Congress has approved and the President has signed a new budget agreement that will raise the nation’s debt ceiling and reduce government spending. Now that the deal is done there’s a lot of discussion about how it will impact the U.S. economy and people. As the home of the federal government and with Uncle Sam as our primary employer it’s a pretty safe bet that metro Washington will be among the areas most affected. And it begs the question: What can we do to position ourselves to adapt and thrive as roles shift and the policy and budget environment changes?
On July 22nd as the debt and budget debate raged on Jared Bernstein of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities and former economic adviser for the Obama Administration spoke to a group of area leaders about this very topic. He said the region will need to diversify its economy and focus on job sectors like health care and clean energy. And while acknowledging the budget changes on the horizon Bernstein stressed the continued role of government in economic development and offered ideas to stimulate job growth such as an infrastructure program to repair and retrofit America’s public schools to become green buildings. Watch an excerpt of his remarks: