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Marketplace In Miami: An Economic Roundtable On Miami's Biggest Challenges

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Charlton Thorp


Is Miami the city of the future? What economic challenges does it face going forward? Jeremy Hobson hosts a roundtable discussion with Paola Iuspa-Abbott, a reporter with the Daily Business Review, Andrea Heuson, a professor of finance at the University of Miami, and Dan Grech, formerly of Marketplace and now the news director at WLRN Miami Herald News.

One of the questions Marketplace asked: What is the biggest economic problem in South Florida right now? 

Dan Grech: "Education. We do not have a highly educated, highly capable workforce. ... This is the product of a couple things. One we have a struggling and massive school system that is deeply underfunded. ... We have a relatively weak and underfunded public university system and University of Miami can't do it alone. The other thing is that we have a problem with a brain drain. Young capable folks tend to not make their careers in Miami."

Paola Iuspa-Abbott: "The big challenge that South Florida is facing--actually the state of Florida but South Florida is doing something about it--is the sea level rise. Three counties, four counties including Monroe County where Key West is, have gotten together and came out with a compact, which is a plan on what needs to be done to protect our well fields, mass transit, our roads from extreme weather."

Andrea Heuson: "I think the biggest problem is the lack of affordable housing close to the transportation nodes that would enable people to move efficiently between education, as Dan mentioned, work and home. And also have in the same neighborhood a place to care for their children before and after school, or when they are younger. Because it's very, very hard if you have to spend a lot of your time on a bus to produce efficiently and to make enough to afford to live."

Click on the play button above to listen to the full conversation.