Patchwork Nation actually concerns the entire
country. We've broken the nation's 3,100-plus counties -- that includes New
England -- into 12 different types of places. You can check out the Patchwork Nation map.
Massachusetts, particularly the area around
Boston, is something of an outlier in our groupings because there are so many
colleges there. For instance, Wellesley, as you well know, is in Norfolk
County, and Norfolk because of the high number of colleges in its boundaries --
Wellesley, Boston College, Babson, Simmons -- falls into our Campus and Careers
community type. There tend to be younger people living in those places, many
looking for their first jobs.
Honestly, my feeling is that places like this
are going to be well-suited over the long haul to the economic and cultural
changes that are coming. They have educated people and big institutional
employers that are relatively stable. But all of our communities are feeling
the pain of the current recession to varying degrees. As for doing more on the
Boston area, that may be in the cards next year. We are, however, looking
closely at Nashua, N.H., in our current efforts.