Consultant Connect

Episode 165: How Partnership Based Approach Brings Success Because of Collaboration | Taylor Kielty, Georgia Department of Economic Development
Episode 165: How Partnership Based Approach Brings Success Because of Collaboration | Taylor Kielty, Georgia Department of Economic Development 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“When I look at the people that I admire most, that are further along in their career, that’s what I want to be to other people one day.” –Taylor Kielty

Is there an attribute to your project process that makes you stand out? Are you gaining success because of a strategy that you believe in? What if you were told that attribute could be collaboration?

Today, Faye Davis talks with Taylor Kielty about the success that the Georgia Department of Economic Development has and what really drives that success. Taylor tells us it is all about collaboration. At the state level, when a project rolls in, Taylor’s team immediately thinks which partners can be brought in to make the project a win. With their partnership based approach, Georgia continuously gets projects and praise for their process.

Taylor is one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers. Her belief that we are only as strong as our communities is just one reason why. We have so much wisdom to gain from her perspectives on collaboration, mentoring, and coming together. Tune in today to hear more!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 164: Take a Vacation and Reap the Personal and Professional Benefits!
Episode 164: Take a Vacation and Reap the Personal and Professional Benefits! 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“As you grow older, you learn a few things. One of them is to actually take the time you’ve allotted for vacation.” –John Battelle

We hear more and more about employee burnout from the companies we work with. So why are so many days of time off going unused?

On this episode, Faye Davis talks with Carla Sones about how to increase productivity by going on a vacation and all of the other benefits from taking a break from work. We all know that taking a vacation doesn’t erase the challenges that are on the table, but stepping away does give us a new perspective. When we take time to get refreshed, we often see an increase in motivation.

We know that taking a vacation can re-energize and realign our personal lives, but the same is true professionally. Taking time to de-stress allows us to bring our full selves to the table when we need to. Tune in today to hear the importance of taking a step back and relaxing!

 

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 163: Are You Surrounding Yourself With the People You Want to Learn From? | Courtland Robinson, Virginia Economic Development Partnership
Episode 163: Are You Surrounding Yourself With the People You Want to Learn From? | Courtland Robinson, Virginia Economic Development Partnership 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“I am at my best when I’m bowling with the guardrails down.” –Courtland Robinson

Do you give due credit to the people around you? Are you intentional about the people you surround yourself with professionally? How can you put yourself in a position to learn about the people you want to?

Today, Faye Davis talks with Courtland Robinson, Managing Director of Business Investment at Virginia Economic Development Partnership. Courtland gives us a glimpse into the importance of mentors and being a mentor. We also hear how to actively choose who we want to learn from.

Courtland is one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers. His passion for economic development and the role we play in our communities is just one reason why. We get to hear passion for the field and joy for coworkers. Tune in today to hear more!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 162: How Are Efficiency and Sustainability Interweaving with Attraction Work? | Karla Moran, Salt River Project
Episode 162: How Are Efficiency and Sustainability Interweaving with Attraction Work? | Karla Moran, Salt River Project 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“You have to take opportunities as they come to you.” –Karla Moran

Sustainability is gaining momentum all over, and the corporate world is no different. How does that influence attraction work from a utility perspective? What demands do incoming businesses have with regard to renewables? And how does that play out in a place like Arizona where some renewable avenues are plentiful yet others harder to come by?

Join Carla Sones as she chats with Karla Moran, Principal Economic Development Analyst at Salt River Project (SRP). The two of them dive into the way both large and small businesses are supporting SRP’s efforts to become more sustainable and energy efficient in the future, and run down the path of the role renewable sources take on in a desert climate. Karla also explains why Arizona is becoming a hub for driving tech and other hot industries.

Karla is celebrated as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers, a well-deserved honor based on her can-do attitude, incredible work ethic and humble leadership style. Her energy and approachable demeanor shine through in every second of this interview. Hit the play button now to hear more from Karla!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 161: How Will Community Preparedness Level Up Economic Development Efforts? | Michael Harvey, Northwest Arkansas Council
Episode 161: How Will Community Preparedness Level Up Economic Development Efforts? | Michael Harvey, Northwest Arkansas Council 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“If you want to target talent, you need to customize what your region’s strengths are for the type of people you’re trying to attract. I firmly believe that the jobs will follow the talent.” –Michael Harvey

Walmart, Tyson Foods, JB Hunt. Number 4 on the “Best Places to Live” list by US News. One of the highest concentration of corporate workers in the US. Some might expect the region behind these stats to be a major metropolitan area, but it’s actually Northwest Arkansas that owns all of these exciting claims to fame. So, what are some of the secrets of this somewhat hidden gem?

Today, Michael Harvey, Chief Operating Officer at the Northwest Arkansas Council, joins Faye Davis to talk shop. Mike dives into the reasons why Northwest Arkansas is an extremely stable employment landscape, as well as how the region has evolved and grown alongside its Fortune 500 headquarters. Michael shares what continues to make his area so attractive to corporate HQs, detailing things like investment in lifestyle amenities and a focus on community development from an economic development angle.

We are celebrating Mike as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers for his creativity in leveling up economic development efforts in his region, especially in the inclusivity and equity space. If you are looking for advice on readying your community for bigger HQ investment and learning about community-based economic development, today’s episode is right up your alley. Tune in now!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 160: Is Your Community Ahead of the Curve in Reskilling Its Labor Force? | Eileen Cai, Charlotte Regional Business Alliance
Episode 160: Is Your Community Ahead of the Curve in Reskilling Its Labor Force? | Eileen Cai, Charlotte Regional Business Alliance 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Training the labor force to meet the future needs is now more important than ever.” –Eileen Cai

Workforce. Chances are that this will come up in industry-related conversation within five minutes. And for good reason; communities everywhere are putting their best and brightest brains together to attempt to solve the labor shortage. So what does this conversation look like for a region that was ahead of the curve in upskilling or reskilling their labor force?

