On Thursday December 11Th, the University of Pittsburgh and Sustainable Pittsburgh hosted their fifth annual regional equitable development summit. At the summit University of California at Davis associate professor of community and regional development Chris Benner delivered the keynote address on his research that suggests inequity hampers economic growth because the full development and utilization of a region's most valuable asses-its people- is constrained. Benner said that racial equity and inclusion are fundamental components of building prosperous and sustainable regions.
Benner said that inequity imposes a high cost on regional businesses, government and communities which serves to stifle progress. As part of his recommendations Benner suggests that regions need to focus job growth efforts on specific industries, look at programs that can increase demand for African American workers and realize that there are barriers to employment even for people who are already employed.