Chester County’s talent, community investment, sustainability, sense of place, and diversity have made it one of the nation’s top ten mega-sized Fourth Economy Communities.
Fourth Economy Consulting placed Chester County at number five on its latest national community index, which lists the nation’s top communities of over 500,000 people. The firm said the listing on the index means the county is ideally positioned to attract modern investment and managed economic growth within the fourth economy.
The Pittsburgh consulting firm says the “fourth economy” is a new, sustainable value-based economy. This most recent phase of the national economy reflects a combination of the previous three economies – agrarian, industrial and technological.
Chester County was the only Pennsylvania county and one of only two counties in the northeast United States to receive the Fourth Economy Communities distinction.
“In our work with economic development organizations across the country, we’ve encountered a growing recognition in a variety of communities for alternative measures of economic development success and for evolving new and more meaningful metrics to gauge their performance,” said Rich Overmoyer, CEO of Fourth Economy Consulting. “The Fourth Economy Community Index highlights the elements we’ve witnessed throughout our work that are required to make stronger, more economically resilient communities.”
Steven McKnight, vice president of community and market assessments at Fourth Economy, said such communities can provide the talent and place-based strategies that address housing, recreation and amenities for smaller, high-value businesses to thrive.
The firm said in Chester County, with a current population of 509,468, jobs created by the arts and culture community bring in $60.6 million in earned income each year. The booming arts industry is further supported by an atmosphere that fosters entrepreneurship and small businesses, with over 62,000 residents engaged in freelance/contract work or working for themselves.
The full report from the consulting firm can be found here.