Employment and Training Administration

Last week we noticed the spread into multiple federal agency budgets of FY 2011 program proposals aimed at supporting regional industry clusters--the geographic concentrations of interconnected firms and supporting organizations that play such an important role in enhancing regional economic performance. Yet that is just one spreading governance "meme" on display in the Obama administration's second budget.

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From its opening pages, the Obama administration’s FY2011 budget request adopts a stance that pervades this blog. Declares the document: “We need to recognize that competitive, high-performing regional economies are essential to a strong national economy.” (See page 20 of the federal budget.) In line with this recognition, the new budget unveils not one, but several proposals to support regional industry or innovation “clusters” through multiple federal departments. Clusters, as we have noted previously, are a fundamental fact of national economies, and a critical enhancer of regional economi

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