After decades of strong growth fueled by the federal government, data in recent years shows a significant economic slowdown in metropolitan Washington. To respond to this challenge, the COG Board made economic competitiveness its focus in 2015 and directed staff to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the region’s economy. It invited a diverse group of leaders and stakeholders to participate in its monthly board meetings and annual retreat as well as the quarterly meetings of the Region Forward Coalition.
The 2016 State of the Region: Economic Competitiveness Report is the culmination of this effort, measuring a wide range of indicators on the region’s economic climate as well as its built and human infrastructure and quality of life. The report encourages leaders to build better connections between the region’s key assets and government, business, and academic leaders.
Moving forward, the COG Board is supporting several efforts to strengthen the region's competitiveness, such as working with partners to develop a coordinated regional export promotions strategy as part of the Global Cities Initiative. COG will help organize international trade missions for District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia leaders to jointly market the region. And COG is working with local governments and workforce boards to align job training programs with key industry sectors.
To support these efforts, COG's Department of Community Planning and Services collects and monitors economic data from various federal, state, local, and private sources and publishes summaries and analyses.