Workforce Development for Economic Developers
Part 7: What Workforce Information Do Site Consultants and Businesses Executives Want?
According to Area Development’s 27th Annual Survey of Business Executives and the 9th Annual Survey of Site Selection Consultants the Cost of Labor and the Availability of Skilled Labor ranked as two of the top three factors in site selection (http://www.areadevelopment.com/Corporate-Consultants-Survey-Results/). Site Selectors were asked in Site Selection’s 2013 Site Selectors Survey to name the most important site selection factors in the projects that they had recently completed. These site selectors responded that workforce availability was the most critical factor in selecting a site (http://www.siteselection.com/issues/2014/jan/ss-survey.cfm). The survey respondents emphasized the importance of a “skilled” and “qualified” workforce.
Consultants and executives want all the workforce information that is available for your labor market, and they want the data to be as current as possible. Specifically, they want you to answer two primary questions:
The primary source of employment and wage information is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which can provide this information by industry and occupation. Unfortunately, the BLS website (http://www.bls.gov) is not that easy to navigate. In addition, if you want comprehensive employment and wage information for your region, you need to access two or more of the databases that the BLS has available and then combine the information in these databases into a single database for your region. The good news is that the BLS information is free. Many consultants and some economic development organizations purchase employment and wage information from economic database companies because it saves time over using the BLS databases as well as providing other benefits.
Your economic development organization should provide the following workforce information:
To show you one way this workforce information can be organized, we will present in Part 8 an example of a Target Cluster Profile that we have developed.Next Previous