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America's Got Talent (#EconDev Edition)

Businesses look to settle where they can find workers with the skills & education matching their needs, so they need data that helps them find talent.

Alissa Sklar
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on April 27, 2016
Alissa Sklar
Vice President of Marketing

It won’t surprise you to learn the U.S. is full of talented, skilled people perfect for all kinds of important jobs; after all, many of them live in your community, don’t they?


But how do you go about communicating this to businesses looking for a place to locate?

 Creative Commons license "Sparks" photo by Audrey_sel

We know that businesses everywhere are looking for workers with the skills, abilities and education that matches their needs. In fact, huge, high profile companies such as Boeing, Cadillac and General Electric have choses to relocate for the right mix of talent even though it meant a higher tax rate for them. They calculated that a highly educated workforce outweighed an increased tax burden.


Highly educated populations (often clustered around college towns and metropolitan areas) also tend to be diverse and multicultural, indicating a global perspective and level of inclusivity that is often attractive.


But skilled populations aren’t always those with Ph.Ds; some businesses are seeking a workforce with specific technical skills or a proximity to the institutions known to teach them. Understanding and nurturing specific industry clusters helps locations differentiate themselves strategically over time.


There are two critical takeaways here for economic developers. First, it’s really important to be proactive in attracting, welcoming and retaining potential employees in the sectors critical for your area. We know that today’s young adults like accessible, walkable locations with an urban feel. They want options for good public transit (and biking) so they don’t have to own cars, and a dynamic cultural scene: music, theatre, food, and appealing public spaces.


Second, it is critical that you profile this talent data in clear, interactive reports for the businesses and site selectors looking for communities that fit their needs. As important as it is for the decision-making process, many economic developers have struggled to find and provide clear, reliable, up-to-date information. ZoomProspector Enterprise’s new Talent Pool reports have putFocus_Prospector___Focus_Central_Pennsylvania.png all this data at your fingertips, calculating and mapping degrees conferred by geography, field and institution. Talent Pool reports are available from both the Heat Maps section of the tool, as well as in the reporting tabs for any property listing.


Lauren Bryson, executive director of Focus Central Pennsylvania, explained that the addition of this talent data to their ZoomProspector site was extremely important for her team: “This is awesome! We have been talking regionally about how to put this together. I’m so glad to see this as labor is #1, and [yet] it is one of the more difficult things to communicate and promote.”


You can find talent data for city, country, metro area and region, as well as a radius analysis around a city. In addition, our state-wide applications now feature the use of the pinpoint tool to do business and talent reporting for any location. 


Try it out yourself on this live link, and let us know what you think. 

Learn more about Talent Pool Reports

Site Selection ZoomProspector GIS Economic Development Place Marketing data