Greater Washington's regional economy needs to be repositioned in order to maximize its potential and compete globally. The Roadmap for the Washington Region's Economic Future provides a path forward.

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES

Knowledge Based Economy. The economies that will thrive in the future are those built around the dissemination of knowledge, the advancement of ideas, and the application of innovative technologies to solve global problems. Greater Washington’s economy has always been more knowledge-based and is well-positioned to thrive in this environment.

Global Government Power Center. As our nation’s capitol and the world’s number one government power center, the region is home to foreign governments and consulates, which enable top business leaders and cultures to connect regularly. This provides the region with a uniquely attractive business ecosystem.

Reinforcing this unique ecosystem are the region’s high quality of life, cultural diversity, world-class education centers, and its highly-educated and skilled workforce.

GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES

Seven advanced industrial clusters have been identified as well-positioned to accelerate the region’s economic growth over the coming decade.

If we reduce our historic dependence on federal spending and successfully diversify our economy across the advanced industrial clusters that are well-positioned to succeed here, the implications could be huge.

CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

The Roadmap findings have spurred high-level discussion about the best way to reposition and diversify our economy.

Regional leaders across a variety of sectors—business, government contracting, philanthropic, health, tech, and academic—regularly convened over the course of this past year to discuss and debate the Roadmap’s research findings. As a result, the coalition behind the Roadmap has identified and prioritized key challenges and opportunities necessary to move forward and set ourselves up to succeed in a globally competitive era.

Transportation

Improve the region's mobility and connectivity. Consider the formation of a regional transportation authority to address our transportation issues.

Housing

Identify solutions, such as a regional housing compact, to address housing affordability issues that negatively impact our quality of life and ability to attract and retain talent and businesses.

Workforce

Strengthen the collaboration between the academic and business communities to spur workforce development and ignite an entrepreneurial culture.

Rebranding

Develop and promote a brand that advances the Washington region as a global business center.

Collaboration

Institute region-wide collaboration on economic development efforts. Consider establishing a non-compete alliance to reduce poaching among local jurisdictions.

NEXT STEPS

The Roadmap has awakened the spirit of regional collaboration across the District, Maryland, and Virginia and has created a strong cross-sector coalition that will be the backbone behind the economic development of the region for years to come.

This coalition has already begun to move the bold, game-changing initiatives coming out of the Roadmap forward and has established working groups that will take a deeper dive into each initiative.

Download the Roadmap

ROADMAP RESEARCH REPORTS