Helping the Middle Class Achieve the American Dream
The Ohio State University at Mansfield is participating in a new initiative with a goal of helping the middle class thrive.
The Ohio State University is collaborating with Schmidt Futures to launch the Alliance for the American Dream – an initiative to kickstart an idea development process to identify innovative solutions that will foster greater social mobility, greater equality of opportunity, and a more attainable and sustainable middle class.
On June 18, 2018, community members along with faculty and staff from Ohio State Mansfield attended the Alliance for the American Dream: Mansfield Campus Idea Generation Forum. Those in attendance shared experiences and ideas, as well as brainstormed ways in which Schmidt Futures and the initiative could help support Mansfield and communities across the state by addressing the complex challenges the middle class faces every day.
Dr. Norman Jones, Dean and Director at Ohio State Mansfield says, “Ohio State has made a big commitment to support this work. We want to create partnerships among community organizations and the university as a conduit to this vision.”
The goal: give 10,000 families a 10% net income raise by 2020.
Ohio State Assistant Vice President for Materials and Manufacturing Sustainability and Director of Innovation Institute for Materials Research Jay Sayre is helping to lead the initiative for the university. He explains, “We need strategies that address the long running structural issues that are present. These are the things stopping the growth of the middle class. We need strategies that help families in immediate ways, to get them over the hump of being just one unexpected emergency away from falling into a downward financial spiral.”
Alliance for the American Dream forums are being held throughout The Ohio State University system. During the forum in Mansfield, the group discussed the variety of financial challenges the middle class faces in our community including rising healthcare, childcare costs, affordable transportation, as well as increases to the cost of living. Participants engaged in a brainstorming process to identify existing successful programs and different solutions to this complex issue.
Event organizers are seeking innovative ideas to help local families increase economic opportunities and stabilize, even expand, the middle class in our region.