Memphis Medical District Collaborative helps people obtain jobs through Hire Local initiative

Throughout her career, the positions held by Latasha Harris have come with important benefits: Health insurance. Retirement plans. Professional development opportunities that lead to advancement.

Yet, as she’s acutely aware, not everyone has been so fortunate. In the Memphis Medical District, for example, the median household income is $19,125 — with 43% of residents living below the poverty line, according to an article Harris co-wrote for the Brookings Institute.

How a Memphis medical district is connecting residents to living-wage jobs

Memphis, Tenn.—home of the blues, soul, and rock and roll—is also home to significant economic, social, and cultural assets. One of these assets is the Memphis Medical District, a 2.6-square-mile area in the core of the city’s downtown that is working to ensure a more vibrant, prosperous, and equitable future for all Memphians.

However, there are significant barriers to achieving this future in one of the nation’s poorest metropolitan statistical areas—particularly for residents living in and around the medical district. Of these nearly 11,000 residents, 65% are Black, 43% of households live below the poverty line, and median household income is $19,125.