Stephen Michon, Vice President at FutureWorks, leads city, regional and national economic development projects for the firm. He has been with FutureWorks since 2003 and in the past few years he has focused on the demand-side nature of metropolitan economic and civic growth. He has worked with large metropolitan governments and national foundations, such as the Ford Foundation, to provide technical assistance to US Chamber of Commerce executives, industry associations, and regional economic development initiatives in the area of regional development. In 2009 he led the firm's consulting contract for the Portland (OR) Development Commission's economic development strategy and in 2006-2007 he led the firm's comprehensive economic development strategy for Boston's Metropolitan Area Planning Council. In 2005 he also led a team that developed the City of Nashua, New Hampshire's economic development strategy.
Mr. Michon also brings to this project a specialization city and regional development policy analysis. He has deep knowledge of the state-of-the-art research, data sources, and methodologies needed to analyze economic development policy characteristics and needs. In 2005 he finished a national project that examined the role of chambers of commerce in economic development in 30 of the largest metropolitan regions. The final products included a nationally-released report, speaking and presentation engagements from Alabama to Texas to Massachusetts, and follow-up technical assistance to chief executives.
In the last few years he has also worked on projects for the U.S. Department of Labor (evaluation of the State System Building Grant program), John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development (best practice in career centers), Fleet Charitable Trusts (health care career ladders initiative), and the nationally-based Corporation for Supportive Housing (workforce practices for hard-to-employ adults). He is currently part of a national team evaluating the 5-year, $30 million National Fund for Workforce Solutions with sites in 24 cities across the country.
Prior to FutureWorks Mr. Michon worked in a senior position at Mt. Auburn Associates where he led municipal and regional strategic economic planning for their national list of clients. Over eight years he led and worked on projects for thirty different communities, such as a labor-industry strategy for the City of Savannah, a regional needs assessment and indicators project for the Fitchburg-Leominster region in North Central Massachusetts, a four-city economic analysis in Missouri, and a industry cluster analysis in New York City's technology industry – to name a few. At Mt. Auburn, he also led a national scan and comparative analysis of small cities for the Economic Development Administration.
He earlier served as executive director of a city non-profit community development corporation in Massachusetts. He is the author of several reports, the last of which was Sustainable Economies and Strong Communities: Regional Strategies for Growth. He graduated with a master's degree from Tufts University's Graduate School of Urban & Environmental Policy and Planning.
Mr. Michon also served twice as an elected member of his state's legislature, led the Mayor of Nashua's 2008 economic development transition team, and currently serves as a committee member for the city's Revolving Loan Fund and has been a five year appointed member to the Nashua Business and Industrial Development Authority.