Our team has the great fortune to work with nearly 250 companies each year as they build their business cases to expand or locate new facilities. Their evaluations are thorough, as they try to reduce risk and assess opportunity. The decisions impact lives and often involve millions of dollars.
An increasingly sophisticated and intense focus is placed on people – a.k.a. human resources. The quantity and quality of existing talent, the ability of state and local government to support the company and train workers on a just-in-time basis, and the area’s ability to deliver over the long-term through its educational institutions.
Within the United States, we take for granted that there will always be sufficient quantities of workers with the skills and motivation necessary to grow the economy. Demographic changes, dramatic economic turmoil, various public policy decisions and changing attitudes about work and the workplace are impacting the ability to find, train, and retain productive people.
Differentiating our workforce will require:
- Changes to our educational systems (some of which are already underway)
- Realignment of federal, state and local dollars to programs that address the most pressing issues, while still providing a net for good people who find themselves in tough circumstances
- Willingness from companies to recruit, screen, and train differently, and to embrace partnerships and internship programs
- More resources for training programs and workforce training providers
- Alignment of economic development strategies
The Columbus Region is young, it aspires to great things and it’s poised for exceptional growth. A focus on and an investment in the Region’s workforce is one of the very best ways we can spend our time and treasure. In doing so, we will not only differentiate our workforce, we will set our entire economy apart.