I made this video in support of my Master’s Thesis, Manufacturing Recovery: A Networked Approach to Green Job Creation in Massachusetts Gateway Cities. This movie is the story of one resident who is interested in finding employment in the clean energy sector. His story highlights the particular toll that the economic crisis has taken on the city of Lawrence, Massachusetts.
THESIS ABSTRACT: In this thesis, I compare workforce development planning in Lawrence and Lowell, Massachusetts, two of the state’s older industrial “Gateway” cities. I specifically examine local planning processes around job creation in the clean technology (clean tech) sector. Contradicting the notion of the cities as “urban twins,” I find that Lawrence’s original physical and social design led to a pattern of economic disinvestment and a deficit of municipal planning capacity compared to Lowell. Today, Lawrence experiences the resulting disadvantage when it competes with Lowell for clean tech economic development funds.
I argue that state and federal policymakers should recognize critical differences that exist among even the seemingly most similar communities and implement strong, place-based programs so that investments in green workforce development do not perpetuate the historic inequities that cities such as Lawrence face. I conclude by proposing a networked planning strategy that, with stimulus from the state and federal governments, could help Lawrence and Lowell to leverage more effectively and collaboratively their respective assets in support of a regional green economy.
Post by Marianna Leavy-Sperounis.