Author Archives: Erik Pages

A New Look at the Independent Workforce

A new assessment of the US’s independent workforce–The State of Independence in America 2017 from MBO Partners–was released this week.  This is a very useful annual survey that is worth a look–however, I always recommend some caution when the actual core … Continue reading

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Impact Investing and Employee Ownership

The data on the benefits of employee-owned companies is very compelling.  For example, a recent Rutgers University study found that employee-owned firms have higher productivity rates and generally outperform similar firms that are not employee-owned.  Moreover, employee-owned firms were less … Continue reading

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Rural America in the Trump Era

Thanks to the excellent website and newsfeed, The Daily Yonder, I recently got acquainted with an equally excellent research paper, “The Economic Status of Rural America in the Trump Era,” by Stephan Goetz, Mark Partridge and Heather Stephens.   There’s … Continue reading

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EntreWorks Spring Tour 2017

Starting next week, I’ve got several upcoming speaking engagements, including: May 10:  Southwest Virginia Economic Forum (Wise VA) June 15: NERETA Job Creation Summit (Scranton, PA) June 19-20:  Association of Defense Communities (Washington, DC) Work engagements will also be taking … Continue reading

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The Food Corridor

I’ll confess to a little fatigue with various shorthand business pitches for companies such “Uber for XXX” or “Amazon for YY.”  (My personal favorite, “Fitbit for Cows,” is an actual business.  Cowlar is a successful company selling livestock sensors to … Continue reading

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Flexible Retirement and the Gig Economy

In today’s America, if you want to be a freelancer or gig economy worker, you need to make a basic trade-off.  You get freedom, independence, and (hopefully) more money in exchange for zero benefits and lots of risk in terms … Continue reading

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Supporting Coal Regions in the West

When we think about America’s coal economy, we typically first think about Appalachia.  But, the reality is that most coal in the US comes from the West—from regions in Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming in particular.  Communities in the West … Continue reading

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Philanthropy and Rural America

As budget cuts hit essential government programs for community development, we all need to be searching for other sources of investment capital to support local economic development and workforce initiatives.   Philanthropy must be a critical piece in this puzzle, but … Continue reading

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Social Impact Bonds: An Update

A recent Brookings piece on the use of social impact bonds in Colombia prompted me on a little research project to examine what’s been happening in this space since I wrote about it a few years ago.  The Colombia project, … Continue reading

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Economic Transition and “Deaths of Despair”

As regular readers of this blog know, I can get going on a good rant over the near absence of any kind of economic transition support for displaced workers in the US.  Our social safety net is torn and frayed, … Continue reading

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