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Midwest Focuses on Historic Strengths to Fuel Return to Prominence

Clues From the Past: The Midwest as an Aspirational Region

The American Great Lakes region has long been an area defined by the forces of production, both agricultural and industrial. Since the 1840s, the region has been forging a legacy of productive power, surpassing the Northeast as the primary center of American industrial and agricultural production. However, over the last generation, demographic and economic trends have dipped due to national and international competition.

A report developed by Praxis Strategy Group’s Mark Schill and Joel Kotkin along with Ryan Streeter  and  describes how, for the first time in a generation, the Great Lakes region is experiencing demographic and economic trends in its favor. Yet in everything from migration to industrial growth, the region can expect to face strong competition for new jobs and production from other areas, most notably Texas, the Southeast, the Great Plains and the Intermountain West.

The economic research report reveals that in order to meet this challenge and take advantage of improved conditions, the region must develop a strategy that suits its competitive advantages.

There is no need to try to compete with Manhattan on urban chic, with Silicon Valley on high-tech startups or with Hollywood on entertainment, rather, the Great Lakes region must focus primarily on the values of production and community that sparked its original ascendance. Once these are identified and strengthened, the region can once again rebound and define its own space in the national and global economy.

Download the report at The Sagamore Institute.