI trying to build economies

The economy, workforce and climate change continue to surface in governors' state of the state addresses. While today’s strong economy allows most governors to reflect on how the states have grown, preparing for the next downturn continues to be a point of concern.

States boosting workforce efforts through skills training

More states are employing different efforts to boost their workforce and to seek the best solutions to workforce dilemmas. The National Governors Association (NGA) recognized that governors are exploring ways to guide development and expansion of youth apprenticeship programs and has issued a white paper that explores three strategies governors can use to expand on such programs.

New decade, new opportunity for advancement in inclusive entrepreneurship

A recent report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) focuses on increasing participation in entrepreneurship from underrepresented and disadvantaged groups such as women, immigrants, youth, seniors, the unemployed, and people with disabilities.

Portland, Maine to benefit from $100 million research institute

On Monday, Maine Gov. Janet Mills and Mayor Kate Snyder gathered on Portland’s waterfront for the unveiling of a $100 million research institute designed to drive innovation, talent and economic growth in Portland, the region and the state of Maine.

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