Championing the Doers – Philanthropy as a Toolkit for Economic Creation

As a 501c3 non-profit with the mission of improving economic outcomes in the middle of the country, we at Heartland Forward often find ourselves grappling with how our work, and indeed the giving of our philanthropists, can make the most impact.  Lukas Walton, Founder and CEO of Builders Vision and Board Trustee, Walton Family Foundation,… Continue reading Championing the Doers – Philanthropy as a Toolkit for Economic Creation

A Deep Dive into NSF Regional Innovation Engine Applications: How We Can Use NSF’s Interactive Application Visualization to Learn More About the Heartland and Innovation 

A few weeks after the deadline to submit concept outlines for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Regional Innovation Engines program, the economic development world received a pleasant surprise: NSF published an interactive visualization displaying the 679 submissions that advanced to the next round in the process. (Note: this visualization is embedded at the bottom of… Continue reading A Deep Dive into NSF Regional Innovation Engine Applications: How We Can Use NSF’s Interactive Application Visualization to Learn More About the Heartland and Innovation 

Heartland States and Communities Advance Innovation and Economic Development With the Support of Massive Federal Funding

How Can Communities Maximize these Opportunities? Billions of federal funds are being delivered across the country for new programs, investments in local innovation and infrastructure improvements. What’s more is that much of these dollars are flowing directly to the American heartland.  As a think-and-do tank with the mission to improve economic outcomes in the middle… Continue reading Heartland States and Communities Advance Innovation and Economic Development With the Support of Massive Federal Funding

Heartland Talent: Policy and Practice

Workforce development challenges have become perhaps the largest priority—trumping even job growth—for many areas of the heartland and particularly in smaller, growing metropolitan areas. Workforce initiatives traditionally have been federally funded and administered by state governments, sometimes creating overly staid systems not adaptable to meet local needs.  Local economic development organizations can provide the bridge… Continue reading Heartland Talent: Policy and Practice

‘Silicon Heartland’: We Have Visualized It

Last week the heartland –and the country– welcomed some very exciting news. Intel Corp announced it would invest up to $100 billion to build potentially the world’s largest chip-making complex in Ohio. The project will bring an initial $20 billion investment; the largest in Ohio’s history on a 1,000-acre site that will create 3,000 permanent jobs on top of an estimated 7,000 construction jobs.

Hiring Yourself: Industries Where Self-Employment has Expanded

This is the second of three posts looking at the geographic variation in self-employment in the U.S. This post specifically looks at self-employment rates in specific industries where self-employment options have expanded due to apps and new market models.

Hiring Yourself: How the Heartland Stacks Up

This is the first of three posts discussing self-employment and looking at the U.S. self- employment data. This post discusses self-employment in general and compares the rates in metro and non-metro areas of the heartland and non-heartland states.

2021 Heartland Forward Year in Review

From releasing cutting-edge policy reports, to standing up a comprehensive effort in our Connecting the Heartland high-speed internet campaign and making it possible for community builders to pursue their entrepreneurship dreams right here in the heartland, 2021 was a very busy year. Here are some of our 2021 highlights!

Four Principles to Maximize the Impact of Federal Spending on Connectivity in the Heartland

The signing of the federal infrastructure package is welcome news in the fight to close the digital divide across the heartland. Now the real work begins to make sure every dollar is spent efficiently and in service of the communities it’s intended to help.

Since Heartland Forward launched our Connecting the Heartland initiative to help close the digital divide, we have had the opportunity to engage with policymakers, subject matter experts, community leaders, digital equity advocates and residents across the heartland.

To that end, our work through Connecting the Heartland in the coming months and years will be anchored in four guiding principles.