“If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely, and we don’t try to piece together clever diplomacy but just wage a total war, our children will sing great songs about us years from now.“
The most talent wins. Companies win that have an ample supply of people with skills that help them execute and innovate for the future. Communities win that are growing their working population are also growing their economies.
As an economic developer, I get to see each day the great work of our workforce development partners. Examples of excellence are Ohio State University and a number of middle school programs intended to expose young people to the great career possibilities in the area. I am also privy to the innovative efforts of company teams that challenge themselves to think differently about their approach to hiring, retaining and attracting people.
The national labor market is the best in 50 years, and has caused a lot of change to meet this challenge of finding good talent. Check out this article in Chief Executive for practical, creative ideas that you can take as a leader of your organization.
And yet, reform is still needed. Shifting demographics, past mis-alignments between the academic and business communities, and the acceleration of technology’s impact from the plant floor to board room have contributed to more of a workforce challenge.
How to we change our transportation and housing infrastructure so it does not continue to segregate our communities and limit opportunities? These two issues can have the greatest impact on addressing the workforce challenge, exceeded only by investment and reform in public education.
In the 1950’s and 1960’s, when the U.S. was aggressively investing in a new national transportation network, rural employment jumped as much as 20%. Housing options exploded as both urban and suburban housing was created at a record pace. Economic opportunity was created through the investment in road infrastructure and housing.
The time is now for re-investment and reform in both areas, and it is long overdue. It is with an asymmetric approach that we will tear down, re-invest, reform and repeat the process over and over if we are to meet this generational challenge, and to truly win in talent.
Let us keep thinking. Let us keep reading articles like this one from Brookings, challenging us all to think differently in all of these areas.