By Emily Garr Pacetti, Associate Director, Inclusive Economies & Cities, The Rockefeller Foundation
Consider for a moment the daily commute of a resident living in the Central neighborhood of Cleveland, a low-income neighborhood just south of the city center, where many residents don’t have access to a car. The resident has a job in Solon, a suburb approximately 18 miles southeast of Cleveland that added more jobs between 2010 and 2012 than any other city in Northeast Ohio. On a Monday morning, the resident takes two buses, making a total of 88 stops, to arrive at his or her job 89 minutes later. Personal obligations, such as school or caring for children or elderly at home, compound the challenges that these residents — old and young — face in reaching, maintaining and excelling in their jobs.
Unfortunately, this is not a singular experience in Northeast Ohio. For the roughly 15,000 working-age residents in and around the Central neighborhood, 47 percent of those employed work outside of nearby Cleveland neighborhoods, but within Cuyahoga County in suburbs like Solon.
In 2016, even as unemployment decreases, millions of United States residents are still unable to participate in the economy to their fullest potential due to barriers such as long commute times.
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