Economic Development InsightsThe Ady Advantage: Strategy Matters

 

AS I SEE IT: If you have THIS one skill as an ED practitioner, you will always be in high demand

One of the themes this year was that there are traditionally three legs to the economic development stool – business recruitment is just one of them. Business retention/expansion and business start-up are the other two, and for most EDOs, a combination of two or three of these are appropriate.This is a good time to remember […]

Read more ...

AS I SEE IT: Is it a skills gap or a wage gap?

We’ve all heard it and seen it firsthand among the manufacturing companies we talk to. A remarkable lack of welders. Employees who can’t read an engineering drawing. Employees who don’t show up to work or can’t pass a drug test. And then the counterpoint: that it’s not a skills gap, it’s a wage gap.Back to […]

Read more ...

AS I SEE IT: ED Professionals are from Mars, Planners are from Venus

Like to learn new things? Are you comfortable getting out of your comfort zone? I encourage all ED professionals to consider attending the American Planning Association’s annual conference in Atlanta (April 26-30). http://www.planning.org/conference/I had the pleasure of speaking at this conference last year, with one of my planning colleagues and we talked about the “blending” […]

Read more ...

AS I SEE IT: EDOs Should Be “Talent Engines”

While the Wall Street Journal runs an article about how external devices might help humans improve their memory, eyesight, and everything in between, Fortune ran its annual story on the most admired companies in the United States. Their cover story was not on one of the traditional poster children of their ranking (Apple, Google, Amazon, […]

Read more ...

U.S. Agencies Consider Redefining Manufacturing

“According to this Wall St. Journal article, the feds are considering redefining manufacturing to include “factoryless goods producers.” (Think Apple.)  So if you design it, procure it, oversee production, market it, and sell it, but you just don’t fabricate it, you’d be in. Is this good for economic developers (it captures an important segment of […]

Read more ...

AS I SEE IT: Bright Lights in State Economic Development

Last week, I listened to a discussion of what the State of Maine’s economic development entity was doing to be more responsive to businesses. Their due diligence in the field over the past three years meeting with hundreds of businesses is admirable. Perhaps it’s no surprise their leadership includes a 30-year ED veteran. As an […]

Read more ...

AS I SEE IT: How to “pick your horses” when doing BRE

That is the tantalizing take-away of Inc. Magazine’s “Build 100” listing. Inc. commissioned economist-in-residence Gary Kunkle to study more than 100,000 U.S.-based midsize businesses (those with 85 – 999 employees). His goal was to identify those companies that have added head count for five consecutive years, from 2007-2012. Fewer than 1.5% of companies made the […]

Read more ...

AS I SEE IT: Agribusiness is an often Overlooked Growth Opportunity

During tough economic times, the agribusiness industry tends to be countercyclical – i.e., people still need to eat. During good economic times, guess what? People still need to eat. And it’s one of the few industries that is not very susceptible to imports.Agribusiness is one of those industries that chugs along in the background of […]

Read more ...

AS I SEE IT: This Recovery Will Be Different

Have you heard the one about the company executive who says, “My company’s goal is not to create jobs: it’s to make money.” In the past, creating jobs was pretty highly correlated with making money, but this is less and less true each day in the United States.Consider these facts from a recent Wall St. […]

Read more ...

AS I SEE IT: Talent, Talent, Talent

If you could gather the country’s leading sustained-growth companies, and ask them three questions, what would they be? How about:What is your company’s greatest strengths?Where do your company’s most valuable and actionable ideas originate?What might derail your company’s growth or even threaten its survival?That’s exactly what the team at Inc. magazine did, through its initiative […]

Read more ...