Skip to:
  1. Main navigation
  2. Main content
  3. Footer
Press Release

Cleveland Fed meets with community leaders working to address economic problems of the Midwest

Bank President Loretta J. Mester tours Dayton, Ohio to listen and share success of stakeholders

It’s a city that gave birth to aviation and the cash register, but the economic promise of Dayton, Ohio has encountered difficulties along the way. Today, its residents are coming together to tackle persistent challenges including unemployment, vacant properties, and population decline that face not just Dayton, but cities across the United States.

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta J. Mester and Community Affairs Officer Emily Garr Pacetti toured the region to speak with stakeholders in the local government, non-profit, and private sectors to explore the solutions being tried and tested in Dayton. A new jobs-readiness effort, a blight-elimination project, and a welcome program for immigrants are among the initiatives underway.

Challenges remain, but local efforts seem to be bearing fruit. In the last year, residents’ councils have formed at two public housing complexes for the first time in nearly 15 years. Since 2015, more than 100 new businesses have located to downtown Dayton, and the residential occupancy rate in the city’s core is hovering over 97 percent, despite roughly 760 housing units being completed since 2010.

“It’s important for us to know what’s happening in the communities we serve,” says Mester of the Dayton tour. “One thing that strikes you as you go around the District is the way things have played out is different across different communities, but there are some common themes.”

Insights from Mester and Pacetti, exclusive interviews with community practitioners and more. Read Unemployment, Vacant Properties, Population Decline: Finding Solutions in Dayton here.

More from the Cleveland Fed

Community Affairs Officer Emily Garr Pacetti writes about the challenge adequate transportation, often called job access, presents for communities in Dayton and beyond in our Notes from the Field blog. Pacetti heard from some who identified one challenge for low-income workers that may be overlooked: a lack of transit options.

“Civic leaders cautioned that too much focus on things such as apprenticeships, workforce development, or tuition assistance programs may be misplaced; that is, these things may not be solutions if the problem is transit or childcare,” says Pacetti.

Read the blog, Trouble finding workers? The answer may be transit. Perspectives from Southwest Ohio here.

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that along with the Board of Governors in Washington DC comprise the Federal Reserve System. Part of the US central bank, the Cleveland Fed participates in the formulation of our nation’s monetary policy, supervises banking organizations, provides payment and other services to financial institutions and to the US Treasury, and performs many activities that support Federal Reserve operations System-wide. In addition, the Bank supports the well-being of communities across the Fourth Federal Reserve District through a wide array of research, outreach, and educational activities.

The Cleveland Fed, with branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, serves an area that comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Media contact

Doug Campbell,, 513.218.1892