Workforce Data Is Your Competitive Advantage
It is widely accepted that business location and expansion decisions are often made with labor availability/costs, product/services demand and other general market economic indicators being of primary consideration. According to Area Development Magazine’s 28th Annual Survey of Corporate Executives the number one and number three ranked site selection factors are Availability of Skilled Labor and Labor Costs. With this in mind, it is critical for communities to have an independent 3rd party workforce survey on hand that will certify the availability and detail the costs of your workforce to continue to be competitive in today’s global economic development environment.
A primary goal for state, regional and local economic development organizations is to help communities address the ongoing workforce needs of both existing and prospective businesses to promote investment within their region. New investment leads to creation of new jobs, increased tax base for taxing jurisdictions and municipalities and diversification of the local economy.
One key to success is the ability of communities to quantify and connect workforce assets with traditional economic development practices for retention, expansion and attraction; as well as entrepreneurial development. Traditionally economic development organizations have relied on workforce data solely related to the unemployed segment of the labor force and circumnavigated one of the most significant segments of any workforce; the underemployed.
A key source of good employees is the category of the underemployed, those individuals who are now working but desire a better job and who possess the skills, education and experience to qualify for better jobs. Underemployment or underutilization of skills or experience is a significant issue in many communities and is an important element for employers assessing a community for location or expansion. According to site selection consultants, the availability of highly skilled and experienced labor is among the most important location factors for their clients.
How could your economic development efforts be enhanced if you were able to quantify the following information for your existing and prospective employers: What portion of the labor force(underemployed, unemployed, homemaker, student or retired) would seriously consider applying for a new employment opportunity? What concerns would influence their decision? (pay, benefits,commuting distance) What skills and educational attainment do the underemployed in your labor shed possess? In other words are you prepared to answer the most important questions regarding your workforce; What is it? Where is it? At what cost? And in what quantities?
Corey J Mehaffy, CEO
Workforce Intelligence for Growing Business
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