Growth Is Not Just Good, It’s Essential

March 28, 2016

An enterprise that is constantly exploring new horizons is likely to have a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent.
-Gary Hamel

The U.S. Census Bureau published its 2015 numbers last week. There weren’t any big surprises. The western U.S. continues to grow quickly, perhaps unsustainably, and a variety of mid to large metro areas like the Columbus Region are growing faster than they have in generations. Still, other cities remain at a standstill or are losing population and talent.

No big deal, right? Just another federal government report? Not so fast.

Never has it been more important to attract talent than in today’s economy. Market leading companies’ thirst for talent has increased as the economy has become more dependent on tech-savvy, skilled employees. Mid-sized cities thrive because they offer talent at a good value, which is why both their populations and GDP are increasing faster than other locations.

Mark Lautman, author of When the Boomers Bail, aptly noted:

“What we’re facing is a chronic shortage of qualified workers, and that is changing the physics of the U.S. business environment in ways that will cause most employers to rethink their business models, their locations and their roles in the civic affairs of their host communities.”

“Everyone you are going to hire in the next 25 years has already been born.”

“Choices are limited. You can help fix the local education and workforce pipeline, help make the community a talent magnet, move to a place that is already a talent magnet, automate or sellout…”

We’ve long believed that the Columbus Region was pre-destined to be a talent magnet because of The Ohio State University and dozens of additional colleges and universities in the metro area. This claim as a talent magnet is now even more legitimate because of diverse industries and increasingly dynamic companies that call Central Ohio home. The Columbus Region is larger and more diverse than ever, all while maintaining a cost of living and infrastructure to support its growth.

Take a look at some stats about our region from the latest Census data:

  • Columbus MSA population: 2,021,632
  • Rank among U.S. metros: No. 32
  • Growth since 2010: 6 percent
  • Ranking of growth among largest 50 metros in U.S.: No. 24
  • Rank among metros with over 1 million in population: No. 24 (out of 53)
  • Rank among metros with 1-3 million in population: No. 15 (out of 36)
  • Rank among Midwest metros with 1M+ population: No. 1

-Kenny McDonald

One Columbus Update

  • Congratulations to the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, who celebrated the completion of a three-year, $80 million terminal renovation and modernization of Port Columbus International Airport last Wednesday. That same day, One Columbus unveiled the One of US campaign, which made its debut with advertising installations throughout Port Columbus. AEP Ohio, Battelle, Chase, One Columbus, Express, Huntington Bank, M/I Homes, Nationwide and Nationwide Children’s Hospital worked together to launch the effort and developed the campaign in partnership with Fahlgren Mortine.
  • Over the past couple weeks, the One Columbus team gathered with marketing and career placement leaders of our region’s colleges and universities. Roundtable discussions focused on sharing resources and information for the benefit of both Columbus Region students and employers, with the ultimate goal of attracting and retaining more talent in our region.
  • This week, the One Columbus team is in Japan for a business development mission.