Promoting an inclusive economy for all Atlanta residents is an essential part of PSE’s JUST Opportunity portfolio. PSE’s portfolio partners represent an organized group of key regional economic development leaders representing the private, nonprofit, and government sectors. This committed group, called the JUST Opportunity Circle (JOC), is exploring sustainable strategies and solutions for equitable economic opportunities for individuals and their families. The JOC, with the support of the PSE team, is working on developing a set of strategies that will create a regional continuum of economic opportunity for low-income talent and potential employers. These strategies draw on the power and potential of collaboration between JOC members by leveraging their individual areas of interest and expertise for collective impact. By viewing the need and potential for impact as a continuum, JOC efforts promote a more efficient coordination of supply and demand needs in Metro Atlanta. Additionally, the JOC is garnering support for a regional communications strategy to promote the notion of shared prosperity, equitable job opportunities, and regional competitiveness via its continuum concept. The guiding principles of the JOC are:
- Economic inclusion accounts for the financial well-being of families throughout the region.
- Low-income communities and communities of color are untapped economic assets.
- Access to equitable educational opportunities with support systems are key to successful economic development efforts.
- Increased workforce and soft-skills development for vulnerable communities foster engagement for a stronger economy.
- The human assets found in under-resourced communities must be positioned to inform and benefit from positive market outcomes.
- Place-based approaches for economic inclusion will revitalize under-developed areas and invigorate metropolitan economies.
PSE will continue to provide research and convene local stakeholders to jump-start regional efforts around economic inclusion. Past gatherings have been well attended by thought leaders, policymakers, and community members currently engaged in collaborative work. Future forums will be dynamic vehicles for developing a shared understanding of the urgency for jointly exploring the opportunities embedded in realizing a more inclusive economy.