Thursday, July 28, 2011

Improving Springfield's future in the global economy

Ranjan Karri, an associate professor of management at the University of Illinois at Springfield, told the Citizens Club audience that Springfield should court Internet technology companies and similar businesses as a way to expand the city’s service sector and keep young workers from moving away to larger cities. He says small cities that are ranked as the best places to live generally have in common universities, strong service sectors and military bases, or a combination of the three.

“I also believe that there’s something else going on for these small cities,” Karri said. “There’s something called building an identity, building some kind of pride. It’s not enough for mayors or chambers of commerce to bring in jobs.... People have to feel that we have an identity.”

It’s not enough to be known as a city full of state workers or a city centered on Abraham Lincoln, Karri says, adding that building a broader identity requires cooperation.

Karri was featured in an July 28, 2011, article by the Illinois Times.

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