Fox File #6 "Recruitment and Beyond"
The Fox Files is a weekly message from EDCUtah President & CEO Theresa Foxley.
It’s not news to any of you that we have a tight labor market. Certain sectors are in an arms race for talent. I’ve heard employers say that if you can fog a mirror and pass a drug test, you can get a job in Utah. So why would we continue to recruit new companies to the state and why would we work so hard to help existing companies expand?
It’s a fair question, and I’d answer it in a few ways:
Utah’s demographics. We all know we’re the youngest state in the country (median age 30.6), have the highest birthrate (2.33), recognize that about 20% of our population is in primary ed, and know that of the ~45,000 college graduates/year, most want to stay in Utah post-graduation. The short answer is that because of those demographics, we need to have companies in the state who can employ our growing population for decades to come. We also need a strong tax base to fund the education, infrastructure, and healthcare costs of servicing that demographic.
Further, economies are cyclical. We are in the 8th year of a national economic expansion. The expansion won’t last forever. When the economy eventually contracts we want to have a foothold with top flight companies who can weather a contraction and the right economic development infrastructure to handle such a contraction.
But those answers aren’t completely satisfying, are they? In truth, we know that we need to continue to market the State, but we also know that we need to work on product. Rather than focusing entirely on corporate recruitment, we are dedicating resources to focus on developing for the future. Our goal is to enjoy some of the same structural advantages that helped Utah withstand the Great Recession better than many of our counterparts when the next downturn occurs.
You may have heard about our Public Development Department. We know that in economic development, the rubber meets the road at the local level. Thus, our public development toolkit will be designed for our members to help them find and understand the data they need to be a welcoming community for economic growth and prosperity. As a sub-component of our public development department, we are working on a Mega Sites program that will help communities plan and position themselves for transformational economic development projects over the long haul.
So while EDCUtah has a strong history of corporate recruitment, we’re diversifying our membership offering to help facilitate smart internal growth during the prosperous times and beyond.
EDCUtah Sun, 05/14/2017 - 21:53