Emsi Case Study (See Full Archive)
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.
GE plans to invest more than $50 million in the new plant, where regulators and control valves will be manufactured, amounting up to $91 million in capital investments. The company will also increase the use of the city’s international shipping port, leading to additional prosperity in the region.
Why did the Fortune 10 company choose Jacksonville? The city’s mix of tax structure and incentives, real estate availability, and utilities costs were big reasons. And, according to local officials, Jacksonville’s skilled talent pool, as evidenced by workforce data from Emsi, “significantly swayed” GE to choose the Northeast Florida metro.
Using Workforce Availability Data to Attract Big Business
In its effort to respond to GE Oil & Gas’s requests for information (RFI) about local talent, JAXUSA Partnership (the economic development arm of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce) heavily relied on Emsi data. “It doesn’t matter if you have free land, free buildings, etc.; if you don’t have the people to work in the jobs, there’s no point in [a business] coming,” said Melanie Moore, senior director of business intelligence at JAXUSA Partnership.
According to Moore, it has been much easier to collect workforce data since JAXUSA began working with Emsi in 2006, especially because Analyst offers easy access to unsuppressed data and comprehensive, linked data sources. “I’ll put in the occupation, and then I can back into all of the degrees that align with that occupation. That’s wonderful,” Moore said. “That saves me steps that I used to take and a big guessing game that I used to play.”
Showcasing Regional Talent With a Click
Analyst’s radius-from-click tool was especially helpful in the GE Oil & Gas recruitment process, allowing JAXUSA to click on its city and immediately pull reports about engineers, engineering degree completers, and production workers within a 100- and 200-mile radius.
“Pulling IPEDs data is not fun, but it’s very easy from Emsi,” Moore said. “And the workforce data—I’m not even sure how I would have done it [without Analyst]. To pull radius reports is not even possible from the BLS. You’d have to go and look up each individual county and hope that there was data there, hope that it wasn’t suppressed.”
JAXUSA then incorporated the data into easy-to-read maps and tables, which gave site selectors a quick overview of workforce availability, concentration, projected job growth, and wage information that, along with other factors contributing to GE’s decision, led to this big coup for Jacksonville.
About JAXUSA Partnership
JAXUSA Partnership, a private, nonprofit division of the JAX Chamber, is Northeast Florida’s regional economic development initiative. Using strategic research and targeted marketing, JAXUSA focuses on recruiting new companies and expanding our existing business community. Economic development partners in Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties comprise the strong partnership that drives the business development process forward. JAXUSA works closely with the independent authorities—JAXPORT, JAA, JEA and JTA— to build infrastructure to ensure we have a sustainable business climate to offer companies. Talent is an integral part of the process, and our partnership with CareerSource Northeast Florida and local colleges and universities helps develop and attract a steady stream of skilled workers. The private-sector investors that fund our efforts make it possible to execute the objectives and strategies outlined for the region.
Emsi turns labor market data into useful information that helps organizations understand the connection between economies, people, and work. Using sound economic principles and good data, we build user-friendly services that help educational institutions, workforce planners, and regional developers (such as WIBs, EDOs, chambers, utilities) build a better workforce and improve the economic conditions in their regions. For more information, email Josh Wright (email@example.com) or visit www.economicmodeling.com.