32nd Annual Survey of Corporate Executives Commentary: Labor Is Paramount
A community that does not have the adequate labor profile is devastating to a project’s success in that location.
For the corporate entity seeking to reduce risk, a detailed and comprehensive study of an area’s established labor pool and talent pipeline is critical. This would include a demographic analysis of workers in the marketplace by occupation and skill, a deep dive on overall labor market migration (and population migration) trends both historically and looking forward, a thorough analysis of training providers and educational institutions (and the types of graduates/skills they produce), and an in-depth discussion with employers regarding availability of workers and competition for local skilled labor among firms.
For economic developers seeking to win more deals, an equally thorough understanding of their communities’ labor force is critical. Where are your skill gaps and what can be done to encourage local universities, community colleges, and trade schools to meet labor market demand? What is your long-term demographic plan to create/attract talent and stay ahead of trends in workplace and industry to position your community to win? How can you effectuate a conversion of the unemployed or underemployed to meet industry demand via on-the-job training and workforce training grants/incentives? How and where can you guarantee that next significant corporate investor/project its future workforce?
As technology continues to grow and markets innovate, the question of available labor and cost will remain at the forefront of the site selection decision. As a company — or community — investing in your economic future, are you thoroughly prepared for success?
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