J W Carpenter

Inclusive Economic Development through Prosper
President, Prosper

Session: Inclusive Economic Development through Prosper

A recent Brookings Institution study reveals that the Birmingham area is creating fewer quality jobs and less access to economic resources than its peer cities. Our region can do better at growing quality jobs, preparing workers and investing in communities. On the heels of a recession, a worldwide pandemic and a social justice movement, Prosper will bring together business, educational, civic and entrepreneurial interests to create and grow economic opportunities for all, focusing specifically on our Black community and women.

About JW: 

J.W. Carpenter began his tenure as the inaugural president of Prosper Birmingham in February 2021. Previously, he led the Birmingham Education Foundation for eight years and prior to that was the inaugural executive director of Teach For America-Alabama, the same organization where he began his career as a classroom teacher in Helena, Arkansas. J.W. also practiced law for nearly four years in Birmingham. He is married to Becky and has two children (Jack and Kate) and Ellie the dog. Carpenter earned a B.A. in Political Science from Boston College and J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Prosper is committed to helping transform the way Birmingham and Jefferson County create jobs in the innovation economy and the way the region prepares its people of color to thrive in those jobs, with a focus on ensuring that all residents, regardless of race, gender or ZIP code, have access to those jobs and can fully contribute.

In this session, Prosper President JW Carpenter explained why we need inclusive economic development, how Prosper is taking that on, and how you can get involved.

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