Innovation and STEM-worker intensive advanced industries drive regional and national economic development in the United States. For that reason, states like Colorado and Tennessee are increasingly taking a lead in fostering these crown-jewel industries.
In Colorado, Governor John Hickenlooper is actively working to promote innovation in his state’s advanced industry sector, including the space and aerospace economy, which provides thousands of jobs in both the public and private sectors with spillover effects in advanced telecommunications, software, and advanced materials.
In Tennessee, Governor Bill Haslam is moving to expand the South’s leading automotive manufacturing supply chain by upgrading its workforce and catalyzing innovation. There the auto industry is already a powerful driver of the state economy employing nearly 100,000 Tennesseans and accounting for one-third of the state’s manufacturing jobs. In each instance, both states have acted on their own to work with the private sector to renew the nation’s strategic economic base from the bottom-up.
On February 20, 2014, the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings hosted a forum highlighting the importance of the nation’s advanced industries and state-level actions being taken to expand them. Brookings Vice President Bruce Katz and McKinsey Americas Advanced Industries Director Daniel Pacthod framed the discussion by describing the nature and importance of advanced industries. Their remarks were followed by a bipartisan dialogue between Govs. Haslam and Hickenlooper, discussing their efforts to expand key advanced industry clusters and the need for a supportive federal platform for those efforts.
- Gov. John Hickenlooper, Colorado: Advanced industries is the place where all of the basic things that people across the state wanted came together. The people, engineers and scientists involved, and all the long tails these industries have, have a tremendous benefit.
- Bruce Katz: Advanced industries are at the vanguard of commercialization of innovation. This is a platform for national competitiveness and national growth that is significant.
- Gov. Bill Haslam, Tennessee: It's a much more competitive world now and the bottom line is that a trained workforce really matters. In Tennessee we don't talk about K-12 anymore; we talk about K to J: having a job.
- Gov. John Hickenlooper, Colorado: We need to be organized and pragmatic about exports and push the kinds of research dollars that come out of Washington into those places that are more rapidly going to generate real products and real services.