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"Elevate Akron" Aims to Improve Economic and Job Opportunities

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A study by the group shows Akron offers fewer opportunities for African Americans and that the city's economy needs to promote entrepreneurship.

A group of Akron leaders revealed a new plan for economic development at a special Akron Roundtable event Monday. A panel of community leaders told the crowd that too many people have to leave Akron to get to work.

Their new initiative, Elevate Akron, will focus on increasing job opportunities locally and improving collaboration. A study they conducted shows that Akron’s economy is too traditional and needs to promote more entrepreneurship and innovation.

Steve Millard heads the Greater Akron Chamber. He said the study also found that opportunities in Akron are limited for the black population.

“If we can find a way to create a few more jobs to people that may not otherwise have access to them, create a little bit more of a lift in income and employment in certain parts of community that aren’t getting that lift, I think that will go a long way in ensuring that rising tide lifts all boats,” he said.

Millard said while challenges abound, he sees a momentum in the region that should keep Akron moving forward.