Key Issues

With its sponsors, the Council and the Association of Governments, and partner organizations representing constituencies throughout the region, the Economic Forum addresses key issues of overarching concern to the area and its economic future. Economic Forum projects and initiatives mobilize leaders from the public and private sectors, higher education, labor and the community to work together to strengthen the region's economic climate and address its major challenges.

  • Competitiveness Knowledge-based industries drive the economy. Fostering a positive business climate and the growth of those industries in which the region has a comparative advantage is key to maintaining economic prosperity.

  • Infrastructure The Economic Forum maintains a special focus on state and regional economic infrastructure, including ports, airports, water, transportation and energy.

  • Trade & Globalization The Economic Forum provides continuing analysis of the area's role in global trade; advocates on trade issues at the regional, state and national levels; and serves as a platform for leaders in the regional and state trade service communities to jointly address trade-related issues.

  • Science & Innovation The Area Science and Innovation Consortium (ASIC) serves as a platform for the region's research community-including its five national laboratories, five research universities, and leading corporate and independent laboratories-to address issues of critical importance to the science and technology community.

  • # Business Development The Area Marketing Partnership, representing the economic development offices of the region's cities and counties, assists companies seeking to locate or expand in the world's leading knowledge economy.

  • Homeland Security In partnership with the Area Science Innovation Consortium (ASIC), the Economic Forum provides a regional focus and programs relating to the challenge of homeland security.

  • Governance The quality of the state's governance impacts both the economy and the quality of life of its citizens. The Economic Forum, with its key partners, is committed to improving the transparency, accountability and performance of the state government