Experts point to local inequity for women, minorities

Jul 27, 2016

Randall Arthur of the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness
Credit Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness

Women and Minorities in Grand Rapids are experiencing disparate economic outcomes according to two experts who spoke to city officials and community leaders earlier this week. 

Mark White and Randall Arthur, respectively of George Mason University and of the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, presented a study that shows women and minorities in Grand Rapids still experience economic inequity. Here’s Randall Arthur.

“There are certainly some challenges for residents of the neighborhoods within south and southwest of downtown.”

Racial challenges for local industry include underrepresentation of Black and Hispanic employees in scientific, professional, technical services, and the construction sector.

Another finding is that families with a single, female head of household are more likely to live in poverty.

“We still have to overcome the two main challenges of childcare and reliable transportation, but there are also smaller things we can do to encourage and improve some of the conditions.”

When Arthur and White presented before city officials, Mayor Rosalynn Bliss said their data confirms what she and several commissioners already suspect, but that now they have more specifics to address the issues.