A strong, local economy is dependent upon successful businesses and organizations providing employment.
We spoke last week about job creation and focused mainly on business recruitment and start-ups. Today, I want to go a little deeper into an important effort used by all successful economic development programs – business retention and expansion or BRE.
There are several components of a strong economy and job creation is the one I get asked about most frequently.
Measuring economic development efforts is difficult. We define economic development simply as the increase in capital flow to an area. So, higher wages, capital investment, tourism dollars and new jobs are all important. Let’s take a look at how we try to help job creation.
This economic sector plays an important part in virtually every aspect of our lives.
I’m talking about the information technology sector, or IT. The IT sector is made up of companies producing software, hardware or semiconductor equipment, and companies providing internet or related services. According to numerous sources, these companies are leading the economic growth we currently experience.
In this very tight labor market, several cities and states across the U.S. have really raised the bar on talent attraction.
In a CNBC article published late last year, Tulsa, Oklahoma, North Platte, Nebraska, and Newton, Iowa, along with the states of Maine, Alaska, and Vermont were all recognized for their incentives offered to workers for moving and working in their area. These range from $10,000 relocation bonuses and housing stipends, to various tax and education credits.
Preparing people for today’s jobs is the simple definition of workforce development.
With state and local unemployment numbers continuing to hover near record lows and employers voicing concern about their ability to hire qualified people, workforce development has become a more focused area of concern. This is a good time to review local efforts to prepare people for jobs.