Giving Compass' Take:

In order to build up the U.S. economy and unlock potential, we need to strategically support marginalized communities.

What are ways that marginalized communities are currently being left out of economic opportunity?

Read about making equitable big bets for marginalized communities.

The American economy is nearing full employment, and job growth is accelerating, but this encouraging progress is leaving many behind. Wage growth remains stagnant, 6.5 million people are unemployed, and wealth inequality is worsening.

Marginalized groups — like people leaving prison and low-income communities — could dramatically boost the economic prosperity of localities and the entire country, but they need support from the private, public, and social sectors. At an event co-hosted by the Urban Institute and the Citi Foundation, national and local leaders discussed innovative programs that help low- and moderate-income residents succeed and access economic prosperity.

Their conversation revealed four strategies to unlock economic potential in communities:

1. Support people who want to work but face societal barriers. People who were recently incarcerated face many obstacles to accessing stable employment, ranging from a lack of opportunities to prohibitive background checks.

2. Deliver services to the people who need it most. While people who are struggling financially need support, they are often too burdened by work, family, and other commitments to seek support.

3. Ensure growing industries lift up everyone. The environmental and cost-saving benefits of solar energy has largely left low-income communities behind, though these communities stand to gain the most.

4. Believe in the power of changemakers, no matter their circumstances.

Read the full article about low-income communities who can drive economic growth by Keely Hanson and Robert Abare at Urban Institute.