City of Memphis Job Growth Framework
Mass Economics worked with five economic development organizations to create a jobs growth strategy for the City of Memphis. The strategy identifies six economic clusters with the potential to create more and higher-quality jobs in Memphis — AgTech/Food, Applied and Emerging Technologies, B2B, Medical Devices, Music, Transportation/Distribution/Logistics — and creates detailed action steps to support each cluster, including timing of action step, estimated cost and potential funders, and threats and barriers. Strategy development to support job growth for each cluster was informed by data collection and analysis; secondary research on industries and clusters; site visits, interviews and roundtables with over 150 cluster experts, industry representatives, and community stakeholders.
Using data from multiple sources and field surveys, the project created a parcel database with information on zoning classification, land use, ownership data, parcel class, assessed and appraised values, and building square footage, stories, year constructed, and degree of vacancy to identify and map the city’s employment districts. These districts were used to help shape the city’s comprehensive planning process, Memphis 3.0.
In the report’s final chapter, recommendations are made to coordinate the City of Memphis strategies on economic cluster growth and land utilization. This approach is consistent with the Memphis 3.0 plan, which calls for “redevelopment and reinvestment in anchor areas [employment districts] in the core city and neighborhoods, connectivity of people, jobs, businesses, and infrastructure, and expanding equity and opportunity to communities across the city.” Guided by the framework, city and county land use and economic development agencies should be able to unite efforts, coordinate implementation, and attract and grow businesses in target clusters in the city’s employment districts.