Join Faye Davis for a conversation with Eileen Cai, Vice President of Business Recruitment at the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, who shares insight into how Charlotte, NC and its surrounding areas have worked hard and continue to innovate the challenge of attracting talent and ensuring the right skills are available for incoming new industries. She also talks about what industries are heating up in the area and how that plays into the labor force conversation.

Eileen is one of North America’s Top 50 awardees and she’s recognized for the impact she has had on her region by means of the transformational projects she’s brought over the finish line with her tenacity, cooperation and patience. She talks more about her love of people and strategic brain during today’s episode; hit the play button now to hear more from Eileen!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 159: How Can Symbolism Changes Positively Affect Perceptions of a State’s Business Climate? | Mitch Stringer, Cooperative Energy
Episode 159: How Can Symbolism Changes Positively Affect Perceptions of a State’s Business Climate? | Mitch Stringer, Cooperative Energy 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“I worked passionately both personally and professionally to support the flag change along with economic developers from across the state. We have a lot of work to do to better our state, but this change was a big step in the right direction and an accomplishment that will be felt for generations to come.” –Mitch Stringer

Can symbolism affect business? Can a long-standing perception of a state be changed? In Mississippi, these questions are generating real-time analysis. Following bipartisan calls for change, 73% of the state’s voters adopted a new flag, prompting a change in the narrative of Mississippi and making a statement that, yes, symbols matter.

Mitch Stringer, Director of Economic Development at Cooperative Energy, talks with Faye Davis about how the change is signaling a desire for Mississippi to keep moving forward and into the future. He dives into how companies’ perceptions are changing and how deal flow to the region is affected, as well as the excitement and joy that emanated from the campaign leading up to the change.

Mitch also shares how his skills have set him up for success in his multifaceted role at Cooperative Energy, and what differences in the work he experiences representing a state-wide territory rather than at the regional level. Mitch is celebrated as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers, tune in now to hear exactly why he’s such a dynamite, yet humble as can be, professional!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 158: What Are the Best Practices of Engaging Site Consultants?
Episode 158: What Are the Best Practices of Engaging Site Consultants? 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“The goal is to build relationships. Both site consultants and economic developers are hungry for relationships with one another, not just learning from one another but really feeling connected.” –Carla Sones

Are you traveling to a site consultant’s market soon? What are the rules of engagement around inviting site consultants for a meal while on their turf? And what about inviting site consultants for a virtual meeting? While the world gravitates back to in-person meetings, keeping virtual touch-points with site consultants many miles away is a great way to have maximum impact with minimal time investment.

Join Carla Sones and Faye Davis as they talk through the etiquette of inviting site consultants while in their city, and dive into the best practices of today’s virtual engagements. Some big takeaways to listen for are how to think through the experience from a site consultant’s perspective and why you should be making sure you’re tailoring time spent together with the consultant’s areas of expertise in mind.

Remember, authentic touches do not necessarily require big investments. Simply bringing on people with great stories or taking a fresh approach to an experience can level-up a Zoom meeting from blah to exceptional. Tune in now to garner more creative ideas and meeting set-ups to level up your next site consultant meeting, whether in-person or virtually!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 157: How Can Creative Partnerships Boost Resources for Small Organizations? | Cathy Knapp, Southwest Michigan First
Episode 157: How Can Creative Partnerships Boost Resources for Small Organizations? | Cathy Knapp, Southwest Michigan First 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Rather than feeling bad about limited resources, the conversation became about forming partnerships to create more opportunities for a rural county.” –Cathy Knapp

Economic development can look vastly different for rural areas; often, the local organization is a one-person shop. Challenges around needing to prioritize time for projects with office management tasks can be huge hurdles for productivity. How then can economic developers in smaller organizations or rural areas partner to increase resources and maximize their impact?

Join Carla Sones as she talks with Cathy Knapp, partner at Southwest Michigan First. Cathy leads the economic development for St. Joseph County, a rural Michigan county on the border with Indiana, and she dives into some of the opportunities that opened up when the county decided to partner with Southwest Michigan First. Cathy also shares insights about educating key business partners about the importance of the work we do so that fundraising efforts continue to be fruitful.

Cathy is recognized as one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers not only for her tenacity in serving her region, but also for bringing some huge project across the finish line over the last year. Cathy’s joy for economic development is contagious; tune in now to bask in her zest for community and listen to her thoughts on what makes her best days so full of energy!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 156: So, You Want to Host a Fam Tour Next Year?
Episode 156: So, You Want to Host a Fam Tour Next Year? 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Site consultants want to come out and build relationships and learn. As you’re planning your visit, it’s really important to think about what the goal is of the tour.” –Carla Sones

So, you’re thinking about inviting some site consultant friends to learn more about your region. Do you know where to start? Have you thought about the planning and invitation timeline? And what about building out an agenda which ensures a productive, impactful and memorable visit for the guests?

Join Carla Sones and Faye Davis as they share lessons learned and best practices for planning a community familiarization tour. The two energetically dive into the big do’s (hint: there are myriad ways to do things right!) and a couple of big don’ts. Carla gives insight on how to approach the planning, what to keep in mind when working with community partners, and reminds us to keep sight of who the focus of the tour is.

In-person events are back and site consultants are traveling again. If your organization is debating whether to invite site consultants to visit your community next year, today’s episode will not only provide insight into the timeline of getting a fam tour off the ground, but will also spark creative ideas to make sure the event is as impactful as possible. Tune in now to learn all about the best practices of hosting site consultants on your home turf!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai