A Community Development Strategy based upon Upgrading our Economic Engine

Tele-Commuter Resources has been committed to the development of a coherent set of public-private policies which collectively will rebuild community viability throughout the multi-state region of Minneapolis-St. Paul. TCR believes in partnership; the community sector must set the goals and values, the public sector should provide the requisite environment and the private sector must become the primary agent for implementation. The market will do the right thing if a community vision is articulated, if the economics are favorable and if the regulations are consistent and supportive. Tom Peters quotes an MIT colleague- "Incrementalism is the enemy of Innovation" If any region wishes to be a leader in the Information Age, it cannot apply new tools to old models, as a regional community we must be clear about our vision, and we must be innovative in our approach. Absent this, the market will continue to thrive within the context of a regional status quo until there is a compelling business reason to pursue a different path. If we chose to become a globally competitive region, we first must define how that region is defined- and then we must develop the vision.

The Global Economy implicitly challenges society to redefine its organizational priorities. Should society apply its Vision to traditional political boundaries defined by geology and pre-statehood negotiations or should it build upon the emerging economic regions- and if so how?

Economically, the upper Midwest is dominated by the major markets of Minneapolis-St Paul, Milwaukee, Chicago and Omaha. But what role should the small towns and rural trade centers play?

TCR believes that it is critical to the region's competitive position that we ensure that rural trade centers be reinforced so that the rural area can become an integrated and balanced partner with the urban areas and the larger trade centers. Community viability must include a sustainable local economy, a balanced occupational and demographic mix and equal participation in the regional economy. Telecommuting uses technology to allow workers to chose the community that most closely matches their desired quality of life. The competitive rules for community development have changed!