Washington Region Collaboration Encouraged to Combat Effects of Sequestration

To combat the effects of federal sequestration, business leaders in the Washington region are urging government officials to compete less and work collaboratively to create jobs and grow the area’s economy.  As reported by the Washington Post,

A historic slowdown in federal spending — caused largely by the mandated budget cuts known as sequestration — has taken a bite of $11 billion a year in government contracts out of the area’s economy and forced local companies to scramble to respond.

It has also prompted local business and civic leaders to push state and local governments to compete less with one another for jobs, investment and sports teams. They are urging politicians instead to collaborate in areas such as training workers, marketing the region and, above all, improving transportation.

The goal is to nudge the region to compete more effectively with rival metropolitan areas such as Silicon Valley and Boston. The concern is that without such change, the Washington area risks becoming an economic laggard.

To carry out this goal, business and civic leaders have formed a group to “produce a post-sequestration “Road Map” for the region’s economy.

The 2030 Group, led by ­Maryland developer Robert E. Buchanan, organized the effort. It has hired George Mason University economist Stephen S. Fuller to study how to aid seven key local industries, including information technology and bio-health services, that have high growth potential. The group plans to release its results by October.

The eventual goal is one or more “regional summits” to agree on a strategy for “diversifying the region’s economy based on its unique competitive position . . . as the capital of the world’s largest economy,” according to the Road Map’s research proposal.