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When the Boomers Bail: A Community Economic Survival Guide Paperback – February 4, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Logan Square Press (February 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981786936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981786933
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #543,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Lautman, CEcD, is a founder of the Community Economics Lab, a not-for-profit think tank focused on developing new economic-development strategies. His consulting business is conducted under Lautman Economic Architecture Partners. He is immediate past chairman of the New Mexico Economic Development Commission.

Since becoming a professional economic developer 28 years ago, Mark has designed and managed four economic development programs: Mesa del Sol, in Albuquerque, N.M., 2004-2008; Santa Teresa, N.M., 1998-2004; Rio Rancho, N.M., 1986-1998; and Grants, N.M., 1983-1986. Under his direction, these programs procured more than 80 corporate locations accounting for more than 23,000 new jobs, 6 million square feet of industrial space, and $11 billion in new investment.

Most recently, Mark was vice president of economic development at Forest City Enterprises and Covington Capital, where his business unit was responsible for the design and execution of the economic development plan for Mesa del Sol.

He is a frequent conference speaker and author of "When the Boomers Bail," a book about how new economic and demographic realities are changing the economic development game. He also writes a monthly column for the New Mexico Business Weekly Reinventing Economic Development and blogs on economic development at MarkLautman.com.

Mark is a 1971 graduate of the University of New Mexico in Economics, Architecture and Geography and a former Peace Corps Volunteer. He and his wife live in Albuquerque, N.M. They have three children and three grandchildren.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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E>P

That's a big idea and according to Lautman the secret sauce in an effective economic development program. Your economy has to grow faster than your population. Sounds simple right? In this thought provoking book, he explores the powerful demographic changes facing our communities, our country and our world that make the business of growing jobs look like the least of our problems.

I think we all understand the linkage between and a healthy growing economy and productive and growing workforce development. Today's unemployment rate makes it easy to focus on job creation as the fix, at least in the short term, to our problems. What I think we don't understand intimately enough is the affect the boomers exiting from the workforce (and the unpreparedness of our younger generation) will have on our communities. Maybe even worse, we aren't even looking at the problem through the right lens.

In this 200 page book, Lautman introduces a number of different lens (maybe too many?) to evaluate the magnitude of the problem. Part One covers the forces in play changing dramatically the workforce "pie" and the distribution of the Too Old, Too Young, Qualified and Unqualified. To be honest, this chapter scared me. A lot. He uses some great charts to illustrate the demographic changes that will alter the future availability of the capital so vital to supporting economic growth - human capital.

Part Two explores communities, why they're important and how the "weak side" of the economic development equation will become a dominant determinant in the effectiveness of your economic development programs. I loved this section's emphasis on base economic jobs and just how economies grow.
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Too often, economists get caught up in the temporary problems of today without keeping an eye on the horizon -- which is exactly the mind-set that led to this recession. Lautman doesn't have these blinders. He recognizes that the next big hurdle facing our local economies is our inability to train the skilled workforce needed to replace the millions of workers on the brink of retirement. "When the Boomers Bail" presents a forward-thinking approach to the problem, detailing how realtors, city managers and business leaders can fight the coming shortage and emerge as winners in the new economy. Strongly recommended.
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Having been close to the author for over six years and having worked with him and for him, I know that everything between the covers of "When the Boomers Bail" makes sense. Any economic developer or elected official who may challange Mark's theories should wake up and see what is going on around them. What makes this book and opinions unique is not only Mark's theories, but also his experience. Mark has done it, and he has done it successfully in Grants, Rio Rancho, Santa Teresa, and Mesa Del Sol where we worked together and visited 100 site selectors and brokers in a nine month period. Mark's relationships with those site selectors eventually led to creating over 4,000 jobs at Fidelity Mutual, Schott Solar, and Hewlett Packard, even though HP is in Rio Rancho, Mark and I made the original calls to the site selectors. Today, Rio Rancho is a thriving community,and Mark's presence has had an everlasting impact on the community because the board of the Rio Rancho economic development and the metrics as well as the structure has stayed the same with accountability and strong goals, objectives and strategies with a clear mission. The same is true in Mesilla Valley where Mark assisted voluntarily in the restructuring of that organization.

In my workshops and programs that I lead, I continually use Mark's five economic development program types: hostile, clueless, tooth fairy, opportunistic and strategic. The book helps you, the community leader, the elected official, the economic developer understand what your problems, why your population is growing fatser than your economy and what you need to do about it.

This is a must read! Don't take a community leadership position, or become an elected official without it!!!!!
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This book is well written and the author's sense of humor makes it both memorable and enjoyable to read. The idea of baby boomers retiring en mass, the dwindling birth rate, and not having enough qualified workers to drive the economy in the years ahead , is not exactly a new premise. However, the way the subject matter is presented in combination with other converging factors, makes it engaging and far reaching.

Lautman reiterates Richard Florida's sentiment on how the geographical areas we choose to live in (or are otherwise reluctant to leave) will play a crucial role in defining our lives, as many communities are stripped away of skilled workers and left with a deficit of unqualified workers leading to collapsed communities, unable to drive their economies.

Rather than throw out half-baked solutions, it appears Lautman is searching for a deeper and more meaningful approach, which I surmise may show up in future works. His videos on youtube are also worth watching, as he comes across as someone whom is knowledgable and with a deep concern for humanity.

There is a quality to Lautman's writing similar to that of Alvin Toffler, who made many accurate observations and predictions with his bestsellers, "Future Shock" and "The Third Wave."

Overall "When The Boomers Bail" is a genuine and good read with a great deal of insight. Well done.
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