Economic Development

The Tech Talent Pipeline in Austin and Other Major Markets

In a new tech talent study for the Austin Technology Council, Brian Kelsey of Civic Analytics showed that Austin compares favorably with the likes of Raleigh and San Francisco on job growth, but when it comes to degrees awarded in core tech programs—and wages in core tech occupations—the Central Texas metro lags behind other major […]

The Greatest Generator of New Jobs and How Employment Data Can Help

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It’s important for economic development professionals to alleviate business challenges that impede growth and profitability—and to continue to show even longstanding businesses where local workforce strengths can contribute to ongoing success. This article will analyze labor market data for the plastics product manufacturing industry in the Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana, metropolitan area.

How Communities Can Retain and Attract Businesses by Understanding Their Industry Clusters

The terms and definitions differ, but pretty much every state and region has a set of industry groups that dictate new policies, initiatives, and research. For economic developers, these clusters or ecosystems are vital to retaining and attracting businesses.

Skilled Labor Tops Site Selector Priorities: Five Data Points That Communicate Workforce Strengths

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For economic development professionals, the stakes are high when demonstrating workforce availability. In fact, according to the 2014 Area Development survey of company executives, the availability of skilled labor has rapidly become the No. 1 factor in site decisions (labor costs are No. 3).

Workforce Data Plays Big Role in Bringing Fortune 10 Firm (and 500 Jobs) to Jacksonville


It was a major win for Jacksonville, Florida, but it didn’t come easily. The city competed against 12 other regions for the new GE Oil & Gas plant—an advanced manufacturing facility that will add about 500 jobs to the area, paying an average annual wage of over $48,000 with many opportunities for high-paid engineers.

Laid-Off Coal Miners Inspire Virginia Tech and Local Workforce Board Study on Transferable Skills

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In southwest Virginia, coal miners are facing a grim reality. The coal mining industry has dwindled from over 12,000 jobs in 1990 to less than 4,000 in 2013, not only changing the lives of those workers but also the scope of the local economy. And, since occupations in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction offer the highest overall earnings in the region, it’s difficult for laid-off workers to find comparable employment.

The Connection Between Higher Ed and Economic Development in North Carolina

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North Carolina is home to Research Triangle Park, where universities share workspace and ideas with more than 200 companies with expertise in microelectronics, telecommunications, biotechnology, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and environmental sciences. The Park is one example of how the power of higher education, collaboration, and thought leadership can strengthen a region’s economy—and it doesn’t stop there.