Emsi Case Study
Summary: In a string of economic development wins, Greater New Orleans, Inc. has attracted and retained 11 energy-related companies the last three years. The regional EDO leaned on Emsi data to showcase its current and future available workforce to help land every project. Because of its business attraction success, GNO, Inc. has been recognized as one of the top economic development organizations in the nation.
- GNO, Inc. leveraged historic and projected industry data from Emsi to help bring in nearly 1,700 jobs and $7.7 billion in capital investment to the region.
- Global Trade magazine named it as one of America’s leading EDOs, in part because of its successful business attraction and retention.
- Data informs nearly everything that GNO, Inc. does, from business recruitment to policy work.
GNO, Inc. Recruits and Retains 11 Energy Companies
Regional economic development is a cutthroat business. Companies make site selection decisions—whether to stay or go, expand or move operations—based on many factors. None is more important than the available labor force of the regions they are examining.
Consider the case of Greater New Orleans, Inc., an economic development alliance that serves 10 parishes in southeast Louisiana. From 2013 to 2015, GNO, Inc. received over 25 requests for information, or RFIs, from companies in the energy and petrochemical industry alone.
Like other business recruitment projects, GNO, Inc. used Emsi workforce data to quickly gather industry and occupation information for these companies.
“I would feel comfortable in saying that Emsi data has been useful in every recruitment opportunity we have,” said Sayde Finkel, Senior Associate for Research and Special Projects. “These individuals are making dollar-and-cents decisions based on labor data.”
Emsi’s in-depth labor data helped GNO, Inc. reel in or retain 11 of the aforementioned projects from energy companies the last three years. The business attraction and retention efforts have yielded nearly 1,700 jobs and $7.7 billion in capital investment to the region—huge numbers for the region a decade after Hurricane Katrina.
“We’ve relied heavily on data from Emsi to recruit and retain companies in the energy and petrochemical industry,” said Grady Fitzpatrick, Senior VP of Business Development. “The vast majority of this data has analyzed the energy and petrochemical industry’s job projections and current available workforce”
Projects On Track
New Orleans’ new energy and petrochemical projects range from an estimated 540 jobs and $800 million in investment from Dyno Nobel, an explosives manufacturing company, to a projected 16 jobs from Denka Performance Elastomers. The biggest capital expenditure outlay is expected from Shandong Yuhuang Chemical, a Chinese company that’s expected to invest $1.85 billion in a methanol plant.
Despite the hit the oil and gas industry has taken, all of the projects are on track for completion and only two companies have lowered their original hiring goals.
GNO, Inc.: A Nationally Recognized EDO
These new investments have helped Greater New Orleans, Inc. garner national attention. In February 2016, Global Trade magazine named it one of America’s leading EDOs, citing the more than 21,000 jobs it has helped attract since 2008.
Yet GNO, Inc. focuses on more than just business attraction. It created and maintains a relocation website called Destination GNO that gives key data and quality-of-life information—including demographic data from Emsi—on neighborhoods in the 10-parish region.
The EDO also does a significant amount of public policy work, research, lobbying, and special projects. For instance, every quarter Finkel and fellow research associate Van Hamilton Barbeau produce State of the Sector reports. These reports take a deep dive—using Emsi data almost exclusively—on GNO, Inc.’s six main focus industries.
For the energy sector report (PDF), Barbeau noted that “about 90% of the data that is found in this document comes directly from Emsi.”
A Data-Informed Organization
There’s very little that GNO, Inc. does that’s not informed by data. Which means the services of Barbeau and Finkel are always in high demand.
Like other economic development entities, GNO, Inc. has access to scads of data, specifically labor market information. So why does GNO, Inc. consistently turn to Emsi’s software for industry, occupation, and demographic stats?
“I think it’s just a lot more user-friendly than having to go to the U.S. Census to get an age breakdown for a specific region,” said Barbeau, giving one example. “So I think just how easy and malleable the information is from Emsi—that’s definitely one of the factors that makes us rely on your information so much compared to other data sources.”
GNO, Inc. shares its LMI research with a diverse audience. It could be a company in the area looking to expand. It could be one of its regional economic development partners in the 10 parishes. Or it could be a group of elected officials or the media.
When it comes to sending data to prospective employers and site selectors or businesses looking to expand, Barbeau and Finkel noted that Emsi’s historic and projected industry data fills a big need.
Finkel walked through one way in which projections are “particularly helpful.”
“When we’re trying to get companies to relocate here, they have a timeline for expanding their workforce,” she said. “So if they initially want to hire 20 software developers, but eventually see themselves with a staff of 200 software developers, we need to be able to demonstrate between education attainment and labor projections that we will have those resources, at least via data.”
Emsi provides economic development organizations with labor market insights on their communities and regions to help them grow existing businesses, attract new businesses, and provide meaningful opportunities to their residents. For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 866-999-EMSI (3674), or visit economicmodeling.com.