The number one factor for companies considering relocation since 1986 has been “Highway Accessibility” according to Area Development Magazine. However, in 2016, this factor was replaced by “Availability of Skilled Talent.” In Chicago alone, in just the past five years, 60 companies have relocated headquarters there, citing the need to “move to where the talent is” because they can “no longer afford to wait on the local community to supply it.” This trend is impacting cities across the nation and if Springfield fails to develop a pipeline of skilled workers, we will struggle to remain competitive.
Create a Dedicated Talent Attraction Program that Builds Upon the Region’s Livability Narrative
Today’s emerging talent is choosing where they want to live before they are choosing their employer. This means we need to tell our story better if we hope to retain them or attract them here. This will be done through the creation of a marketing and talent attraction strategy that focuses on actions, activities, and tools that communicate with talent in targeted geographies and audiences. Additional resources will support talent attraction associated with the newly devised downtown programing, health and wellness, and outdoor activities.
Connect Local College Students to Clark County
Minimizing the “brain drain” can only be achieved through proactive efforts to engage students before they graduate and move away. Additional resources will be dedicated to our current college intern engagement program – CareerSync. Additional programming will include: facilitating networking and social events for local college students; connecting students with regional job opportunities; and engaging with the “captured student audience” at the 20 colleges and universities within a 45 minute drive of downtown Springfield, making sure they are aware of job opportunities and housing options in Clark County.
Reverse the Commute
Nearly 54% of Clark County’s workforce commutes to surrounding counties for job opportunities. Through a proactive, employer-led campaign, we will seek to reduce that number by 10% over the next five years through an aggressive outreach and marketing campaign.