Ending Distance Discrimination: Innovative Models for Improving Worker Mobility

THURSDAY 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM | Systems Change – Pavilion Room

In communities across the U.S., the distance between where people live and where jobs are has been increasing. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Cleveland MSA, where the number of jobs near the average resident declined the most out of 96 metro areas from 2000-2012. Lack of job access manifests as a workforce challenge: it directly impacts the ability of a worker to reliably arrive at work on time. The spatial mismatch is inefficient, ineffective, and, because of historical development patterns and policies, amounts to distance discrimination. Job seekers, particularly those in low-income communities, are faced with a false choice between a car and traditional public transportation. Meanwhile, new transportation models are emerging, and urban, suburban and rural mobility is on the cusp of radical change. This session will explore how innovations in worker mobility in Cleveland and other communities can improve economic opportunity.


  • Bethia Burke, Vice President, Fund for Our Economic Future (Moderator)
  • Alicia Booker, Vice President of Manufacturing, Cuyahoga Community College
  • Dominic Mathew, Director of Mobility Innovation, Fund for Our Economic Future