For Immediate Release
Contact: Catherine Hedgeman 518-708-6350
ALBANY, N.Y. (9/14/09) — New York’s Capital Region is more talented, creative and hip than you may think.
But the area still has a lot of work to do if it wants to attract and retain more creative professionals.
That’s the message event organizers hope people will take away from a Sept. 24 presentation at the Palace Theatre by best-selling author Richard Florida, Ph.D.
“In the global battle for creative talent, we are going to see a strong emphasis, greater than ever before, on the importance of quality of place,” Florida said. “For Albany to compete effectively, the region will have to provide creative workers with a complete authentic community.”
THE CREATIVE CLASS
Florida’s upcoming talk in Albany will focus on the concepts in his latest book “Who’s Your City? — How the Creative Economy is Making the Place Where You Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life.”
This book is the most recent in a series examining what Florida calls the “Creative Class,” an emergent class of highly mobile intellectuals, artists and entrepreneurs.
This group of idea-creating professionals is highly courted by community leaders because, although it amounts to just 30 percent of the total workforce, the creative class controls more than 70 percent of the discretionary income in the nation.
But members of the creative class have the ability to choose where they want to live, according to Florida, and they choose to live in tolerant communities with a good job market, appealing aesthetics, cultural amenities, and a large pool of potential mates.
HOW DOES ALBANY RANK ON THE CREATIVITY INDEX?
According to Florida, the percentage of creative class professionals in the Albany workforce is higher than the national average for regions of its size.
About 32 percent of the Capital Region workforce (137,710 workers) can be described as creative class, while 15 percent of the Capital Region workforce (67,310 workers) can be described as the “Super-Creative Core,” which includes scientists, engineers, techies, innovators, and researchers, as well as artists, designers, writers and musicians.
This summer, Florida ranked Albany #20 in a national list of the “Best 25 Cities for Gen Y” (for singles ages 20-29).
In 2005, he identified Albany as a top mid-sized metro area in the country for “talent clusters” in the legal and media fields.
In his 2002 “Creativity Rankings,” Florida placed Albany at No. 2 (behind Albuquerque) among medium-sized cities in the U.S. The score is based on the number of creative workers, the presence of high tech industries and the level of diversity in the region.
More Albany Metro Area Place Rankings
(Among 266 U.S. Regions):
Singles (20-29) overall – 20th
Singles (20-29) best buy – 14th (when cost is figured in)
Professionals (29-44) overall – 27th
Professionals (29-44) best buy – 32nd
Families with children overall – 25th
Families with children best buy – 44th
Empty-nesters overall – 22nd
Empty-nesters best buy – 29th
Retirees overall – 25th
Retirees best buy – 31st
Source: Richard Florida, director of the Martin Prosperity Institute,
Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
The Stakeholders, Inc., and the Center for Economic Growth (CEG) are co-hosting Richard Florida’s presentation at the Palace as part of the “Future Forward” speaker series. General Electric is the major sponsor.
“We invited Richard Florida to our Capital City to start the discussion about how and why we should invest in a creative economy,” said Catherine Hedgeman, president and CEO of The Stakeholders. “The future of our region hinges on revitalization of our cities and on investment in a creative economy to ensure artists, entrepreneurs and social innovators can thrive.”
“Our region’s culture of innovation is predicated on the development and exchange of ideas,” said F. Michael Tucker, CEG’s president and CEO. “When you couple that with a spirited quality of life you get a location that is well suited for a dynamic, high tech economy.”
“GE is pleased to bring Richard Florida back to the region,” said Christine Horne, manager of Communications and Public Affairs, GE Energy. “We consider this a great opportunity to hear Florida’s ideas on the ‘creative class,’ commercial innovation, and regional development. His unique perspective on global trends and economics will help us understand, as a region, how to compete in the global marketplace.”
For information about the Sept. 24 presentation by Richard Florida at the Palace Theatre, visit: http://www.yourcitycapregion.com.
For information about Richard Florida and a press kit, visit:
For information about the Center for Economic Growth, visit: http://www.ceg.org.
For information about The Stakeholders Foundation, Inc., visit: http://thestakeholders.org.