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Preparing Our Communities to Be Competitive in the Business Recruitment Process

Posted on by Erron Smith

The months of September and October always represent periods of transition and change on the calendar. September marking the unofficial end of summer, as people prepare to return to school and work. October, often times, represents an upcoming change in elected officials and preparation for changes in policy. In these months, we also tend to enjoy nature at its best, and bare witness to its worst; as leaves begin to showcase a myriad of colors in the north, while our coastal counterparts in the south prepare for the environmental threats posed by tropical storms and hurricanes.

But what remains a constant, is our need to always be prepared for the future. Prepared to adapt to structural and cyclical changes that have a direct or indirect impact on commerce; which subsequently would effect our ability as a state to compete for private investment.

A Competitive Option for Investment

As I continue to work with companies that express interest in establishing or expanding operations in Connecticut, it is important to take a step back and discuss what makes a location a competitive option for investment, versus a location that is simply a qualified option for investment.

For instance, as it pertains to availability of labor, meeting a minimum requirement that calls for a region to have 500,000 people living within a 5 mile radius would make the location a qualified option. Although, for a company that specializes in manufacturing, meeting the population requirement and showcasing access to educational institutions that graduate a workforce with the skills that will allow the company to recruit the talent it needs, makes the location competitive.

Another example would be if a prospect has communicated a need to purchase land to construct a facility. If an option of raw land has the acreage required to conceptualize the facility, one may consider this option to have met the minimum acreage requirements. Although, the parties leading the site selection evaluation would not consider the site a qualified option until utility infrastructure was in place. The site with no infrastructure would ultimately be labeled as unqualified and competitively disadvantageous when compared to other options with infrastructure in place.

While the location factors considered for site selection vary from prospect to prospect, it is important that we prepare our communities to be competitive in the business recruitment process. Now I'd like to hear from you! Where do you believe your municipality has a competitive advantage? Where do you believe there is room for improvement, to increase competitiveness?