EMSI CASE STUDY (See full archive)
The Right Place, Inc. often fields questions from site selectors and regional businesses on the Western Michigan economy. For many of its answers, it turns to EMSI.
Quantifying the Local Workforce
Like much of Michigan, the Grand Rapids metropolitan area has a sizable and diversified manufacturing presence. But its economy has other vibrant industry clusters, including life sciences. A blend of healthcare industries and medical-related manufacturing, life sciences has benefited from more than a $1 billion of investment and expansion in Grand Rapids along a corridor called Medical Mile.
When regional decision-makers and business partners need information on the life sciences cluster, they usually ask The Right Place, Inc., a nonprofit regional economic development organization. And for a comprehensive look at the industries, businesses, occupations, and educational pipeline feeding into life sciences, The Right Place relies on EMSI data and analysis.
EMSI’s web-based tool, Analyst, allows Business Research Manager Brandt Siegel to customize his analysis of life sciences and break out the components that contribute to the cluster’s growth. In turn, this allows The Right Place to show the value of partnerships between economic and education leaders in the Grand Rapids area.
“Because of our manufacturing past,” Siegel says, “what’s really important to us is what kind of medical device manufacturers we have in life sciences — people who make medical diagnostic tests. Plus all that’s going on in Medical Mile, we’re able to look at that in great detail with EMSI. We’re also able to walk between economic data, so jobs and education data with completions at our local universities and really see how all those things work together.
“This enables us to really create a synergy within our community. I think that the people in the community realize that, but we’re actually able to show it in detail.”
EMSI’s Analyst: A Go-To Source for Data
In addition to its business retention, expansion, and attraction efforts, The Right Place is a key supplier of regional data to site selectors, businesses, and various other partners. Siegel (pictured at left) goes to a variety of sources for this information, but he appreciates EMSI’s Analyst because he can pull key numbers and analysis on any segment of the Grand Rapids-area workforce. And he can find what he needs in mere moments.
The speed in which he can access EMSI data is especially valuable when he has to quickly answer a site selector’s RFP. “It would take me two or three — maybe four — times as long if I had to go to all the different government websites,” Siegel says. “So it’s nice to have one place to find it all.”
But it’s not just about getting labor market information quickly. The data inside Analyst, he finds, is comprehensive, reliable, and presentation-ready.
“The website is put together nicely enough and seamlessly enough that it’s presentation worthy,” Siegel says. “I don’t have to just take raw numbers out of it and put into my Excel and put into PowerPoint. I can say look at this, and open up EMSI on the screen and people look at that and with a click of a button, I can show them something.”
Key Data on the Economy and Workforce, All in One Place
Industries, occupations, and educational programs are all seamlessly integrated in Analyst. Moving between each major data element has proven valuable to Siegel — whether he’s analyzing the life sciences cluster or collaborating with community partners on other projects.
It would take me two or three — maybe four — times as long if I had to go to all the different government websites. So it’s nice to have one place to find it all” — Brandt Siegel, The Right Place, Inc.
“Oftentimes we work with folks who are doing workforce training, but they don’t necessarily have a picture of the industry and what jobs are growing and they want to know which businesses are growing,” Siegel says. “And businesses, they know what’s growing, but they’re kind of looking around saying, ‘Where are the workers and why aren’t they graduating? Why aren’t institutions graduating people in this area?’
“We take the data that’s being presented by EMSI to answer a lot of those questions.”
ABOUT THE RIGHT PLACE, INC.
Serving West Michigan since 1985, The Right Place, Inc. is a regional nonprofit economic development organization supported through investments from the private and public sector. Its mission is to promote wealth creation and economic growth in the areas of quality employment, productivity and innovation in West Michigan by developing jobs through leading business retention, expansion and attraction efforts. Visits its website for more.
Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) is a professional services firm that offers integrated regional data, web-based analysis tools, data-driven reports, and custom consulting services. EMSI has served thousands of workforce, education, economic development, and other policy professionals in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom, and the company’s web-based Analyst and Career Coach tools are used by over 3,000 professionals across the U.S. For more information, call (866) 999-3674.