In 2015, The Jefferson Educational Society partnered with the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority, to create the Metro 100. A one-day conference featuring nationally renowned scholars, researchers, and experts who would address topics relevant the region’s progress, the Metro 100 gathers one-hundred civic and industry leaders throughout Erie County to discuss critical challenges and consider the region’s future.
In its inaugural year, the Metro 100 featured Brookings Institution Centennial Scholar and founder of the Metropolitan Policy Program Bruce Katz and Brookings Senior Fellow Mark Muro along with Ira Goldstein, the Director of Policy Solutions for The Reinvestment Fund, who explored the Advanced Industries landscape in Erie. Of the many ideas discussed throughout the day, the concept of an innovation district piqued the audience’s interest. Currently, Erie leaders remain engaged in conversation and are exploring the creation of an innovation district in the downtown region.
In 2016, the Jefferson hosted czb, LLC. Planning Firm Founding President Charles Buki and czb Associate Planner Peter Lombardi along with James Fallows, a national correspondent for The Atlantic, for a discussion of the City of Erie’s recent comprehensive plan: Erie Refocused. At the unveiling of the plan, Buki wrote an open letter to Erie civic leaders, calling for communitywide discussion of the plan to best consider adoption and implementation strategies. To ensure that the plan was discussed and that leaders could connect to its authors, the Jefferson hosted the czb, LLC. Planners. Adding Jim Fallows helped the plan garner national attention, as he wrote about the day’s happenings in The Atlantic.
The 2016 Metro 100 featured four sessions:
"Understanding the Principles of Erie Refocused"
"Choosing and Initiating the Right Projects"
"General and Specific Partnership for Success"
"City Makers: American Futures"