Metro Economy Outlook Announces Brookings Institution Speaker

August 24, 2015

Brookings’ international expert on economic and urban development
to speak at 16th Annual Metro Outlook Sept. 17

Brookings’ international expert on economic and urban development
to speak at 16th Annual Metro Outlook Sept. 17

The 16th Annual Asheville Metro Economy Outlook announced today it will feature Bruce Katz, an internationally-renowned policy adviser on economic and urban development at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. As the keynote speaker on Thursday, September 17, Katz will present research on the leading role of metropolitan areas like Asheville in building a more productive, resilient economy and the growth of urban innovation districts that foster a new type of economic development.

The Metro Economy Outlook is presented by Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP and VanWinkle Law Firm. The Economic Development Coalition (EDC) will share the new public plan for AVL 5×5: Vision 2020, Asheville and Buncombe County’s job creation strategy for the next five years. Networking starts at 4:45 p.m. and the program will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Lioncrest on the Biltmore Estate.

Bruce Katz is a vice president at the Brookings Institution and founding director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. A leading expert on innovation districts, Katz co-authored The Metropolitan Revolution (Brookings Press, 2013) on the emerging metropolitan-led "next economy" and leading metropolitan areas that have produced more and better jobs driven by innovation, exports and sustainability. He regularly lectures on urban and metropolitan issues to large audiences across the U.S., from civic events to universities, and in recent years was invited to present in countries such as China, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and South Africa.

In 2008 Katz served on the president’s transition team for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he was chief of staff during the Clinton administration. He is a graduate of Brown University and Yale Law School.

“Asheville’s AVL 5×5: Vision 2020 is a testament to the power of collaboration between public, private and civic leaders,” said Katz. “It is a step toward a more vibrant metropolitan economy that can compete in the 21st century marketplace and create good jobs for the residents of the Asheville region.”

“Bruce Katz’s work is timely and relevant to our region’s economic development efforts and our goal of growing higher-wage jobs,” said Heidi Reiber, Director of Research for the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and EDC. “His insightful research points to cities that are leading the charge in attracting many high-wage jobs in innovation-centric industries.”

Coming off a successful five years of AVL 5×5 with $1 billion in capital investment and 6,385 direct and indirect new jobs announced, the EDC’s Executive Director Ben Teague will present plans for the new AVL 5×5: Vision 2020. The strategic plan is an evolution of the first five years, which far surpassed the community’s goals of attracting and growing higher wage jobs and capital investment.

The event is open to the public and will be held on the Biltmore Estate starting at 4:45 p.m. with networking, followed by the program from 5:30-7 p.m. Cost to attend is only $20 for Asheville Chamber members, $25 for the public, and registration is free for students. Attendees should register in advance on the Chamber’s website:

Metro Economy Outlook sponsors include Dixon Hughes Goodman, VanWinkle Law Firm, Asheville Citizen-Times, Duke Energy Progress, ERC Broadband, Roberts & Stevens, Asheville Savings Bank, Carolina Alliance Bank; McGuire, Wood & Bissette, P.A. Attorneys At Law; BMW of Asheville, TD Bank, Amplified Media, HomeTrust Bank, UNC Asheville, WCQS Public Radio, BP Solutions Group and FASTSIGNS.

The Metro Economy Outlook is offered by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County (EDC).

The Economic Development Coalition (EDC) for Asheville-Buncombe County is a public-private partnership committed to: creating and retaining high quality jobs, community leadership, and being a resource for better business decisions.  The EDC accomplishes this mission through its four core services: business retention and expansion, small business and entrepreneurship, research, and marketing and recruitment.  The EDC is funded by Buncombe County, the City of Asheville, the Town of Weaverville, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and the AVL 5×5 Campaign. Visit

The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce is a member organization with over 1,800 member businesses and organizations. Chamber members collaborate with community organizations and coalitions to support the community and each other with the mission of building community through business. The Chamber is home to a 4,000 square foot Visitor Center that welcomes over 200,000 visitors per year. To get active in the Chamber, visit