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170 pp.


[From the introductory material]

This is Old Dominion University’s 23rd annual State of the Region Report. While it represents the work of many people connected in various ways to the university, the report does not constitute an official viewpoint of Old Dominion, its president, Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., the Board of Visitors, the Strome College of Business or the generous donors who support the activities of the Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy.

Over the past year, we have experienced the continued uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of inflation, and geopolitical shocks that have affected our daily lives. We live, for better or worse, in uncertain times, and our resilience is likely to be tested in the coming years. The question before us remains the same as in many previous reports: How can we invigorate economic growth as a region that raises the fortunes of all, not just the most fortunate?

We only need to look at neighboring metropolitan areas for examples of how setting aside parochial differences and working together can yield a sum that is greater than its parts. Hampton Roads faces two generational challenges: sea-level rise and the revolution in military affairs due to the transformative impact of unmanned weapons on the modern battlefield. If challenge and opportunity are two sides of the same coin, we must move beyond talk and into action, else we may be left behind.

Our work seeks to inform without minimizing the challenges facing the region or downplaying the opportunities to emerge stronger and more resilient from the experiences of the past.