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2009 Competitive Assessment
The 2009 Competitive Assessment was conducted by Market Street Services, a community and economic development consulting firm. This report highlights the socio-economic strengths and weaknesses of the area as determined by this firm. For the purpose of this assessment Springfield was compared to Knoxville, Tennessee, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Kalamazoo, Michigan under the categories of "People, Prosperity and Place."
Strengths and weaknesses are featured for each topic area of people, prosperity and place in the Competitive Assessment Overview [pdf] and in the Springfield Business Journal's article, "Report cites job growth, low wages as Springfield issues."
Highlighted strengths from the assessment include:
- Strong population growth and increasing diversity
- Strong worker productivity rates
- A dynamic, very competitive quality of life inclusive of numerous cultural and recreational amenities
A sampling of weaknesses in the assessment include:
- A reported "culture of poverty" throughout the region -- especially related to youth poverty -- and its associated challenges including: lower incomes, high foreclosure and bankruptcy rates, and rising rates of teenage pregnancy
- Comparatively average, yet declining labor force participation rates
- Vulnerability of the city, both in terms of financial outlook (police/fire pension fund) and a lack of community and public-leadership vision and support for change
Read the Competitive Assessment Overview [pdf] for a complete listing of strengths and weaknesses or download the full report.