April 29, 2024


“One does not plan and then try to make circumstances fit those plans. One tries to make plans fit the circumstances. – General George Patton

It’s spring and many of us are out sprucing of up our lawns or garages, bending and stacking and using muscles we perhaps haven’t used in a long time.

Our economy also requires us to use some muscles that we’ve not used in some time. Interest rates are once again consequential, and traditional lending on real estate and other capital needs are very challenging. The changing nature of skills and work require not just getting good people (a hard enough task), but doing significant training. Downtown development harkens to an earlier time – perhaps all the way back to the 70’s and 80’s when cities were in real trouble.

Here is the good news. We know how to do this. We built our cities up over 40 years and we can do it again – and do it in a more equitable and sustainable way. We have many low interest loan programs that can help the public sector share the risk with private developers to move real estate projects forward, and we have the best institutions and extraordinary technology to train for the skills required in a rapidly changing work environment.

We’re all urgently working on the long-term issues we face in our communities. In our urgency to act, let us no look past the programs that we’ve kept in a desk drawer for a generation. Call upon those that built our cities up before. Sit down with a past leader or community historian. Don’t fixate on talent acquisition alone and forget to make the commitment and investment to train and retrain your workforce.

Let’s have a great week, lift each other up, and move forward together.

Kenny McDonaldPresident and CEOColumbus Partnership