The numbers don’t lie but do they always tell the full story? A white paper presented today at the International Economic Development Council 2011 Conference argues that communities should be concerned with more than numbers when trying to capture new investment and attract talent.
The Case for Place: How Quality of Place as an Economic Development Strategy Can Drive Investment details how communities are facing increased competition for large-scale projects and are also competing for the knowledge-based talent that innovation companies covet.
Sure, incentives, labor costs, transportation infrastructure and other hard data will be key factors in narrowing down sites, but when it comes down to the final choice, it’s often the less-quantifiable emotional connections that sway a decision.
Companies that rely more on knowledge workers are less tied to location factors such as transportation costs, proximity to raw materials and cheap labor, and through technology advances are less tied to geography, opening up more options for where they are located.
And the changing nature of the workforce means communities will see increasing competition to retain and attract knowledge workers. Workers, especially younger workers, will be more inclined to make decisions about location based on where they want to live rather than where they want to work, elevating quality of place in an overall economic development strategy
Communities that identify, brand and promote their unique quality of place attributes can stand out more from their competitors and stand a better chance of landing new investment and workers with in-demand skills.
Download the Case for Place white paper here.