Today’s innovative companies are just as concerned with local workforce availability as they are with building sites and incentive packages, which is why development professionals need to be prepared to answer detailed questions about their region’s labor force: size, unemployment, industry/occupation profile, workers in similar/transferable occupations, post-secondary program capacity, and so on.
Chris Manheim, President of McHenry County EDC in northern Illinois, emphasizes that regional partnerships and collaborations, along with a having a diversified data toolkit, are critical to showing site selection consultants that his area is ready for business.
EMSI’s Strategic Advantage is one key part of this toolkit, providing MCEDC with the ability to instantly access up-to-date demographic, industry, and occupation data for its area. In a recent article in the Economic Development Administration’s Economic Development America magazine, Manheim highlighted the ability of Strategic Advantage to provide detailed employment data for local industry clusters:
Figure 2 is taken from data compiled by Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. from a product called Strategic Advantage. This example examines local employment over the same period, but is much more in-depth than the employment data shown on the previous page. A site selector now has a snapshot of the key business clusters in your area.