July 31, 2018, by Erik Larson

Top 3 Workforce Questions Site Selectors Ask

Pipeline of talent is the most important driver in site selection.

Here at eImpact we talk to dozens of cities each month. Without exception their number one concern today is workforce: not just the pool of talent that exists but the pipeline of future candidates.

The questions these cities are being asked by prospective or existing businesses are driving this concern.

Below we've compiled three of the key questions site selectors ask of any community they evaluate. We hope you will find this helpful as you look ahead to 2019 and beyond.

The Top 3

  1. Is there alignment between training programs and skillsets needed?
    Many educational institutions are missing the mark, providing training that isn't aligned with local industry needs. A strong relationship set between the economic development actors, major employers and secondary/post-secondary education is key – and site selectors know how to spot it.
  2. What do local businesses say about the efficacy of training and placement programs?
    Savvy site selectors will interview local businesses about their actual experience with placements from local institutions. They will look beyond the claims and drill into the testimony of businesses in the area to get their information.
  3. How early do employment awareness programs begin?
    To create a pipeline of interested candidates it is essential to run awareness campaigns as early as possible. Site selectors are now looking to see if this awareness is being generated in middle school. By the time a student is in high school, she or he will already have formed beliefs about certain industries, often at the expense of attractive career options.

    The questions above point to the existence or lack of a long-term career development platform in the community. A talent pool and pipeline of future candidates takes years to develop, and when it is lacking in a community selectors will turn their eyes elsewhere.

    There is no denying the labor shortage we are seeing today, making workforce easily the number one challenge for communities to grow their employer base and job creation.

    As with all plans, it is essential to understand the data first. Knowing where your community stands in key industries and what gaps exist is critical to forming the right partnerships and program design.

Drive your workforce program forward with our Labor Shed report:

Answer key questions site selectors have and let your community stand out

Labor Shed

Drive-time radius workforce data including jobs by sector, educational attainment, commutes, and comparisons to peer cities.

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