Traffic and Leadership Pose Challenge in Region

Dr. Richard Florida sees both as a Hindrance to Attracting and Maintaining Talent in Region

Contact: Raguel Broy Turner

October 20, 2006

Washington, D.C.—Social theorist and Brookings Institution Senior Fellow, Dr. Richard Florida served as keynote speaker at the Washington, DC Economic Partnership Annual Meeting luncheon on Tuesday, October 17, 2006.

Dr. Florida detailed the steady shift from traditional factory jobs to an increased reliance on human capital or intellectual capital within U.S. cities over the past 50 years. This transfer of job skills has placed several once economically strong cities in dire straits. With city economies weakening, the creative talent base is looking elsewhere for work; taking with them their talent, earning potential and intellect.

While DC does not have an abundance of factories and has successfully attracted a high level of talented workers, Dr. Florida forecasts, “with the region’s increased traffic congestion on roads and highways, this issue could detract employees from locating to the region.” He strongly encouraged the leadership of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia to address what he sees as an imminent threat to the region’s future work force. Dr. Florida reminded the audience that “creative talent can be taken anywhere in the world.” A person in the creative class has the ability to relocate themselves anywhere throughout the United States Toronto, Beijing, London and other highly creative cities.

He also underscored the importance of culture, diversity and community in relation to economic development. He explained that there are very few cities in the United States that are as racially and culturally diverse as the District of Columbia and how this serves to attract families and employees.

To learn more about Dr. Richard Florida, his theories on the regional and global economy and the role of the creative class, visit his Creative Class website.

The Annual Meeting will air on the District Government’s Cable Television channels 13 and 16 later this month. Photographs of the event can be viewed on the Annual meeting luncheon page.


The WDCEP is a 501(c)3 non-profit, public/private partnership dedicated to promoting business opportunities throughout DC and contributing to business retention and attraction activities. For more information visit

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