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The New American Heartland

Report analyzes how Middle America can drive nation’s economy


The greatest test America faces is whether it can foster the kind of growth that benefits and expands the middle class. To do so, the United States will need to meet three challenges: recover from the Great Recession, rebalance the American and international economies, and gain access to the global middle class for the future of American goods and services.

A new report, co-authored by Cleveland State University’s Richie Piiparinen, argues the key to meeting these challenges is the combination of industries and resources concentrated in the New American Heartland. The New American Heartland: Renewing the Middle Class by Revitalizing Middle America, produced by the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, illustrates how Middle America is uniquely positioned to drive solutions to the economic challenges we face. It also presents a series of policy reforms to further the region’s success, including increasing basic R&D in science and technology, enhancing direct federal aid for infrastructure investment and creating a super-region strategy that goes beyond state boundaries to promote overall development.

“The New American Heartland is rich in population, resources, agriculture, manufacturing and infrastructure,” the report says. “But if the Heartland is to achieve its full potential as an engine of American and global economic growth in the twenty-first century, these assets must be entirely put in play.”

Read the report. Watch the City Club of Cleveland's report release event