New Challenges Require Fresh Ideas
When it comes to attracting new business to your area, talent matters. Economic conditions and workforce dynamics have changed radically since the Great Recession. Labor availability has always been important, but it is now a driver of business relocation and expansion projects rather than a byproduct. What your community or region does – or doesn’t do – to craft its own talent strategy may be the single biggest determinant of your success over the next generation. It has major implications on whether your community or region will be competitive.
New paradigms present new challenges, and new challenges require fresh ideas. Today’s economic development professionals are challenged to think outside the box when it comes to talent recruitment and retention. As economic development consultants, we regularly come across communities, regions and states doing really innovative, impactful work. However, we come across ten times as many communities and regions that are struggling to find their path to economic prosperity and growth. Since we are fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of EDOs and manufacturers throughout the country, we wanted to share stories of what works when it comes to talent recruitment and retention, what doesn’t work, and why.
This book was created to share stories from others who faced the challenge of strengthening their talent base and who implemented a systematic plan to ensure that their region’s businesses would have access to talent over the long haul. Our goal is to provide you with some fresh ideas and inspire you to think outside the box when it comes to talent challenges in your region or organization. We call it a “toolbox” because it’s meant to give you practical ideas and insights you can use to create real, meaningful change. While you may not be able to duplicate these solutions exactly, it is likely that you will come away with ideas and insights that you can apply to your own community or region. And that’s the point.
If you have any examples of your own that you’d like to share with us, please contact Janet Ady. We’re always on the lookout for success stories we can share with our economic development colleagues.