Community Resilience Through Small Scale Manufacturing
Smaller legacy cities face shared and common challenges which have increased the urgency for economic development strategies that draw a stronger connection from growth to the prosperity of local communities. In these places, small-scale manufacturing is a strategy that has produced early results and demonstrated strong potential for supporting local economic growth. This brief offers a practical introduction to small-scale manufacturing as part of a strategy for community economic development. It highlights models across three case study cities of Akron, OH, Duluth, MN, and New Bedford, MA, that are utilizing an ecosystems-approach that helps small-scale manufacturing businesses start and scale where they are. It combines examples of ongoing smallscale manufacturing strategies with evidence-based data and proven strategies for implementation in order to offer a sense of possibility for smaller legacy cities, arguments to support advocacy for local small-scale manufacturing, and leads to start developing such ecosystems for peer cities. Within each case study city, it also examines the intersection of smallscale manufacturing work with sustainability and racial equity.